Working remotely comes with both challenges and benefits. Make the most of the opportunity by preparing for those challenges ahead of time.

Working from home comes with a lot of great benefits. You get to sleep a bit later. You get to work in your pyjamas. You don’t have to sit in traffic or deal with a lengthy commute. Working from home means enjoying your own cooking on your lunch break without having to share a fridge with your coworkers. That's not to mention how much housework you can get done in between tasks. We could go on and on.

But if you’ve never worked remotely before, there can be a bit of a learning curve.

Getting ready to start your first work from home job? Here are the top seven tips on starting a new job remotely.

1. Create an Efficient Work Space

Working from home only works if you can be productive. And that starts with setting up a comfortable and efficient workspace.

Set up a designated area of your home that’s just for work. It could be a spare bedroom turned into a home office, a closet-turned-office if you’re limited on space or even a corner niche in your living room. Fill that space with a desk, a comfortable chair, and any office supplies that you need to do your job.

Before your first day, take some time to make sure that your tech works. If you don’t already have a safe and reliable wi-fi network with a secured password, set one up before you start the job.

2. Establish Your Communication Standards

Whether you work side by side with your coworkers, good communication is critical. When you work remotely from a distance, it’s even more important.

Let your new boss or manager know the best way to reach you, whether that be through email, an internal collaboration system, or via phone. Learn their preferences and come to an agreement or understanding about how you will communicate with one another.

Even if you intend to communicate through email or online, exchange phone numbers. It's essential to have a way to connect just in case your wi-fi goes down, or your computer goes on the fritz.

3. Prepare for Onboarding

In the first few weeks of your new job, expect to devote some time to onboarding. Be prepared to put in a bit of extra time to learn the new systems if need be.

You'll need to learn the company software, workflow protocols, and collaboration tools no matter what your remote job entails. In addition, you'll most likely have to do a few face-to-face video calls or watch a few webinars to learn the processes.

It’s also important not to be afraid to ask for help. If anything during the onboarding process is unclear, ask your supervisor for clarification. You will not be successful in your new job if you struggle with using the software or remote tools.

4. Know the Expectations

Depending on the job, working remotely can be 100% flexible or require you to work set hours and be available on certain days and at certain times.

Never assume that remote work means that you can work whenever you want. Know what your employer expects of you, know when you need to be available, and clear your schedule so that you are available when required to be.

If your work is 100% flexible and you can work any days or hours you want, it's still important to set general expectations. Let the company know your parameters so they know when they can expect you to respond to emails or answer calls.

5. Take Time to Learn the Company Culture

Every company has a culture. It's important to assimilate into the culture to become a trusted, respected member of the team.

Ask your supervisor if your coworkers and remote team socialize virtually. If so, connect with them through social media and follow the examples they set. In other words, if they keep it strictly professional and only discuss work issues, do the same. If they have personal chats and talk about their families, children, pets, and hobbies, follow their lead.

No matter what the culture may be, adhere to the standards as set forth by your boss or supervisors. Don’t rely on the behaviour of one or two peers to dictate what the culture is. There is a chance they could be wrong.

6. Set Boundaries With Family and Friends

People who don't work from home often think that people who do work from home can take calls, text, and get together at any time.

Let your friends and family know that just because you work remotely doesn’t mean you have total freedom — you still have a job to do! Tell them that they should treat your home office just like any other office and that you are only available during certain times of the day.

7. Be Confident

To be successful in any job, you need to demonstrate confidence in yourself. You got the job because the company thought you could handle it, so now it’s time to prove them right.

If you're used to working in an office, getting comfortable and feeling confident working remotely can take time. To do so, you’ll need to embrace both the benefits as well as the downsides.

The benefits include all of those things we mentioned earlier, such as working in your PJs and not dealing with rush hour traffic. But there are some downsides, such as minimal social interaction, which can be a tough adjustment.

Every job is an opportunity to develop your skillset, expand your network, learn new techniques, and build your confidence. Showing your superiors that you have that confidence will prove that for you, working remotely works.


Are you getting ready to start a new remote job? Set up an office that encourages productivity. Have the patience to learn new systems and new work culture. Take the time to set guidelines and ensure that you can meet expectations.

If you can put these practices into play, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a smashing success at your new job, regardless of where you do it.

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Cynwyd to help them with their online marketing.