Forgetting an item that you need for your first day of work is easy to do, but if you are starting your first remote job, forgetting something critical for first-day success is even easier.
We have put together a checklist of the commonly overlooked aspects of preparing for your first day of working from home:
1. Home Internet
We’ve all felt the pain of “buffering” before. Now imagine that happening in a very important video call. Not very professional, right? Before you start your first day, make sure you have fast, reliable internet with good coverage.
Shop around. See what different providers offer. Unlimited data might be the most cost-effective solution, so you don’t have to keep an eye on overages. Keep your job responsibilities in mind, too. Someone who edits and uploads videos or works with a cloud-based system might need a bit more robust internet than someone working in spreadsheets all day.
As a rule of thumb, when shopping around for internet providers, it is recommended that you have a minimum of 10 Mbps download speed and 1 Mbps upload speed per person for remote work. As a bonus, a faster internet speed means less buffering when streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, Disney+, etc.
2. Supplies and Your Workspace
When working from home, you will need to make sure your home office is stocked up on the essentials. Think pens, paper, printer (don’t forget ink and printer paper!), notepads/notebooks, etc. You don’t have to go overboard. Remember, these are the essentials!
Additionally, make sure you have a proper workspace. You don’t have to convert that spare bedroom into an office, though. Your new workspace can be the corner of your living room or even a desk in your bedroom –just so long as it’s a space you can dedicate fully to work and “commute” away from after hours.
Just because you can roll out of bed and start working, doesn’t mean you should. Set your alarm so that you have enough time to wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, drink your coffee, etc.
The biggest question when starting your new (remote) job is, “Do I have the technology I need to perform my job?” Typically, your company will provide you with a monitor, laptop, cables, headset, and other accessories. Don’t be afraid to ask your new employer when (and how) you will receive your equipment.
If it is being shipped to you, ask for a tracking number and if a signature will be required; it is expensive, after all. When your equipment arrives, check the package and let your new employer know IMMEDIATELY if something is missing or damaged, so a replacement can be shipped to you ASAP!
Set it up and turn it on BEFORE your first day to make sure everything works, and you can logon on your first day without issue.
4. New Hire Documents
When you are starting a new job at any company, there is always new hire documentation that must be completed. When you are working remotely, you might not need to physically supply a copy of your ID –instead, you might be asked to upload it to a secure portal. It never hurts to be proactive and find these documents before your first day, so you don’t have to make any last-minute trips to the Social Security office to get a replacement card.
5. Set Your Alarm
Just because you are working from home and you can roll out of bed and start working, doesn’t mean you should. Set your alarm so that you have enough time to wake up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, drink your coffee, etc.. That extra mental prep time can do wonders for your attitude and productivity.
Gearing Up for Day One
Chances are if you took a remote job you will be training remotely, too. Training and remote work may be a relatively new feature for your new employer, so be patient if they haven’t worked out all the bumps in their process. With that in mind, proactivity goes a long way; don’t be afraid to ask questions or take the first step in getting to know your new coworkers.
Even if your new company’s remote work platform doesn’t have all its kinks worked out just yet, ultimately, you are responsible for your professional success. By going in with a positive attitude and using the checklist above, you will have the recipe to make your first day of remote work a big success.