Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
So, you’ve landed a remote job. Congratulations! Working from home has many advantages, such as no commute and the ability to work in a space that suits your work style.
These are among the many reasons why nearly 80% of remote workers report that they’d like to continue working remotely.
But that’s not to say that your first month in a remote job won’t be without transition challenges. In fact, there’s often a shift in both personal and professional perspectives.
Get a head start on your first month in a remote job by anticipating some of the following changes to your routines.
Thriving During Your First Month in a Remote Job
As you prepare for your first month in a remote job, you’re likely to focus on ensuring that you have high-speed internet and the right tools for connectivity.
But within that first month, you’ll probably discover that a successful remote work experience requires more than just having the right tech tools and a comfortable environment.
It also requires nurturing habits, relationships, and boundaries to ensure success.
1. Create Your New Work Environment
When you worked in an office, your employer likely provided your workstation and equipment. But now that you work remotely, you may not have considered some of the key elements you’ll need.
Initially, you might plan on working from your couch or the kitchen table. But before long, you’ll probably discover that your body is aching and your productivity is plummeting.
If you haven’t already done so within your first month, make it a priority to carve out a dedicated workspace and make sure it’s ergonomically optimized. Your list of considerations might include the following:
- A good chair that supports your back
- Dedicated space at a desk that is the right height
- Lamps for better lighting
- A monitor stand so your neck doesn’t ache
Even if you don’t have space for an entire room, you can probably find a closet or corner to dedicate to your workspace. It might take some trial and error to figure out precisely what works, but having everything feel just right can make a significant difference in your success.
2. Outline a Productive Routine
Working from home can be liberating, but it can also be a bit disorienting during your first month without a sense of routine.
At first, you may be tempted to slide out of bed and work in your pajamas. Or, you might find yourself working late in the evenings or on the weekends because your office is right down the hall.
But you’ll likely discover that you need a blend of freedom and routine for your mental and physical health.
You should establish a productive workday routine for yourself, including preparing for work in the morning, scheduling self-care, and clocking out at a specific time to maintain healthy boundaries between work and home.
3. Discover New Ways To Connect
Even if you’ve never struggled to build relationships at work, your first month in a remote role will require new ways of building relationships. With no break room to have small talk, you may find yourself shifting how you think about or build casual interactions with coworkers.
To cultivate new relationships, embrace new ways to express yourself and stand out. If you’re working for an established remote company, they likely have opportunities to connect already built into their culture.
While you may be stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit, by the end of your first month, you’ll likely feel more comfortable and confident embracing remote relationships.
4. Set New Development Goals
Though you’ve been recognized as an outstanding employee in the past, you’ll discover that you have to establish yourself in a new role.
But this is the perfect time to identify your goals for the next few months and create a new professional development strategy.
Without face-to-face interactions, you’ll need to seek feedback and proactively find stretch assignments. Make time for communication with your manager and seek feedback on your progress.
Take advantage of technology to make an impact within your team by vocalizing new ideas, seeking out a mentor, visiting leaders during virtual office hours, or facilitating group discussions.
You can also build new career development goals with careful planning and a willingness to push yourself outside the box.
5. Establish Boundaries You Didn’t Know You Needed
Your first month in a remote job can ricochet from exciting to overwhelming quickly. But setting boundaries is the key to success if you’re one of the four in 10 remote workers who struggle to unplug.
It’s essential to clarify the limits of your job so that you and your employer can better manage expectations.
Establish whether your employer prefers emails, texts, or phone calls early on. You’ll also be surprised to learn how much tech you’re consuming and start to take regular breaks away from screens for your wellness.
Work hours can creep into personal hours, blurring the lines between work and home life. Before a month is up, you should create distinct lines between your work life and your personal life in order to thrive.
6. Combat Loneliness and Isolation
If this is your first remote role, the home office that initially seemed so inviting can start to close in on you.
Before you know it, you might discover that you’re part of the 50% of remote workers experiencing loneliness. Throughout the first month, you ought to employ some new strategies to avoid burnout and isolation.
Even though you’ve never had to before, you should make a plan to get out of the house, enjoy nature, and interact with people.
That first month of remote work can be a shock to your system. You’ll find success by scheduling movement or a day to work out of the house in a cafe or a coworking space.
And you might only realize it after you begin your new job, but you should also refocus on personal socialization. It’s all too easy to avoid making personal connections, but you may eventually find yourself longing for those interactions.
Laying a Healthy Foundation During Your First Month in a Remote Job
When done right, working from home can offer a better balance between your professional obligations and personal fulfillment.
Your first month will be a month full of transition, but if you maintain your resilience and sense of adventure, you can lay the foundation for a successful remote career.