Starting a new role is quite a daunting process; having to build relationships, learn new processes and adapt to a different work culture. However, starting a new role in the middle of a pandemic, is a completely different experience.
From personally starting a new role during a pandemic, I wanted to share what I learnt and found useful through my day-to-day activities, with having to adapt from starting a new job from home.
Remembering Not to Put Pressure on Yourself
We are all in this together, as they say. We need to remember that we are not alone, everyone is going through it too. Even those who have been part of the business for a long time, have had to adapt to this change of working and they already hold the knowledge of the role that you are still learning. Starting a new role is a nerve-wracking experience, let alone having to learn it from home, so just do the best you can, make notes and believe in yourself.
With the way I learn, I like to gain reassurance that what I am doing is correct, so I tend to ask a fair number of questions and I have noticed the number of questions I ask increase since starting my new role from home. If you were in the office and you look puzzled, other colleagues would catch on to this, and normally ask if they can help you. We need to remember though, that they can’t see this whilst you are working from home, so you need to voice everything to them. By asking questions, it also demonstrates that you are invested to learn, rather than you assuming you know what you are doing and then it ends up the assumption was not correct, causing problems down the line which could have been avoided.
Ensure a Strong Internet Connection
The internet has been a really important tool every business is using, to ensure communication is still accessible whilst working from home. Well, that is until the video call you are on starts to buffer and the loading sign appears. To avoid the embarrassment of having to ask others to repeat themselves during the video call, or by the internet dropping you out of the call, making it seem as though you had left for no reason, checking your internet connection is stable is important.
Create a Routine
One thing I found useful was planning out my day. I am known to be one to work over my lunch break without meaning to, so by setting a routine, not only did I have my day planned out, so I knew where I had availability, I also made time to step away to take a break. I have found having a routine important, personally I like to learn methodically, knowing what to do at each stage, so having structure to my day was important. By also having a routine, it helps to bring in the element as to as if you were working in the office. You would normally get up, get ready for the day and travel to work. Whereas now, most of those who are working from home, would get up, get ready and then start work. By factoring in 10 minutes in the morning, to step out the house and go for a walk, will help ensure the routine you are used to, can still be followed and provide an ounce of normally.
Separate Work from Personal
Try to switch off from work once the workday is done, it is easier said than done, I know. Step away from the laptop, put all your stationary in a cupboard and spend the rest of the day doing something you enjoy. With working home, I found it hard switching off from work and would often think about work late at night if I walk past my laptop or an email alert comes through. By putting everything away, it helps to create the routine, as if you were logging off, walking out the office and then traveling home.
Take Regular Breaks
Be sure to take regular breaks away from your desk, even if it is just for a quick toilet break or to make a cuppa. I found that if I did not take breaks, I would start to have a headache and my concentration would decrease. Now every hour, as well as my regular breaks, I also take a minute or so to just stare out the window at something for away. Our eyes are working so hard on the short vision whilst we are working on laptops, that our long vision is being used less. It is also a good break for your eyes from staring at the screen.
Call Instead of Messaging
I found that when I messaged my colleagues rather than calling them, I misinterpreted what they were trying to say. By messaging, it is hard to determine how the other person wants you to interpret the message. They may have said “ok” and I would have interpreted that as though they were being blunt with me, however they were just keeping the message to the point or may have been on a call and wanted to just sent a quick message. By calling them you also get the social side of it, with working from home you do not get to communicate with people, other than those in your household, so I have found this element important.
Wear Office Attire
Finally, I found that wearing office attire, whilst working from home, boosted my productivity. I would personally prefer to sit in loungewear whilst sitting at home however, as mentioned above, it is also important to separate work from personal. Loungewear is the clothing you would normally want to change into once you have completed your working day, so by wearing this whilst working, you may become a bit too relaxed and could get distracted easily from your working day.
believe in yourself