How to Best Navigate Working from Home

Whether you have recently landed a position after a successful interview or currently have a job, it is likely that some remote work will be involved, often utilizing the same platforms as interviews. So, what are the expectations of actually working in a virtual environment?

The Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s Career Center staff provides advice on how to best navigate working from home.

Starting a new job virtually can have its challenges, as you may have many questions but not necessarily an immediate network of colleagues to ask. Hopefully, your employer will direct you and make sure you have the resources you need from day one. For your personal environment, use the techniques mentioned for virtual interviews in order to minimize distractions, maximize professionalism and make a great first impression.

Additionally, take a chance to learn virtual etiquette for meetings and discussions. Know when to have your camera on (almost always) and when to mute your microphone. When your microphone is on, do not hesitate to speak up and participate. You can also use the platform’s chat feature, if the host allows it.

Like on-site work, always stay engaged. Take notes on what others are saying, and pay attention to non-verbal cues. When your camera is on, make sure to look at the person speaking (unless you are writing). Even though you may be physically alone, you can still take the time to get to know your team. Follow up emails with questions and summaries. Ask colleagues for connections and attend (or create) virtual lunches and events. Do whatever you can to make yourself a familiar face in the workplace.

Although entering the virtual work environment may seem daunting, make it work for you. Get up and be ready, just like you would if you were going into the office. Plan the day’s agenda and have a schedule, allowing yourself breaks to get up and move around. Move locations — outside or to a coffee shop — if you can. And, remind yourself to have patience; interruptions and technical difficulties are often inevitable. Before you know it, you’ll no longer be the “new person” but will have become a valued part of the team.

For more resources to help you become successful during your internship or job, visit the Whitman Career Center or reach out to a career advisor.

Julia Fiedler
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