How to Impress & Stay Productive in a Remote Role

Regular contributor Kayleigh, writes about startups and entrepreneurs. This blog focuses on the new way of working in a remote role, and how to create a great impression and maintain productivity.
With the emergence of remote and hybrid work setups in the last two years, working habits have drastically changed. Following COVID-related developments, 50% of British workers were still working from home at least some of the time in 2021, indicating that more flexible work schedules are here to stay. If you’re starting on your professional journey after graduation, you might be concerned about this. After all, starting a new job is always tricky, and having to work remotely from the outset further complicates things — but you needn’t worry. Here are some helpful hints for settling in, to ensure you create a good first impression and manage to stay productive.


Invest in an efficient environment for remote working

One of your main priorities as a remote employee should be to create a good working environment. Your workspace will make a big impact on your productivity, after all. Aim to find a quiet space and invest in a proper desk and chair. Your employer will likely be willing to provide you with a budget to help you purchase necessary equipment, so be sure to ask if you don’t hear about such a thing.
Once you have been working there for a few days, think about everything that’s slowing you down. Is there a noise distracting you? Is there too much light, or not enough? Over time, you can make slight adjustments to improve your environment, and therefore your efficacy.
remote working wiht laptop, phone, plant, drink

Photo by Mikey Harris, Unsplash


Be present & proactive online

Working remotely inevitably functions through online communication platforms, such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Slack — and when you join a company, you’ll be invited to join the relevant platform. Resist the urge to keep your head down and simply soak things up. You’ll need to show that you’re enthusiastic and determined, and you can do that by being present and proactive.
Being ‘present’ isn’t just about having an active status. It’s about actually being online and paying attention to what’s going on. When someone messages you, try to respond fairly promptly: as with email, it doesn’t need to be immediate, but don’t let time drag on.
Meanwhile, being ‘proactive’ involves reaching out even when you’re not required to. Got an idea you think is worth considering? Let someone know. Think you’d benefit from training in a specific area? Mention it. The more you talk, the more people will learn about your personality and how you communicate. This will help you get up to speed.


Ask a lot of relevant questions

Asking questions can be scary, no matter how well-prepared you are. What if you ask a silly question and everyone thinks you’re a fool? What if you ask something for which you’ve already been given the answer without realising it, leading them to assume you’re not paying attention? It can be tempting to simply get on with things and avoid piping up with anything that makes you seem ignorant — but that’s a mistake.
Most sensible managers will encourage you to ask questions. It isn’t impossible to ask a silly question, of course (anyone who’s ever said that there’s no such thing as a stupid question hasn’t heard enough questions), but if you ask something sincerely and it’s relevant to your job, it’s a question worth asking.


Make an effort to socialise with your team

Working remotely does not typically prevent you from seeing colleagues in person on occasion, so while it may be costly, if your employer doesn’t cover your travel costs, you should still make an effort to attend in-person work socials when they’re held. Also, think about meeting people outside of work: having the opportunity to get to know someone in a conventional social setting, can make working with them easier.
This won’t always be tenable, admittedly, even if you’re willing to cover some miles. It’s becoming increasingly common for a large corporation (or an SME using an employer of record service — this article from Remote explains what that involves) to consider and hire overseas candidates. There’s a chance that you may even find yourself in such a role sooner or later.
But, even if you can’t realistically see your new team in person, you can still find ways to socialise. You just need to get creative: Find video games you can all play together. Start a book club and discuss the latest narrative developments every week. You could even pitch a Zoom-based karaoke evening e.g. Per Wired, treating the terrible audio synchronisation as a source of amusement. Have fun and show that you’re an easy person to deal with.


Use scheduling and planning tools

Picking up a new job will inevitably present a steep learning curve. While your employer should be willing to help you along the way, you might not be given a set way to manage your schedule. Take the initiative, and check out the numerous scheduling and planning applications available cheaply (or for free) online. You could make your workload significantly easier, whilst demonstrating that you are self-motivated and well-organised.
However good you believe your mental organisation skills to be, it is all too easy to overlook things if you don’t keep track of everything you’re doing and need to do next. Even if you’re super-efficient, the planning software can simply serve as a useful fallback.

Starting a remote job is always tricky, but this method of working is here to stay so you’ll need to get used to it. By following the tips set out here, you can become productive quickly and make a great first impression. Good luck!


Guest Contributor, Kayleigh Alexandra

About the Author

Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, which is an online hub for everything startup. Kayleigh is passionate about supporting SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises) and hard-working solopreneurs to make waves in the business world. Visit the blog for startup and charity insights from experts all over the world @getmicrostarted.


More from Kayleigh:

5 Side Hustles to Earn Extra Cash After Graduating

Key Questions to Answer Before Starting a Business


Find out more on Remote Working/WFH:

5 Ways to Stay Creative when WFH
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WHF Working From Home – Tips From Some Seasoned Pros!
Best practices to maintain a healthy work-life balance, keeping you in cheerful spirits & at peak productivity