Published: May 1, 2024

Student studyingWork is more flexible today than in the past, with many jobs and internships offering the option to work remotely or have a hybrid schedule (some days of the week are in the office, and the others you can work remotely). While flexibility can feel like a perk, it can also bring challenges, especially if it’s your first professional position. Whether you have a hybrid schedule or work remotely full-time, here are some ways you can set yourself up for success.  

Establish a routine 

When working at home, you don’t have the boundaries of a professional office to get you on a schedule. You have to create a rhythm for your day. First, decide how you like to start each workday. This could include checking email or making a list of priority tasks. Scheduling movement and mental breaks that fit within your designated work hours is also important. Establishing a schedule and routine can help you balance your day and stay focused on work. 

Create a workspace 

Choose a dedicated work area in your home. If possible, invest in a desk and chair where you can work comfortably throughout the day. Establish a separate space from the rest of your living space that you only use for work-related activities. It can also help you focus when your workspace is organized and tidy. Ensure you have the necessary supplies to complete your work responsibilities including notebooks, pens, headphones, etc. 

Maintain clear communication 

Communicating regularly with your manager and peers can help you understand your goals, priorities and project timeframes. You can use email, your team’s preferred messaging platform (like Microsoft Teams or Slack), or other technology to stay connected. Ask your manager to set up regular meetings to check in and ask questions. Regular communication can also help your manager to know your workload and help prevent burnout. When you communicate often, you can address issues before they become problematic. 

Understand technology 

Remote work requires technology that works properly. Ensure you have the proper hardware and software to meet your job expectations. Stay up to date with any maintenance or system updates. Talk with your manager about how you use technology and ask questions if you are unsure how to use specific systems. While it can feel awkward not knowing how to use a tool and needing to ask questions for help, it is better than pretending you understand. 

Transition between home and office 

If you work a hybrid schedule, understand the difference between the days you work at home and those you go into the office. Consider how you may need to adjust your schedule to meet the demands of each work modality. For example, do you need to get up earlier on the day you go into the office, or is it helpful to pack lunch the night before? Also, consider whether you are more productive when you work remotely or in the office and communicate that with your manager.

Find support 

Career Services is here to help you be successful in your transition to work, whether hybrid, remote or in the office. You can meet with a career advisor, connect to the Forever Buffs Network and review the Remote Work Toolkit.