11 September 2020

Settling in for the Long Haul

Three different accounts of starting a new role during the pandemic.

Mimi’s account of starting as a Quality Assurance Administrator  

Starting a new job has now gone from the traditional “first day in the office” to “first day on MS Teams”. The first couple days going to virtual meetings can be scary, you question if you’re dressed appropriately, “should I wear the top with the stripes? or should I wear the plain white top? Or… will people realise I’m in my pyjamas with a smart shirt on? All valid questions I’ve asked myself. You also question who is who, who does what, and hope you remember names for next time you have a conversation with them. It can be a weird feeling meeting the wider team virtually and getting to know each other.    

Despite this, it was refreshing to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt similarly about starting a new job during lockdown as I had two other colleagues in the team start a couple weeks before me. 

I’ve been extremely lucky to have started with an organisation with such helpful staff. The plan around my induction was executed extremely well and with a lot of thought put into it I was able to settle in quite quickly within the first two weeks. Fortunately, our team are well equipped to work remotely and have no trouble collaborating as needed. 

Although working from home can be daunting for some, I have been able to see the benefits and advantages of working remotely. I have better work life balance and feel like I can get more out of my day simply because the added stress of the commute to work no longer exists. My productivity rate has gone up as I have more control of things going on around me. Overall, I feel happier as working from home has provided more time for hobbies and interests,  

Mimi’s Top tip working from home  

  • Have a daily planned routine  
  • Make a dedicated workspace 
  • Give yourself a break 
  • Be kind to yourself 
Amma’s account of starting as a Quality Assurance Facilitator 

Starting a new job can be nerve racking and strange, however starting a new job virtually brings on a new set of challenges. When I applied for the role of Quality Assurance Facilitator, I never imagined that my interview would be conducted virtually or that I would be working from home until further notice.  

A couple of months later a laptop was shipped to my home, following an email from my line manager with an induction pack. I knew I wouldn’t have the “traditional” first day at a job experience, I wouldn’t be traveling to the office by public transport to see my new place of work. Nevertheless, I was excited to start my first day and meet other members of the team. 

I was nervous about  starting a new job with a toddler and finding that balance between my personal and work life. How would a toddler understand mummy can’t attend to you now I’m in a meeting? But the supportive and flexible culture in my team quickly made me realised that I was creating my own anxieties/stresses, everyone in the team understood the challenges of juggling your home and work life, after all we were all going through it and must do the best we can to make this stress free as possible.   

Transitioning to a new job takes time, however the team made the shift so smooth the handover has all you need to know. All members of the team are always willing to answer any queries with a quick video call on Ms Teams or via our various work stream channels.  

Working from home does have its advantages and disadvantages including: 

  • The dreaded travel to work during the rush hour period can now be substituted for a quick workout  
  • Saving money that I would usually spend on travel and food  
  • I’m not worried about getting home late from work 
  • Spending more time with the family, cooking etc  
  • Autonomy over work – Being able to work around my child’s needs, usually if your child is ill, you’ll have to take the day off  
  • Not yet meeting my team in person 

Amma’s Top Tips working from home: 

  • Trial run your tech before your first day – ensure you have good internet connection, your username/password works 
  • Ask questions no question is a silly question  
  • Try to get involved in different projects and meetings, that way you see/meet new people in the trust  
Brigita’s account of starting as a Quality Assurance Facilitator 

Changing jobs and joining a new  organisation and team during the lockdown in London was an interesting experience.  

I wasn’t worried about the “tech” side of working from home, as I used MS Teams, Zoom and other platforms in my previous role.  

However, the thing I was worried about was the social aspect of working remotely at a new organisation. In my previous role, I worked with my team face-to-face so I knew everyone before we went into the lockdown. Therefore, the transition from working from the office to working from my home was not very stressful or difficult. However, it was very different at ELFT. I had an interview in March, when the lockdown started, so the recruitment process was virtual. This means that I did not met any of my colleagues face-to-face. I was worried what it would be like to meet everyone online, how I would get to know everyone and what I would do if I had any questions as turning around and asking my  neighbour wouldn’t be a possibility.  

I did not need to worry. The QA team was well-prepared and the whole induction process greatly exceeded my expectations and helped me settle in while working remotely.  

There are  two things the QA team did that helped the process in particular.  

The team assigned me a “buddy”. I had check-ins with my “buddy” every day during the first two weeks. It had made me feel very welcome and it was a great opportunity to ask any questions I had about the role, the team and the organisation.  

I also had 1:1s with everyone on the team which the team helped me set up. It was great to be able to speak with everyone on the team and get to know them. The fact that the team organised the meetings before my starting day made me feel supported and welcome.  

Thanks to the QA team’s thoughtful induction,  I have started getting to know my colleagues,  have learned where to  look  and whom to approach if I had any questions, which really have helped me settle down and get used to working from home for a new organisation.  

If I were to recommend one  tip for working from home,  it would be to set up channels and chats, so it is very easy to communicate throughout the day with your team  without a need to set up meetings!