Firstly, shout out to my team who hired me without ever meeting me face-to-face… it’s probably the only job I’ll ever win whilst wearing pyjama pants and ugg boots.
I moved back to Australia from London in June, and while I was doing my 2 weeks isolation in Crown Metropol, Melbourne went back into lockdown – meaning I’ve been in stage 4 lockdown for nearly 7 months straight. In this time, I’ve come to understand the reality that we are simply at the beginning of the “new normal”, so starting a new job completely remotely didn’t seem as alien as I initially thought it would.
In general, from a mental health perspective, everyone has probably had a day or 2 in “Struggle Town”. The impact of starting a new job from a desk in the corner of your bedroom is that you don’t get to know your colleague’s body language, what they eat for lunch, what their favourite t-shirt is or where the best local dumplings are. I don’t get to walk over to someone’s desk to ask for help or have coffee together on a break. These are all little things, but they make a difference. Luckily, The Evolved Group have done an amazing job of making my induction quite seamless, plus having these 3 programs already running made it that much easier.
- Buddy program: Every new starter gets two “Buddies” from differing departments for 3 sequential weeks each. These weekly video check-ins have been so helpful as I have learned more about different parts of the business, but more excitingly, I’ve gotten the chance to talk to a new human being!
- Weekly catch-ups: All employees have a weekly, randomly-grouped video call with 2-3 other colleagues to get to know people from other teams a bit better. This has been particularly beneficial as I’ve gotten to know people who I would already be friends with if we were in the workplace, but without these calls I would never have met them until we run into each other in the office – which is still many months away.
- Show & Tell: Once per month, 3-6 employees have the chance to present what they’ve been up to lately – work related or not. So far, I have heard about the teamwork required for Dragon Boating, the mindset developed over decades of Judo, and some of the fascinating and bespoke solutions we are creating for our clients.
I had about a dozen introduction calls in my first week and ended up writing 20-30 pages of notes, and since there’s absolutely nothing else happening in my life – I was successfully able to absorb pretty much all of it. Additionally, everyone has been genuinely friendly and answered every question I have, so even though we aren’t together, I still feel part of the team.
Thanks to The Evolved Group for making a pretty weird situation seem not so weird at all 😊