Starting a new job - went from office full-time to WFH

25 October 2021 Bronwyn Gladstone

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​Starting a new job can be a daunting at the best if times, but one thing you don’t generally expect to do is to start working from home full time from your first week on the job and for the five months that follow! This has been a common scenario for so many over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Understanding a new role, team and workplace is a lot to take on at once but when you don’t have that option, it’s interesting and overwhelming situation to be in. However having the right team and support around can make a huge difference, and in fact make the whole process comfortable and reassuring - which is exactly what I got!

When your work experience grows you understand industries and culture you know which ones have worked well and supported you right then others that should have done more, it’s a real eye-opener and great opportunity to understand what support you deserve and should be getting in your workplace. As I began working from home on my first week admittedly yes, I was nervous but as my team showed me their support and assistance. I felt incredibly reassured and gradually my nerves faded away. My Director and team were always brainstorming ideas on what we could do during lockdown to take our mind off things, it was great! There were daily team huddles to discuss how we were doing, my Director arranged one on ones, created trivia nights as well as other virtual tutorials, she even organised Friday afternoon yoga sessions to relieve ourselves from the week we’d had. Work interactions are the foundation of an organization, having the continuous connection with your work colleagues is important and the fact it grew virtually before being in-person means it can only grow further from there.

So looking back on the most recent lockdown period, what did your employer do to help you during this time? Did you have the guidance and support needed and what was it? What ways did your employer assist you? Listed below are the most common approaches employers can make to deal with working from home.

• Check-ups / huddles

• Virtual happy hours and networking events

• Providing flexibility

• Training sessions / online collaborations

• Encourage positive coping

• Investing / Creating optimal WFH set-ups

• One on ones

• Virtual appreciation hour

• Supportiveness for physical and mental health

• Tips & discussions how to stay engaged / proactive

Did your employer provide any of these approaches? Did you perhaps get more or less? These are matters to look at to ensure you were supported and engaged during these times, setting you up for a long and happy future within your organisation.