3 Jun 2021
I definitely feel part of the team. Remote working hasn't stopped me from getting my teeth into my day to day work, and I am making some great new friendships and forging good relationships.
Melissa Waters, Head of Client Services
I started my new job at Fresh Egg on 5th Jan 2021 – in the middle of a global pandemic! (take a look at my starter interview).
It's been a little strange remotely stepping into a job role that's all about forming in-person relationships with teams, departments and clients – how would it work from behind a permanent screen? But if there's one thing I learnt, we humans are good at adapting to our surroundings.
Overall it's gone well, but there have been a few bumps along the way - from learning how to use PC (after over 20 years on MACs) or setting up Teams (I'd only used Teams for social occasions thanks to COVID and always accompanied with a glass of wine). I'd find myself running out of time on calls as the water cooler moments were happening at the start of a call, and then a glance at the watch, and you're 20 mins into a 45 min call. Then, the endless knocks at the door as you take your neighbours packages (as well as my own),
I've lost count of the times I've said, "Oh sorry, hang on, there's someone at the door." Probably the biggest challenge has been not having someone next to me that I can easily ask, "how do you…?", "Can you show me where I can find…?" "What is the process for…?". I felt like I was scheduling calls with people to ask them how to schedule a call!
It's the simple things I miss that I haven't even experienced here at Fresh Egg in this new role. Those little chats in the kitchen while you wait for the kettle to boil, grabbing a coffee with a colleague, going for lunch, going to the pub, running to M&S with someone while snatching a quick 10-minute chat. Having some naughty biscuits with a cuppa during a face to face meeting isn't the same while sitting alone in a pokey home office.
There are so many little details that I haven't experienced – how long is my commute, where will my desk be, who will I sit next to, what is the building like, how do I enter the building (in regular times, we'd generally know all of this after day one). And I only know what my colleagues look like on camera.
But in this 'new normal' world, it has been ok - I feel part of the team, I'm almost part of the furniture. Remote working hasn't stopped me from getting my teeth into my day to day work, and I am making some great new friendships and forging good relationships.
I wonder if seeing people in their homes and natural surroundings immediately makes us feel more relaxed, more friendly? It feels like you almost know someone already. That a knock on the door almost enforces an informality that can be endearing. I've seen colleagues and client's cats, dogs, kids, plants, family, friends. It's an insight that many of us would not usually be privy to, and it's been quite heartwarming. It has made me realise that work is something we do, not where we go.
So overall, my experience was not as daunting as I thought it would be. Just in case, I have some tips for anyone for starting a new job remotely:
Get a buddy
Get to know people
Ask for help
Soak up the inductions
Get to know your team as a priority
Don't be hard on yourself
We're proud of the successes we bring our clients. For us, the longevity of our relationships is a testament to the work we do in partnership with in-house teams.