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Starting a job in a pandemic: the reality of working from home for new recruits

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Space & Time begin their content series looking at how new recruits have taken to working from home

Like a lot of other companies, Space & Time’s usual recruitment procedure has changed, with everything having to happen virtually. We have a lot of new faces in the agency which is great, but we thought we’d ask them how they have found starting a brand new job, in a new company in the middle of a pandemic, which is why I was called upon to speak about my experience starting a role while confined at home.

I must admit, I was a little apprehensive when starting my new role here at Space & Time during a global pandemic.

In the first week of lockdown in March 2020 (what feels like a lifetime ago) I was unfortunately made redundant from my previous role. The company that I worked for was based in America. Their clients were primarily in the travel sector and sadly weren’t too keen on the idea of furlough.

Having been out of work for almost six months, the prospect of going back into full time employment was slightly terrifying. Although I had tried to keep myself busy during lockdown, like many others my sleeping pattern was non-existent and I’m not sure that making banana bread had kept me in any kind of working mindset. I knew there would be a period of adjustment that I would have to work around quickly, but I was delighted with the opportunity to get back into the real world again, or the new version of the real world.

I was quite fortunate in my start date as lockdown measures had eased slightly and I was able to visit the office on my first day. This was obviously massively beneficial in my induction process as I was able to meet face to face with my line manager and HR manager. From that point until now though all communications, training and client calls have been done over either Teams or Zoom and I can honestly say it’s really not been bad at all.

I had a preconceived idea that starting a role while working remotely would be hugely challenging and I would just have to accept that I would miss out on certain things such as bonding with the rest of my team or building strong relationships with my clients, but this couldn’t be further from my experience so far. Like everything else at the moment, we have all adapted to this new way of working and I’m really happy with how things have gone.

A few members of the SEO team are fairly new to the company and it feels like we have all gone through these same challenges together. My line manager arranged daily catch ups so that each morning we could all discuss our plans for that day as well as providing an opportunity to ask any questions. Having this daily contact first thing was a massive support in allowing me to ask questions and gather any information that I needed for the day ahead. There is also a need to adapt how you communicate when working remotely. It‘s often best just to call someone when looking for clarification or advice, rather than a message back and forward. By having calls, there is essentially little difference to just approaching someone at their desk or having a quick run through something while grabbing a coffee.

There is no doubt that things are different, but I think we have done well as a group to make the necessary changes and put things in place so that the transfer to remote working has gone as smoothly as possible. I have certainly been pleasantly surprised at how well things have gone while starting a new role in a global pandemic.

Jack Brown, senior SEO executive at Space & Time