We all know what it’s like starting a new job. You are full of nerves; stressing over finding appropriate office attire; trying to remember everyone’s names; learning how everyone likes their tea and coffee - all whilst making a good first expression!
But if you throw a global pandemic and working remotely into the mix, your first day becomes something entirely different! Luckily for Freya, who joined us back in February, we are now in our gorgeous new office in Wellington. Here’s Freya’s experience with J&PR so far!
My first day
Throughout the pandemic, everyone spoke to me about the difficulties of moving their working day from the office to home, but nobody mentioned the problems of actually beginning your new (and first post-graduate) job remotely.
My first day began with meeting the team - over a group Zoom call of course! While the expected first day nerves were felt, I had the additional fears of failing wifi, potential background noise and misreading important emails. Not fun!
Thankfully, I had experienced working with J&PR in 2019 when I completed a week of work experience with the team, so I had a vague idea of who everybody was and what my role entailed.
Working from home
Spending the first eight-months of my role working from home was unexpected to say the least. However, that's not to say that home working didn’t have its benefits!
I could get the washing up done on my lunch break, let the dog out whilst the kettle was boiling for my next brew and I lived in comfort, spending the majority of the week in a pair of fluffy socks and leggings.
Unfortunately, the benefits didn’t last, with digital fatigue caused by difficulties switching off at the end of the day. I now know - far too well - how easy it is to pop back into the office a couple of hours after you finished your day to check if you’ve had any emails since you supposedly ‘signed off’.
Simple requests were also made much harder, with having to send emails back and forth throughout the day to get what could have been a 30-second conversation if you were talking face to face.
Similarly, mental wellbeing became harder to maintain as a result of remote working, with loneliness, reduced motivation and difficulty switching off becoming an unfortunately common aspect of working from home life.
Luckily Rhea, Kirsty and everyone else at J&PR are amazing to work with and offered support throughout my initial eight months of working remotely, but nothing can beat working right next to your team!
Life in the office
Now that Team J&PR has returned to office life, I’ve been given my first glimpse into the world of work from a perspective other than the one that I had sat at home.
I now eagerly anticipate the commute to and from work - the virtual commute just wasn’t the same! - even during rush hour, as it gives me the opportunity to both mentally prepare myself for the day ahead and provides me with time to shut off after a long day in the office.
Enjoying conversations and building relationships with my colleagues has been another benefit of office life. What was once an email-based relationship has blossomed into a face-to-face friendship, with coffee break chats now becoming one of my favourite parts of the day!
I’ve found that my mental wellbeing has also improved alongside my motivation to both work and socialise!
I’m already looking forward to spending more time in the office, with Christmas Jumper Day and festive decor soon to make their appearance!