Covid struck towards the end of my final year of university, just before the big dissertation was due. I came home for what I thought was going to be a couple of weeks whilst this ‘virus’ passed, little did I know that we were in fact facing a global pandemic and I’d be sitting my final exams in my childhood bedroom. No after exams parties, no graduation and almost every grad scheme I had looked at had been cancelled. At the time it felt awful: but in hindsight trivial compared to what others had to go through.
Roll on to accepting my new job at The Kite Factory, mid-way through a pandemic and realising that WFH was in fact going to be here for the long run. Not only was I nervous to be starting a new job, it was an industry that was completely new to me and on top of the normal new job nerves, I was navigating this from home. I was fortunate enough to have one day in the office before the November lockdown came into play, so was able to meet my manager face to face and get set up on all things IT. From that day I was quick to learn that Microsoft Teams was now my new best friend and would be the way I would meet people, communicate and learn the ways of the advertising industry.
I had got the idea in my head that WFH would be challenging and that it would be hard to get to know the people I work with. However, it couldn’t have been further from that and in fact it was important to remember that this way of working was still very new for everyone in the business. There have been several new starters over the last few months, so we are all in the same boat.
Having regular virtual catch-ups with my manager was extremely beneficial to me as it was an opportunity to ask any questions or problems I was having. When WFH the way we communicate with each other is different, it’s not as simple as just popping over to someone’s desk with a quick question. The WFH version is a quick Teams call. It’s easy to think that this may be annoying, but if we were all in the office you would only be doing the same thing by grabbing someone to ask them a question.
Whilst things are heading back to normal (fingers crossed) I think we can all agree that WFH is now going to be part of our way of working. But I think offices still have a part to play: for some WFH might not be entirely suitable; and there is nothing better than meeting and talking to people face to face when collaborating. And of course, it’s great to socialise with colleagues now and again – that’s quite tricky on Teams!
Starting a career, in a new organisation and new industry is daunting. Doing that remotely made it even more so. However, you can make it work but it’s a two-way process. The Kite Factory have been brilliant and have kept me informed and engaged and that has been a massive help. Technology nowadays makes it easy to communicate virtually. The hardest thing was being at home after being at university with no social contact with colleagues or friends. But that’s a small price to pay and will make me appreciate things after lockdown. I’m looking forward to finally going into the office and meeting people that I’ve only ever seen on a screen or heard on a call. Especially in the pub after work!
By Lucy Prince, Marketing Executive at The Kite Factory