Starting a New Job in a Pandemic

What is it like to start a new job during a pandemic? Our Business Support Manager, Rebecca Allerton shares her experience with us! 

I didn’t set out to start a new job and career change in the midst of a pandemic, but here I am! A few weeks before lockdown back in March, my maternity leave was coming to an end and I had made the decision to hand in my notice to my then-employer as I didn’t want to return to London and do the commute any longer with two young children.

I actually interviewed for my role at Spacio pre-lockdown and got a job offer the same day, but due to covid I couldn’t be given a start date so I was thrilled when restrictions lifted and I got the call to see if I was happy to start back in the office.

Before I started, it felt really daunting to me going into an office environment with new people when I’ve been at home in my lockdown bubble, like so many others, with the children doing our daily Joe Wicks, local walks & counting rainbows! But on my first day once I got set up on my computer and logged in, I felt at ease. If anything it felt nice to feel ‘normal’ again.

Currently I am working just two days a week with only two other colleagues in the office. We’re working in three separate desk areas, we have antibacterial hand gel & keep a safe distance from one another.

One of my biggest worries was coming back to work with others still on furlough, will they accept me when they come back to work? I haven’t yet had a chance to build up a rapport with anybody else yet other than by email, which in a virtual world, isn’t uncommon but in the workplace it’s an integral part of starting a new job.

For me there’s no ‘getting to know you chats’ or ‘gossiping over the photocopier’ & I’m aware that for so many of you working remotely it’s not easy sitting on your sofa with your top half professional on your third zoom call of the day, and your bottom half in pyjama bottoms, to maintain a healthy work/home balance.

It’s been difficult during this long unprecedented time to imagine life after it, I think mentally it’ll take so many of us a long time to be ‘normal’ if we can even achieve that again? Or we’ll find a new normal. I still can’t watch or read the words ‘we are giving one simple instruction – you must stay at home’ without tearing up. It’s going to leave a mental scar on so many of us and I think it’s a good thing to accept and talk about that with others.

But for those of you nervous of starting a new job or returning to work, my advice to you is to speak directly to your employer and discuss the measures they’ve put in place to enable you a safe return to the workplace e.g. social distancing, clean workspace.

I promise you, it isn’t as bad as you think!

Spacio are thrilled to welcome Rebecca Allerton to the team as our new Business Support Manager.