By: Caroline M. Rufo, Ph.D. ‘11
Like many others two years into this pandemic, I found myself starting a new job. As we continue down the path of this new normal, we are in a world of increasing remote or hybrid work. Right now, I am working for a hybrid company that is flexible. What I mean by that is my company has a physical office space and employees have the option to go into the office if they want. Many of the c-suite team members do go in the office and they have been encouraging employees to go in as much as they are comfortable with.
For me, like many other Assumption-ites, connection is everything. During my career, I have taken pride in creating relationships with both managers and co-workers based on trust and respect but have never tried to start this process in a small video box on my computer. Needless to say, I was nervous! While this is still very much a work in progress, here are a few tips I have learned along the way.
- Leverage technology wisely
Thriving in the hybrid world involves communication. Your company will probably use Zoom, Teams, or Slack to communicate on video calls and chat with each other. Don’t be afraid to use these platforms! Whenever I have a quick question for my manager instead of waiting until my next one-on-one meeting, I usually just message her in Teams. This allows her to know that I am working on a particular project and that I’m engaged and want to push the project forward. I also use these platforms to forge relationships with my co-workers when we are not in the office.
- Pay attention to the expectations that management has set
It’s likely that while the management team does not enforce certain days in the office however, they would love for employees to be in the office. Think about it from their perspective, they are spending a lot of money to keep the office running and if no one uses it ever it goes to waste. In my experience my company does not mandate a certain amount of days in the office but I have had the HR person come up to me in the office and say she is happy that I am coming in a few days a week. It’s the little things that help show your new employer that you are willing to go above and beyond. Make the effort to go in the office to create relationships if you are comfortable and it is possible.
- Step outside your comfort zone to forge those relationships
For me, I joined the events committee at work so I could meet others. It turned out to be fun and I got to help plan the Halloween and Holiday parties. You can also participate in an office meet-up group or any other way your company uses to get employees together. This helped me meet others that I do not work with in my day to day and make work friends!
- Figure out what works best for you
I like to create a routine for what days I go in the office and what days I work from home. This of course can change from week to week but I try to make it as smooth and seamless as possible. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it!
- Be patient with yourself!
Starting a new job is hard, especially in this new world. Be patient with yourself as you are figuring it out!
Caroline graduated from Assumption College in 2011 with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. After graduating Caroling perused her PhD from Syracuse University graduating in 2015 and postdoctoral studies at Yale University. Since then, she has held various roles in Venture Capital and Investor Relations. Caroline is currently a Senior Manager of Investor Relations at Astria Therapeutics in Boston, MA.