Onboarding in the time of COVID-19

Posted by

By Erica Kasper

Content Marketing Manager

I started a new job this week: Content Marketing Manager at Greenshades Software. Usually, the first day of a new job is spent touring the building, meeting the other employees, and filling out paperwork. For me, the first day began when I was greeted at the office door by a man with an infrared thermometer, ushered into a dark and mostly-empty office, and sent home after 15 minutes with a car full of hardware so that I could get my remote workspace set up. Of course, none of this would have been “normal” before, but this is the time of COVID-19. Onboarding is a whole new experience.

This was always going to be an interesting process; the company is based near me, but my boss is in Colorado, two time zones away. The modern workplace had already been transitioning from old-school cubicle farms to digital conference rooms for years. And with COVID-19 now a factor, many more workers have switched to working from home, including nearly all the Greenshades staff. Those who do venture to the office are masked and keeping a safe distance, and today, I was one of those masked officegoers. For what it’s worth (and from what I could see), it seemed like a fun place to work, and I hope someday to be able to spend more time there.

Once I got my workspace put together at home, technology dominated the rest of my first day experience. Kitty from Human Resources walked me through the new hire paperwork, almost all of which was online. Through Slack, she shared an onboarding slideshow so I could learn more about the company structure. I “met” the CEO through a welcome video on YouTube, and soon, I was in a group call with my team to talk about how best to get started. As I spent the rest of the afternoon going through digital documents to learn more about Greenshades, it occurred to me that this had been the most paperless, contact-free process I’d ever gone through to start a new job.

After all that, do I feel isolated? Surprisingly, no. Even though I’m miles from anyone I work with, the variety of technology used to bring me on board has kept me engaged. The friendly, cheerful voices of my coworkers in my headset have kept the vibe positive. And the company culture has been warm and welcoming despite the distance.

It’s exciting how close technology can empower us to be, even when a pandemic is keeping us as far from each other as possible. When a business has a strong interpersonal dynamic and a commitment to the team, the tools that make work possible also help to make online interaction seem more…human. I can’t wait to get to know my new Greenshades community better and make a place for myself within it, in person and otherwise.