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When I accepted an exciting new job opportunity at Social, I never could have imagined I would be starting it at the peak of a global pandemic and national crisis. Something we all have in common right now is that nobody expected to be in the truly extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in. What have certainly been an unusual first few weeks in my new role have also been enjoyable, exciting, incredibly busy – and above all, memorable.

From my very first day – back when working in the office was still a thing – I knew Social wasn’t just going to be a workplace, but much more than that. Social is a community, and one that I already feel an integrated part of. Everyone has the mentality that life really does happen, you manage obstacles as they come along, but you don’t panic.

Everyone’s had to adapt and chop and change their ways of working in the current situation and at Social this has been no different. And so while starting a job where I had to immediately switch to working from home on only the third day would usually have made me feel a little anxious, the support I’ve received from everyone in the team has helped me to feel (pretty) relaxed and comfortable about the situation.

What has stood out to me most is the caring and kind nature that everyone has shown. There’s no hesitation when it comes to making sure people are okay. Living alone in a flat I was a little apprehensive as to how this (self)isolation would feel, but an infinite number of Teams video calls later I realise I have nothing to worry about.

Initially, arranging introductory calls with pretty much everyone in the company felt a little like working in a call centre – but quickly became comfortable and completely normal. These ‘digital introductions’ have been filled with interesting interruptions, be that from the resident pug, tabby cat or playful (and demanding) children.

I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks especially when it comes to managing working from home. What I’ve found most effective is making sure I take that hour break in the middle of the day, to stop and do something that is relaxing and stimulates my brain in a different way. Several colleagues have already noticed the newly painted ‘feature wall’ in my flat (from quite an angry red to a more tranquil green) and the accumulation of several houseplants (all re-potted of course). Importantly, scheduling in calls with family, friends and colleagues has been the key to keeping a positive outlook.

Everyone at Social is trying their best to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital – and as I see it, this has actually brought everyone closer. From our resident quiz master’s recurring Friday afternoon quiz through to regular posts on Social’s Workplace page featuring #showusyourstation and #guessthelocation, everyone’s coming up with innovative ways to engage with each other.

I for one have felt a real sense of belonging and feeling of ‘we’ in my first three weeks at Social. The great impression I got from my first days in the office has been solidified by the events of the past few weeks: this isn’t just a company, but a community that cares for each other, for families and friends, for clients and for everyone in-between.