What is it like starting at a new workplace in a situation where you’re unable to go to the office or meet your colleagues in real life? Our new developers Niko and Ged share their thoughts on the topic.

Recently, we wrote a blog post about our methods of working effectively from home during the coronavirus pandemic. But what if you’re brand new to the company? How is it like starting at a job without meeting most of your colleagues in person?

Our fresh team members, developers Niko Hellgren and Ged Stenman found themselves in that exact situation. Both had their first days here at Taiste at the beginning of April, with the pandemic already in full swing.

How was your first day at the job like? Did you have a chance to meet anyone in person at all?

Niko: I had my job interview before the pandemic, so I had actually seen our office in Turku when it was still full of people. Also, once it had been decided that I would start working here, I went back to the office again to pick up my workstation, phone, headphones and other equipment. Taiste’s People & Operations Manager Niina was there to brief me about practical stuff. Since then, I’ve worked exclusively from home since it’s been advised.

Ged Stenman: The process was pretty much similar to me. To be honest, it didn’t even feel that strange because, in my previous jobs, I’ve also had colleagues that I never met in real life.

What did you think of our onboarding?

Ged: I had an assigned tutor whose task was to introduce me to the ins and outs of working at Taiste. We had an onboarding Trello board that included items such as making sure you’ve got all the tools you need and having online introductory meetings with various people in the company. Whoever made that Trello board: it’s really such a smart, simple and valuable tool.

Niko: Yeah, going through the tasks on that board during the first week gave a solid overall impression of both the company and my own job here.

Of course, starting at a new job is not just about getting to grips with what you have to do; the social aspect plays a big part as well. What are your thoughts on creating a good communication culture with your colleagues when working remotely?

Niko: I think the most important thing is building a culture where there’s a really low barrier for writing messages on Slack. In this regard, it’s better to chat ”too much” than too little. Taiste has an incredibly lively instant messaging culture – there are channels for a wide variety of things, both official and hobby-related. This variability creates a forum that feels equal, an actual dialogue where everyone participates.

Taiste has an incredibly lively instant messaging culture – there are channels for a wide variety of things, both official and hobby-related.

Ged: I too believe that the general activity is the reason why it works so well here. Once people let go of that, it creates a domino effect that leads to impersonal work culture.

Great, thanks for the interview guys! One more question: what are you looking forward to the most when we will finally be able to go back to the office?

Niko: Normally, when you start at a new job, you have to simultaneously concentrate on getting a hang of the work itself and the office culture side of things. This situation has made it possible to approach them one at a time. Now that I’m starting to get familiar with the projects, I’m eagerly awaiting to tackle the other half.

Ged: I’ve heard so many stories of the supposedly amazing coffee machine at the office. It’s the first thing that I’ll try when I get there.

Interested in reading more about our work culture? Read our previous blog post on our Business Development Manager Eeppi’s first month at Taiste.

Want to work with us? Check out our open positions.