Entering LOBA in the middle of a pandemic: my experience

I joined LOBA on March 3rd, 2020, a day when there was already a lot of talk about COVID-19. However, the reality that we would come to witness – the country “closing” and companies putting their workers in a home office regime – still seemed far away.

On the desk that would be mine, I found a welcome note, along with a “welcome kit” and all the material I would need to carry out my role in the Account Manager department.

The truth is that working in an open-space environment, as in the case of Oliveira de Azeméis' office, allows us to see and be seen, which helps a lot in the integration when you are a new member of the team.

Something that I think was very important on my arrival at LOBA was the willingness of the colleagues to say hello, the interest they showed in getting to know me better and the readiness to help in whatever I needed - something so simple but that, for those like me, who had just arrived, means a lot.

One of the first things they also mentioned was the existence of extra-work activities, such as group classes in the gym. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Lobáticos can enjoy a Training Camp and Cycling class, respectively. I confess that I'm a bit reticent to new routines and didn't try any of these classes right away. And I quickly lost the opportunity too!

On March 13th everything stopped, and we were notified that, in the following week, we would start our functions in a home office regime. Of course, in the few days that I was physically at the office, I didn't get to know even half of my colleagues. However, this new 100% digital regime allowed us, even far away, to be close to the entire team - and we are more than 100 people, spread across 5 offices.

To get around the physical absence at the offices and so that team spirit wasn’t harmed, daily calls were implemented in the different teams - in my case, the Account Manager’s team. These were short meetings, but they allowed something that, even physically, was not very explored until then - the daily contact and interaction with colleagues from Guarda, Aveiro and Oeiras. Being able, albeit digitally, to grow every day, with all the inputs and know-how of my colleagues, made me feel an incredible sense of mutual help. In this, my experience could not have been better.

When you enter LOBA you are also immediately introduced to quarterly meetings (aka parties) that, unfortunately, I haven't experienced (yet!) as those were also postponed because of the pandemic, and adapted to the digital universe.

Despite the ease of distance communication that we now know, the truth is that the interaction with all elements of LOBA becomes more challenging. That is why I think our onboarding experience is an asset. On the other hand, activities such as group classes in the gym, which have resumed in the meantime, allowed me to create bonds with colleagues with whom I had not yet had the opportunity to interact directly, and in an environment different from our work routines.

So, I can say that I had a peculiar experience joining LOBA in a pandemic time, but fortunately I had no difficulties in feeling part of the team.

It is essential for a company that the arrival of a new member does not go unnoticed and that it does everything to, in a captivating way, make an employee happy from day one. This is, fortunately, my experience with LOBA!
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