Starting a new job can be stressful enough, but imagine doing it during a Covid-19 crash.
While many organizations have overcome the variety of challenges that working from home presents, it can be a whole new arena for newcomers.
Jacob Davies was in the last days of his job in Wellington, before starting work in Christchurch the following week, when the country was blockaded last month.
She made the quick decision to head to her new home in the brief window that was allowed, and boarded a ferry across the Cook Strait on the first closing morning.
It was “pretty rushed,” he said. Davies then found it “difficult” to start the new job.
Davies said it took “a couple of weeks” before a work laptop could be shipped to him, so “I was trying to work on an iPad with an organization whose systems would not work with the iPad.”
Calum Lewis has been at his new job in Auckland for two weeks.
However, he was waiting for an alert level change that would allow him to advance from Wellington, with Auckland currently at level 4.
He said it was “fortunate” that he had flexible arrangements to move from his home in the capital to a location in Auckland so as not to be “out of pocket.”
Despite Lewis taking on a role similar to his job in Wellington, he felt like he was learning the ropes slower than he should.
“You learn so much by sitting next to someone and asking them a quick question,” he said.
“When you are not there, you have to make a decision about whether or not it is worth picking up the phone to ask the question or leaving it.”
Harry Bates was at his family’s home in Hanmer Springs, on vacation before starting his new job, when the closure occurred and he decided to stay rather than return to Wellington.
He said it was “obvious” to be “in a house in the mountains” because at the beginning of the pandemic he was “trapped in a small apartment with three other people.”
Bates’ main problem was that he had few clothes with him because he was originally on vacation.
He laughed at the fact that he only had one shirt on him.
“I wore that the first day and then everyone wore T-shirts and hats.”
Organizational psychologist John Eatwell said employers needed to recognize the additional challenges of lockdown.
He said the research showed that the first three months of a new job was “one of the most stressful events in life, like moving house or moving city.”
“And, of course, some people combine all three.”
Eatwell said there were studies that indicated that working from home was not necessarily the way people thought of the future at the start of the pandemic.
He said people’s production was being affected by not physically working alongside colleagues, as some things just didn’t work as well online.
It was something that Amy Hansen, leader of the E tu union team, had helped place many people in a wide range of new jobs during the pandemic.
She said that “working remotely can be quite scary,” in particular “for people who have never been in that space before … people who might be in the later stages of their work lives and not really using technology. in their jobs before. “