Home Blog Graduates and Interns August 2020 How my legendary colleagues are helping me thrive during lockdown


How my legendary colleagues are helping me thrive during lockdown

by Tyrone Floro

Employee Experience Consultant - Telstra

I rarely work from home as I thrive in an office environment and enjoy seeing my colleagues in person. So, when most of us here at Telstra were asked to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I initially struggled adjusting to the ‘new normal’.

However, I have since come to terms with my new work lifestyle and have been happy to see that everything from learning opportunities to meetings and even social events have continued to carry on virtually. I am also lucky that I live with my family because they have really helped me during this time.
How I deal with feelings of isolation during lockdown
To keep engaged during the lockdown, I have found it important to stay connected with my team. I am happy to say that my colleagues have been really supportive, and they always make themselves available to talk to me. I have found it really useful to leverage other people’s experiences to learn from during this time.

It has also made a major difference to my mental wellbeing that our leaders promote such an open and transparent communication style. They have shown that they really care about how we are tracking and they’re really honest about their own feelings. At the start of meetings, they ask us how we’re feeling and how our days are going during these different times.
My advice for staying connected and motivated

      1. Be proactive and reach out first

If everyone makes an effort to speak to each other, it has a knock-on effect and creates a better environment. I believe now is an opportunity to connect and better understand your colleagues by finding out a bit more about them and what they’re passionate about.

  1. Remember to take breaks
I feel like I am taking less breaks because there is no one around me to remind me to do so. Working in the office, when you see someone having lunch or having some time out, you think ‘oh, I should probably do that too!’ Now I make sure I schedule in regular breaks throughout my day and it’s really helping me to stay refreshed and motivated.
 
  1. Socialise with colleagues outside work hours
This is a great opportunity to socialise because you know your colleagues may not be too busy as they’re not commuting into the office. As a graduate cohort we have been doing virtual lunch catch-ups and are speaking a lot after work to talk about our days and how we’re feeling. My team leader has been super cool too and scheduling in in a lot of team catch-ups too, even organising a virtual baby shower for a colleague!

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One way I have been supporting my fellow colleagues during the lockdown
A few of us grads were asked to help out our call centre teams recently, and I was in charge of orientating all of the new graduates into their temporary roles.

I learnt a lot from the experience as I had to connect with each of the graduates and support their learning, development and onboarding process. I also got to work quite closely with our executives, which was a really cool experience.
My final thoughts…
Working from home has been a great opportunity for me to learn even more about my colleagues and leaders, which I’m really enjoying. There are so many things to uncover about the people you work with and you really do not know until you ask. It’s also been a good opportunity for me to learn something new, which I know will help my career at Telstra.
 
Do you want to learn more about how Telstra supports its graduates? Head to the Telstra Careers website.
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