April 7, 2021

New Job: The Virtual Edition

It’s your first day at a new job. The excitement! The nerves! What to wear? Suit and tie, a button-down shirt, or flamingo-print pyjama pants?

Since the pandemic hit, prospective employees have experienced a strange new normal. Video interviews are in while in-person socializing is out. How did people adapt? To find out, we asked some of Republic’s newest faces about their experience joining our team during COVID-19.

“Starting a new job during a pandemic has raised a lot of different emotions and questions,” says Interior Designer Mary-Lou Porco. “What am I doing? How do I get started? How do I meet the people that I’ll be working with?”

Proximity fosters relationships (oh, how we miss 40-person lunches at the big table!) and though we can’t share nibbles right now, we still found ways for new team members to connect. Designated buddies organized video chats to introduce new faces to the rest of the team, and studio-wide virtual hangouts for trivia, cocktail-making demonstrations, and ugly sweater contests bolstered the social element our team loves.

“The virtual events have been great in getting to know everyone,” says Interior Designer Roslyn Patterson. “The friendship and camaraderie within the team is evident.” Meng Wang, BIM/CAD Modeler, enjoys the activities held every month. “They build relationships between team members while in other companies, people only know each other if they are in the same department.” Tsubasa Bolt, Project Manager, says, “Individuals want to step up and support each other for the team’s success, not out of a sense of obligation but from a sense of solidarity and friendship. The fact that team members not only want to work together but also want to hang out after hours speaks volumes.”

The vibrant culture of Republic is apparent in the studio, but does it translate to remote working? Architect and Project Manager Kristin Szuminsky thinks so. “Republic sincerely celebrates their team members for the unique individuals they are,” says Kristin. “This allows and encourages people to be themselves. Julia McIntyre, Specification Writer/Technologist, says, “There is a flexibility of workspace and an emphasis on wellness built into the community at Republic. Both are forward thinking and promote creativity and productivity.” That flexibility was a big plus for Mary-Lou, who says, “I have never had the flexibility that Republic offers, which is something that drew me in. Everyone is a team and the hierarchy you see at other firms is not really prevalent.”

So, what do these intrepid newbies like most about the team at Republic? “Their sense of humour and willingness to help,” says Julia. “I’ve instantly been made to feel like part of the team.” This gets a thumbs up from Roslyn, who says, “Everyone is kind and supportive.” Meng thinks the team is fun and easy to reach, saying, “They’re also very knowledgeable in technical fields.”

Friendly AND smart? You’re making us blush!