The phrase “first week of work” typically conjures images akin to university syllabus week: visits to the supply closet to select your pens, navigating the complex benefits election process, meeting and greeting new faces, setting up multiple IT devices and getting your feet wet on initial projects. In the real world? It’s usually a bit more hectic, especially when joining a dynamic, quick-moving tech company -- but your colleagues are in the next cube (or open-office space pod/tree house/insert your start-up perk here) willing to help, right? Of course!
My first day at Fuze followed the typical syllabus week trend: I got my shiny new computer, scored some solid Bic rolling pens and made use of the hot chocolate dispenser in the kitchen -- but also started tackling some initial planning. Great! Things were rocking and rolling, as expected.Tuesday morning, hit the gym to gear up for day numero dos. Check my email - office closed due to flood. WHAT? Is this a new recruit joke? Is it April already? After a quick assessment, I realized this was a legitimate announcement -- and trekking to the office was a no-go. Day Two: work from home, alone?
What’s a new employee to do? At a traditional enterprise, perhaps frantically call one’s new boss, shoot a few emails, wait for tasks to appear, plan for the next week and attempt to schedule some old-fashioned calls - hoping to catch someone and accomplish *something* during this time. Odds of “accomplishments” when one’s never met the person on the other end of the line? Debatable, especially when attempting to build camaraderie with the new co-workers. Call me new-fashioned, but it’s difficult to convey oneself via the technology of Alexander Graham-Bell. Call me a humanistic softie, but I need to *interact* to build relationships - put names to faces and get to know personalities.
Enter Fuze as my workplace. What did I accomplish during my first week? 29 face-to-face virtual calls. Yup - 29. Work didn’t stop -- and I didn’t feel disconnected once. I met my colleagues, saw their faces multiple times, got to know their personalities, their quirks--and completed critical tasks. In week one. From home.
Returning after Floodgate 2014 on Monday? I recognized the people that I’d spoken with - we had already bonded and created solid connections. How? Fuze. Not to gush - but that is truly the future of enterprise technology: allowing anyone (even a NOOB like myself) to truly connect on a personal and professional level -- without yet engaging in person. We could share screens, content, facial expressions and real-time chat via one application -- simply. I hadn’t even received product training, but didn’t feel lost in the shuffle. I was forced to learn what we build and evangelize everyday -- and my first week turned me into a true believer immediately. Floodgate 2014? Blessing in disguise.
I felt welcome, engaged and empowered to work -- and learned our product like nothing else during my first 72 hours on the clock. Necessity, yes. Amazing and impossible in traditional settings? You bet. Something that tells me that I’ve made the right choice and the future of work and communication is upon us? I could shout it from the rooftops.