Working for a company from across an ocean can present a few challenges. There are differences in language (I have fully adopted ‘fortnight’ into my vocabulary), a slight (five hour) time difference and a few cultural oddities (who knew Brits loved bingo and reality TV?).
I started at Relative Insight as Content Marketing Coordinator in September, and my colleague and fellow New Yorker Minjie Yim joined in March. Beginning a new job in the midst of a pandemic is difficult. The first few weeks at any new company are crucial. You’re meeting dozens of people, understanding your role and determining how you fit into the team dynamic.
I assumed it would be a struggle to understand the scope of my role at Relative Insight through a screen. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. There’s Zoom, Google Hangouts, Slack and about a million other ways to keep us connected. Relying on video calls and messaging has created a clear form of communication. Every meeting is planned and intentional. We don’t have the opportunity to learn through exposure from spending time in the office, so we’ve learned to rely on scheduled time and the occasional impromptu call.
That being said, onboarding and working from my tiny Manhattan apartment with two roommates has been different. I won’t say it’s better or worse. It’s just different. I appreciate the flexibility of my WFH schedule. I can do a load of laundry or run a quick errand between meetings. I can cook a real lunch or stop by my favorite cafe that closes at 5pm.
But that crossover between personal and professional responsibilities can lead to a skewed work/life balance. It’s easy to work into the night without thinking or respond to emails half awake at 6am. Some days, I miss the structure of office life. I miss waking up early, getting dressed and grabbing a coffee before barely making it onto the F train. Luckily, it won’t be long before I’m back spending $6 a day on lattes.
Starting this week, we’ll be working out of a real, physical office space in DUMBO. Account Management and Marketing are based in this new New York office for now, working closely with our other US colleagues in Austin and Cleveland – as well as with the rest of the team in London and Lancaster – but this office marks the next stage of Relative Insight’s relentless trajectory.
Relative Insight has been working with big US clients for a few years now, but it’s exciting to have the opportunity to cultivate our own office environment and recreate the amazing culture Relative has over in the UK. Stay tuned. There’s exciting stuff to come, and if you’re in the neighbourhood – come by and let’s go out for boba.
Get to know the New York team:
What’s the best spot in DUMBO?
Michaela: The waterfront – very few views in New York beat the downtown Manhattan skyline set behind the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.
What’s your favorite British word?
Michaela: Ace! Such a quick, positive response for when you’re sick of saying ‘great’ or ‘perfect’. And it just kinda sounds cool.
Minjie: Bosh – I didn’t know what it meant for the first five months of working here but the use of it always makes me laugh. Still does and I know what it means! I 100% will never be able to use the word myself.
Minjie: In a comparison of new releases during COVID vs in 2019 during the same time period, people have been more enthusiastic about music in 2020 during COVID than in 2019! Not only have listeners been more likely to give albums accolades and praise, they’ve also been much more likely to expand their horizons and discover new music.
Relative Insight can analyze any data you can imagine. From social media to web copy to review data to survey results – our platform can work with it all.