When Your First Day of Work is WFH

07 MAY 2020

During a period of significant change, at Goldman Sachs we recognize a unique population experiencing a “new normal” – our recent joiners. 

While becoming acclimated in their new role, recent joiners are integrating at a time we, like many other companies, are undergoing a sudden and massive cultural shift – transitioning from our offices around the globe to a predominantly virtual working environment. They’re tasked with building connectivity with a team they expected to physically work alongside which presents some challenges. Foregoing “on the desk” observational learning while balancing at-home responsibilities, for instance, is a great deal to manage when trying to make an impact in a new role.

With this in mind, our goals for every new hire’s integration remain unchanged: equip them with the tools, resources and support they need to comfortably integrate into Goldman Sachs. To do so, we are virtually connecting them to each other and our culture while working diligently to position them for success – whether it is providing resources, like best practices for working from home and video sessions about building resilience, or supporting hiring managers by providing them with checklists to structure an effective integration for their new team members.

We asked some of our recent hires what it’s been like joining the firm at this time. Here’s what they had to say:

Elliott, Human Capital Management, (soon to be based out of) New York

 “I had been in contact with the Global Mobility team as my wife and I were in the midst of planning a move to New York from Chicago. I got a call from my manager about two weeks prior to our move date that Goldman Sachs was shifting to remote work. About an hour later, the entire move had been postponed and we began planning for my virtual start date.

The firm appears quite agile to me. It seems like, with very little disruption, we’ve transitioned to a 98% remote workforce which is quite impressive.” 

Karina, Engineering, London

“Day one was memorable with a remote onboarding experience. The first week involved getting to know my colleagues via Zoom, understanding the company culture, being introduced to the project I’m working on, and learning about cool internal tools at the firm. This could be the beginning of a future trend!

From this virtual experience, which is new to me and many others, I’ve learned a few tips so far:

  1. Be proactive in reaching out to colleagues via video chat when joining a firm remotely. It’ll help build better working relationships than just emailing or IM’ing, and you’ll feel less isolated in your new role.
  2. Join any sort of interest groups, like Goldman Sachs’ affinity networks, to interact with like-minded colleagues outside your team. 
  3. Take some time to browse online learning resources your firm offers – Goldman Sachs University, for example, offers great learning opportunities to grow professionally and personally.” 

Marko, Compliance, Zurich

“The most surprising thing to me is how close I feel to my team even though we haven’t spent a single day working together at the office.

We have daily Zoom meetings, but also have a messaging group where we share interesting articles, memes, and baking achievements! We also organize a weekly drink at the end of the week that we do virtually. I think we have many things in common, so it is truly easy to connect with them and have lively discussions on so many topics – from the global health situation, to food and wine, to Tiger King!” 


Interested in exploring a career change? Read tips from our recruiters on navigating a job search during these unprecedented times.