As COVID-19 and its effects continue to develop, we have spoken to our colleagues around the world to discover what life has been like for our Hexagon team. This week we have learned how the pandemic has impacted Simone Masciarelli, a sales development representative based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He recently joined Hexagon on April 1, with his onboarding happening virtually.
Here is what the “new normal” is like for Simone.
Since restrictions were put into place, have you been into your local office?
When I first joined Hexagon PPM division, my local office in Hoofddorp, Amsterdam, was closed due to COVID-19. So initially, all my training and onboarding were done remotely. After two weeks and ensuring it would be safe, I then started going into the office and working from there. This, of course, was with my manager’s approval. Working in the office environment and having my own space to really focus on my tasks are both really important to me, which is why I wanted to go in.
What are your local office re-opening plans?
My local office is now open with a limited number of team members coming in daily. We have a schedule to follow to maintain social distance and to ensure everyone’s safety.
Looking back to before the pandemic started and now, what do you feel has been the biggest change?
How I shop has changed a lot! I think the pandemic made me more aware where goods and produce come from. In a way, it has forced me to shop more locally, support local and consume more seasonal produce, which is sourced a lot closer to home (helping me be green, too!). A big change has also been whom we could see and interact with from a safe distance.
What is life like in Amsterdam currently?
I have been living in Amsterdam for a year now, and it was strange initially to see it without tourists. This has made me appreciate the city more. Life in Amsterdam is currently quite quiet when it should be the busy summer tourist season. I would say though, as each day goes on, you begin to see more and more people going out as the restrictions are eased, with people exploring the parks and open spaces – especially when the sun is shining.
What has been your path to adaption to the “new normal”? Did you work from home before?
I only worked from home for just two weeks during lock-down in the Netherlands. I am not a big fan of working from home, so when I was able and it was safe to get back into the office, I did. Now that the whole SDR team is back in the office, it is even better. I think it’s really important to share daily tips, ideas and that good energy.
How has Hexagon adapted/supported you during this period?
I started my adventure with Hexagon near the beginning of the pandemic in April and I settled happily into my new role without issues. The marketing and SDR team, along with management, made me feel very welcomed and comfortable, despite everyone working from home. We had daily video calls with colleagues to get introduced, which combined with the virtual onboarding training helped me to integrate and get to know the team quickly.
How has working from home affected your team?
I think WFH has shown that as a team, we have the ability to organize our own work, create a good schedule and structure, but also have flexibility. I do believe that the kindness and the willingness of our SDR and marketing team has enabled us to be positive and move forward during these uncertain times.
Have you found that you can now do something better/improved a skill when compared to before the pandemic?
I think compared to before the pandemic, I have gained more awareness of myself. I have been able to work and achieve results in one of the toughest situations that I have ever faced (professionally speaking), and I am sure this experience will help me better face the challenges ahead.
As you have been adapting to the “new normal,” what advice would you go back and give yourself at the beginning of lockdown?
The advice that I would give myself is that everything passes, therefore, keep thinking positive!
What are you looking forward to the most in your Amsterdam once the restrictions are lifted?
With the restrictions easing in the Netherlands, I am definitely looking forward to enjoying an ice-cold beer with friends and family on one of the terraces in Amsterdam.