Charlotte's Story

Hello, I’m Charlotte the new Interior Designer at RBS. I have 5 years experience within the industry after graduating from Huddersfield University in 2014.

Wednesday 4th March New job day, I’m feeling slightly nervous but equally excited to start my new job, new projects and meet all my new colleagues, but maybe the most exciting part was the new commute, after years of commuting into Manchester and then Leeds I now have a 5 minute walk to the office, as I live Saltaire.

On my first day, I had all the typical new starter stuff, I had my induction, was shown around the drawing studio and introduced to everyone, before sitting down with Karen the Head of Interiors to discuss the projects we would be working on.  When finally getting to my desk and turning my computer on I had my first email: subject CORONAVIRUS from the Directors informing me of a meeting that was happening that lunch time… Little did we know how things would change over the following weeks.

Over the next couple of days/week it was pretty much business as normal, getting to know everyone and getting to grips with my new working environment, IT systems and learning about the projects I would be working on.

Ten days into my new position on Tuesday 17 March news around the Covid-19/Coronavirus pandemic started to intensify and it was clear things were going to change.  The Directors, Office Manager and Technical Manager were all busy planning for ‘Disaster Recovery’ and gearing up for remote working for some members of staff.  A couple of people were already working from home to test software out and to reduce the  numbers in the office wherever possible.

It was a very surreal situation, I had just started my new job and was settling in well, enjoying getting to know everyone and within 2 weeks some people were now working remotely from home for the foreseeable future and it was looking like others would be splitting their time 50/50 between working from home and coming into the office, in order to ‘social distance’ as much as possible.  It was a very bizarre experience, walking into the office every day and wondering what might happen next or who was going to be in or not.  Little did I know that on the morning of Tuesday 24 March (day 15) I would also be going into the office to pack up my desk and computer to take home to work remotely too, and that the office would be temporarily shut.

Since then I have set up a little workspace in my kitchen and I am carrying on with projects.  Definitely not the usual way to start a new job, but despite the global crisis going on outside and around the world the team have all pulled together and made it work remarkably well. 

I have only been a part of the RBS team for four weeks and I already feel like I have been here for years, they have made me feel really welcome.  It’s been a learning curve for everyone getting used to working from home and having different routines and working environments, but we keep in touch daily via email, phone and Microsoft Teams. I’m a ‘people person’ so I do enjoy our team video catch ups. Let's see what the next few months brings and hopefully we will be back in the drawing studio soon.


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