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Erste Lesung Corona Stories // My Corona Onboarding

Erste Lesung Corona Stories // My Corona Onboarding

These days everyone has a Corona story to share. A story of pandemic-related changes and cuts in life. Many of them deal with working from home and cancelled classes. Some are about financial support, lay-offs, or high-risk groups.

My personal Corona-story is about a cancelled stay abroad. In mid-March, I was ready to live in Buenos Aires, and volunteer at a mission organized by the German UNESCO Commission and financed by the German Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for half a year. The day before the flight: immediate cancellation of all departures.

However, I soon found a substitute through Erste Lesung’s Brussels office. This allowed me to spend at least a few weeks abroad as an intern (even if it’s not as far away as Argentina) and get to know the world of public affairs.

Corona, as I learned on the very first day in the virtual team meeting, hardly affects work at Erste Lesung. Employees are joining in from everywhere; not just from the offices in Berlin and Brussels, but also from home-offices all over Europe. This flexibility is obviously the norm – and was the case even before Corona. I got to know my colleagues personally through individual zoom calls, and even though it was only virtual, I quickly felt like part of the team.

For some team members, there’s not much difference compared to the pre-Corona situation. For example, Executive Daniela explained, “Mobile and digital work has always been a matter of fact here. You can simply open your laptop and start working from anywhere in the world. Even extended train journeys can be used well this way. This flexibility makes it possible, for instance, to move for studies and still continue working for Erste Lesung.”

For Executive Laura, remote work was also already quite normal before Corona. Nonetheless, she was affected by the pandemic: “I was already used to working in the home office from my time as a student assistant at the Erste Lesung. After I completed my studies, I was excited to start working in the Berlin office in spring. However, Corona forced me to stay in the hom- office at first. But that was still quite bearable. All the team members handled it perfectly and the communication worked very well.”

That being said, the Erste Lesung-team also had to struggle with some other Corona-related challenges and tried to make the best out of the situation: “While Berlin’s schools were just as empty as the Erste Lesung offices in Berlin due to the pandemic, my children spent their time playing and studying in the empty offices,” says Senior Consultant Anna.

My impression from the outside: The fact that remote work is standard here has eased the consequences of the lockdown for the team, and Erste Lesung is confidently dealing with the challenges of the Corona crisis. The mood is optimistic. I look forward to spending the following weeks here and adding another chapter to my Corona story.