This is Corporate Onboarding Before and After COVID

Don’t Worry — You Still Get A Shit Ton of Branded Swag

Meeting co-workers

Before:

You and and a bunch of white dudes with beards got ushered around the office like some sort of homogeneous parade as people uncomfortably called out, “Fresh meat walking!”

After:

You and a bunch of white dudes with beards take turns awkwardly introducing yourselves during the company’s monthly all-hands video call, doing your best to prove you’re not a complete dummy as you talk on mute.

Company swag

Before:

Your new desk was covered with branded t-shirts, branded water bottles, branded stickers, and, if you joined one of those edgy, progressive companies, branded USB sticks (does anyone still use these?)

After:

Your home office desk (i.e. kitchen table) is covered with branded hand sanitizer, branded disinfectant wipes, and even a branded mask that says, “Spreadsheets Make Me Smile!” You will definitely be putting that branded bottle opener to use during your morning stand-up call…

Employee handbook

Before:

You were given a massive packet and told to read over the company’s mission, vision, and values so that you would eventually be able to share them whenever a client asks. The thing is, they haven’t. They only thing they ask is, “When will that presentation be ready?”

After:

You were emailed a massive PDF and told to read over the company’s work from home policy so that you would eventually be able to explain to a client why your spouse has an uncanny ability to walk by the computer screen in their underwear at the same time as your daily video chat.

Happy hour

Before:

After chit chatting your way through your first day in the office, you and the other new hires joined everyone else across the street at a swanky wine bar that is wayyy too expensive for your entry-level salary. Good thing the first round’s on your manager.

After:

After chit chatting your way through five hours of video calls, you and the other new hires join everyone else in their daily remote happy hour. 3 PM isn’t too early to start drinking if you’re at home, right?

Technology setup

Before:

You would spend (at least) half of your first day talking to “the tech people,” trying to figure out why your computer is the only one in company history that can’t connect to the VPN. It’s OK. It’s not like you were planning on getting any real work done (other than stalking all of your co-workers on LinkedIn).

After:

You spend (all of) your first day on hold while “the tech people” scramble to figure out how your company’s Outlook account got hacked. It might have something to do with that weird email you got asking if you wanted to invest in Bitcoin. And to think “Vladimir” sounded like a nice guy in his email!

Billy Frazier is a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile. You can subscribe to his email list or follow his daily shenanigans on Instagram.

I’m a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile. https://www.billyfrazier.is/

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