The Capgemini work environment is pretty different from your average 9 am – 5 pm jobs. Many of us have crazy travel schedules, mobile desks, and non-traditional working hours (shout out to those 6:30 am offshore team calls). It isn’t uncommon to have friends at work that you’ve never met. Maybe your closest friend lives across the country (or in a different country, for that matter). Maybe you haven’t seen that person since OnBoarding. Your meetings are probably all conducted via conference calls and online, and hardly ever do you meet face-to-face with your Capgemini co-workers outside of the client site. Maybe you’ve “met someone” via email or a conference call, and you’ve tried to imagine what they look like just from hearing their voice. I’m pretty sure everyone does it, but it sure felt weird the first time I caught myself forming a human face from a voice on the phone. Usually the person ends up looking nothing like the picture you’ve drawn in your head, by the way.
With such a lack of face-to-face communication and interaction and non-traditional working circumstances, you might wonder how you’re supposed to feel unified and physically present within this company.
For starters, go to the office. It sounds simple, right?
Wait! But there are so many reasons why you can’t go…
- You’re required to stay at your client site on Fridays
- You had a long week and would rather “chill” and work from home on Fridays
- The cable man will be at your apartment “any time from 8 am – 6 pm” (UGH!)
- You live 45 minutes away and the traffic is horrible
- Even if you went, nobody would be there
- You work better from home
I think Ani Difranco captured this situation best when he said, “Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, well nobody likes their job, nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life, but you know, there’s no escape, there’s no excuse, so just suck it up and be nice.”
Now, I don’t know if I’d take that guy quite so literally. The point is that you can make all the excuses you want (I recognize that some of these are actually valid excuses), but it is always worth it to go to the Capgemini Office when you can. Just suck it up, be nice, put on a smile, and try to make the best of each and every day! You would be surprised at how many benefits going the office can bring you. It can help you:
- Expand your network by meeting co-workers who aren’t normally in the office or are from out of town.
- Develop a greater sense of unity at Capgemini by becoming more involved and being “present”.
- Attend fun events on Fridays (or other days) that might be going on in the local office. (Hint – some of these events include free food and are open to all employees. Sign me up!)
- Discover new opportunities within the company that potentially result in a role change or another unique experience you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
- Make a name for yourself amongst the VPs, managers, and office staff that are consistently in the office. This is a great way to easily and effectively expand your network and it can absolutely result in additional opportunities.
- Become friends with the office support staff. They know everyone and can connect you quickly. So, just when you start to think that “nobody comes to the office,” remember that those people are there every day. Start building relationships.
- Stand out! If you make it a habit to come to the office, eventually people will start noticing and will single you out for additional opportunities.
- Focus. Depending on the environment you live in, working from your living room might not be ideal. Going into the office ensures that you will have a workspace, a comfortable chair, a coffee station, a working phone, and relatively stable internet connection. Do not underestimate the value of these things!
The list could go on and on, but I think you get my point. The key takeaways here are that coming to the office, CONSISTENTLY, will result in a greater number of opportunities and an expanded network. In this line of work, those are two things that can be significant game-changers. So, next time you think about staying at home on a Friday or skipping that office event, think again! You would probably be doing yourself a disservice.