We relocated and started new jobs during the pandemic

Solicitors Adam Hutton and Sophie Moore were both eagerly anticipating their respective moves to the North East to join Sintons when the country was plunged into COVID-19 lockdown. Here, they discuss their experiences of joining the law firm during such unprecedented times, and how Teams replaced the tea room as the forum for meeting colleagues

Relocating from elsewhere in the country and starting a new job can be a daunting proposition in any circumstances – let alone doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But for Adam Hutton and Sophie Moore, two solicitors who moved to Sintons during the past few months, that was the reality they faced.

Adam, a dispute resolution solicitor, relocated from Bristol, and Court of Protection specialist Sophie returned to the region from London – and as both accepted their positions at Sintons before the pandemic hit the country, expectations at that time very much differed from what they encountered.

“Back in January 2020 I had met three of my future colleagues through the interview process and upon accepting the job I was very much looking forward to meeting everyone else and beginning my career at Sintons,” recalls Sophie, who joined in April.

“I was excited to meet clients, attend networking events and to see what my new desk was like. Little did I know that fast forward three months and I would be clearing the spare bedroom at my parents’ house to create a practical workspace, attending remote IT inductions and stretching my IT skills in order to set up a second computer screen.”

Adam faced a similar experience, having started his Sintons career in June.

“I knew that I was joining prior to the lockdown and had initially expected to be walking through the office and having the opportunity to meet various colleagues face to face,” he says

“However, after completing some formalities in the office under social distancing measures, and meeting my new team remotely via video link, I was returning home after a couple of hours to begin my induction.”

Whilst the traditional ‘Sintons’ warm welcome’ – on which the firm prides itself – may not have been possible, Sintons’ sector-leading use of virtual means ensured Sophie and Adam quickly became part of the team.

“I am used to remote training sessions but not when normally you would be in the office in the designated training room,” says Adam.

“I must say though, as it was very well organised, I do not feel that I missed out on anything I would have done if it was provided in the office.

“The remoteness of the training has very much set the tone for my time since joining Sintons, what has often been coined as the ‘New Normal’. Whilst we can go into the office and I have been in on occasions, working from home has started to feel more normal then I ever expected it would.

“The personnel and technology that Sintons have available do not make it feel like you are on your own and I often have meetings with colleagues via video link and phone. Albeit the days of popping to a colleague’s desk for a quick chat about the weekend seem like a distant memory and a thing of the past, at lease in the immediate future.”

Sophie’s experience of settling in remotely was similarly positive.

“It became clear during my first few weeks of working remotely that those around me were committed to making sure that I was able to settle in and feel part of the wider Sintons team,” she says.

“Microsoft Teams became my lifeline to colleagues who were always happy to assist. “How are you getting on? Let me know if you need anything,” was just one of the many messages I received from colleagues who I would be working closely with but would not meet in person for many weeks, or months.”

And as well as enabling its people to feel part of a team remotely, Sintons remained absolutely committed to its clients during the lockdown period, using a raft of virtual technology-based means of communication to ensure service was uninterrupted.

Adam says: “Whilst Sintons have adapted, so have our clients, many of whom will have had remote meetings rather than coming into the office. They can take comfort in knowing that Sintons has fully adapted to the pandemic in these challenging times and, as ever, are in an excellent position for providing the level of service for which we are known.”

“I have been given the tools to allow me to work effectively from home and to play my part in making sure that even though we are in very strange times we can continue to deliver an excellent service to our clients,” adds Sophie.

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