Help! I'm new. How do I get started?

The early days in a new organisation can be daunting and can leave you feeling lost. We've put together a reference guide to help you get started on your journey.

When you start with us we like to make sure you receive all of the hardware and access you need to do your job. You'll also need some guidance to help you find your way.

We keep a checklist of everything you need to make sure we don't miss anything but here's a quick guide to get you started.

You get a buddy

When you first start you'll be assigned a buddy. We're a friendly bunch but you'll find it easier if there's a single person you can turn to to help you out initially.

Find out more about having a buddy.

Hardware and budget

You'll need a laptop as a minimum to get you started. If you've not already got one of these then speak to your project lead or the managing director.

All members of staff receive a hardware budget every 2 years. You decide how to spend this money provided it's for work. The budget will cover a high-spec laptop or perhaps, a number of different mobile devices for testing or perhaps furniture for your home office.

Payday

Shortly after starting (or possibly just before) you'll be asked for some personal information that we'll need to pass on to our accountants for payroll.

Expenses

Most expenses at Convivio are paid with a company contactless payment card from Pleo. However, there are occasions, hopefully rare, when you may pay for something with your own money. For information on reclaiming personal costs, see how to claim expenses.

Fridays

Fridays are special days. Fridays are the days we improve the business and improve ourselves. We have a video call, usually at the end of Thursday, to work out our 'give back' Friday plans and ask for or offer help if necessary. And then each Friday we have a company video call, to catch up with other staff that we haven't worked with during the week, to hear what people have been working on.

Your first Friday Hangout will be a chance to introduce yourself and meet anyone you haven't said hello to yet.

Holidays

We have an unlimited holiday policy here at Convivio. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's an important factor of making sure we are all properly energised for the work we do.

We have a peer review approach to booking holidays, but our peer review protocol means we also check people are taking enough time off and not being martyrs to the work.

See How to Book Holidays for more information.

Peer review

Most things that involve a decision are handled by a process of peer review. We use peer review to help evaluate everything from buying an app or product, taking out a subscription to a service, requesting holiday, choosing where and when to have our retreats and more.

We have a dedicated Slack channel for #peer-review requests and evaluations.

You can read about peer reviews in more detail.

Communication Tools

All of our team is free range and we have distributed project teams, so effective communication is vitally important. With the right tools we can be sure of good, clear communication for everyone.

We use Slack for most of our communications, so it's a good idea to have this installed and open most of the time. With free range working, people can't just look over to see what you're working on, so we have developed a habit of 'working out loud', using Slack channels, messages, statuses, and more to work expressively and vocally.

Many of our project and system tools are integrated with Slack, so as projects progress our project and company management tools, user research tools, code management review processes and system monitoring tools, for example, all keep us informed of how things are progressing.

We rely on video conferencing tools for more human conversation and talking in more detail. We use a variety of video conferencing tools depending on the context and accessibility, such as Zoom, Appear.in, Google Meet, Slack's own video tools, or a number of other options.

Email

We use a company Gmail account for all email correspondence.

Update your email account to use [email protected] as your default email address

  1. Sign into Gmail at mail.google.com, and go to Settings » Accounts

  2. Under ‘Send mail as’ use ‘Add another email address that you own’ option to add your @weareconvivio.com address - Gmail should find it.

  3. Remember to choose make default for that address!

Internal Projects

For managing internal projects and keeping on top of tasks to be done, we use ClickUp.

ClickUp has a web interface, and apps for desktop and mobile. We would recommend installing the desktop app on your laptop, at the very least.

ClickUp is integrated into our company Slack, too, see we can interact with tasks and get notifications of developments on internal projects and tasks.

Here's some useful tutorials and videos to help you learn how to make the most of ClickUp:

Data security

We have a wider section on our security policies which you should read in due course. If you have any questions, just ask in the #infra or #general channels in Slack.

Initially, however, we require you to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Convivio Google Apps account. You should also consider adding 2FA for tools and services you use with your Convivio account.

Health & Safety

Due to the distributed nature of the team it is not practical to visit your home office on a regular basis. The company needs you to assess your own comfort and safety and to communicate any risks or discomfort to management. Where the risk or discomfort is related to hardware or furniture then we'll work with you to fix this.

When you begin working with the organisation we'll have already asked you about your home office arrangements to determine whether or not you have a suitable work space in which to perform your job. Some people work solely from home, others choose to split their time between home and e.g. coffee shops.

Travel is a necessity for most of us to perform our jobs. The company does not operate or deal with customers in potentially risky countries. We only travel and operate in destinations approved by the UK Foreign Office.

If you have any issues or questions related to Health and Safety these must be discussed with your project or team lead or the managing director.

Mental health

For more information on mental health in the workplace, including support and training, see the mental health section.

Everything Else

If you still have questions, look further around the Cookbook or ask for help in Slack — we'll always answer.