Colourful post-it notes all arranged close together

Employee experiences at WRAP

As part of our efforts to highlight National Inclusion Week, we asked two of our employees, Frances and Anne, to share their experiences of joining WRAP during lockdown. A time when going to the office for your first day wasn’t possible, and meeting your colleagues face-to-face was against the rules too.

Frances Armitage - Media Specialist

WRAP employee, Frances smiling


Frances joined WRAP on 10 December 2020 as a Media Specialist. Her interviews to join us took place on Teams due to the restrictions that were in place due to COVID-19. We asked her a few questions about the whole experience, and here’s what she had to say...

How did you prepare for working from home?
I was living in a shared house at the time and I didn’t want to start a new job in one of the communal areas so I made sure I had a desk space in my room. I bought a note pad, some pens and made sure I had some good food in and got out for a walk before I started work.

What was your first day like?
I remember being very nervous about starting. I was worried the technology wouldn’t work and that I wouldn’t be able to get in my laptop etc… a different kind of anxiety to going into an office and meeting people.

I was so pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it all went though – everything was really well organised. I was sent my laptop in advance of my start date with all my log-in details. I think my first meeting was with my colleague, Maria, and she made me feel so welcome and at ease. The rest of the day was informal inductions with the team and a chat with my new manager, Ian.

Had you worked from home before?
I had worked at home for three months between returning from Sydney and moving to London but that was only three days a week. Prior to starting at WRAP, I had been job searching for nine months (I lost my London job in travel PR when the pandemic began).

What helped you settle in to life at WRAP?
Regular check ins with my manager Ian, and colleague Rachel, have really helped while I am working from home. I think my manager has struck the perfect balance between letting me be independent now that I am more used to the role and also letting me know that he is available if I ever need help. I think Teams is a really great tool for people working from home as you can have casual catch ups and drop them quick messages – either about work or just generally to see how they are doing.

How were you supported by WRAP in starting your new role, and working from home?
I think WRAP were very supportive both practically (IT set up, new desk chair etc) and also emotionally by making sure I had one-to-one inductions with key people I'd be working with. I think WRAP makes a lot of effort to be inclusive with various meetings/webinars/sessions about different issues.

What challenges did you face during lockdown?
After an initial period of working from my room, I realised that it wasn’t good for my mental health to be working and sleeping in the same room, so I moved out to the lounge area which helped a lot.

I definitely found the lockdown after Christmas very tough – working from home, being in a house share and not being to even go to the gym all took its toll but I think it has made me ever more grateful for any opportunities I have to exercise and socialise now.

Something I found useful during lockdown was the access to the Headspace app provided by WRAP, and always making sure I did one big walk a day, regardless of how miserable the weather was.

Ann Hickey - Personal Assistant

employee Ann Hickey


Annie joined WRAP on 9 November 2020 as a PA. Her interviews to join us also took place on Teams due to the restrictions that were in place due to COVID-19. We asked her a few questions about the whole experience, and here’s what she had to say...

How did you prepare for working from home?
I set up a quiet space in my spare room with a desk so I knew I could work comfortably and that I could take video calls without any distractions. Also, with WRAP's help I soon had a proper desk chair, extra monitor and all the IT equipment I needed to work most effectively.

What was your first day like?
I was very nervous and I didn’t really know how well it would go working remotely – particularly on my first day!  I’d only worked from home a couple of times in the past at previous jobs. However, I had various inductions scheduled in my diary and the whole day ran very smoothly. I was also given a ‘buddy’ who was available for any issues or questions I had which I found invaluable.  

What helped you settle in to life at WRAP?
My line managers were brilliant, always on hand and helpful, and the same with my assigned ‘buddy.’ She was really helpful and it was nice to know there was a friendly face at the other end of a Teams call if I needed help. I have to say using Teams has been a great way to ‘meet’ people whilst working from home and is great for keeping in touch.

From the moment I accepted the role I had regular communication from WRAP – whether that was from the IT department about equipment or about my first day from my line managers. The whole process ran seamlessly.

How were you supported by WRAP in starting your new role, and working from home?
Very shortly after I started the job, my son had to have his school lessons from home due to COVID. I had so much support from everyone at WRAP. They understood that at times I needed to help him with school work and it was a nice feeling to know I was truly being supported through that.

I have had regular Teams catch ups with my line manager since joining, which are still ongoing. These are very useful when working from home. I’m also encouraged to join team meetings online to keep up to date with what the wider team are doing, which is very useful, and also nice to feel part of the team, which could have been an issue otherwise with solely working from home from the start. 

Explore our current vacancies Read about WRAP's approach to equality, diversity and inclusion