Forging (virtual) bonds with my team

“I joined DBS in the middle of the pandemic 11 months ago, was onboarded virtually, and have seen my team maybe eight times in person - but this is the most connected and bonded I’ve ever felt to colleagues in the workplace.

It started when my teammate told us he needed to take some time off to take care of his family member who fell ill. Without hesitation, everyone sprung into action, brainstorming ways they could help cover his duties during that time.

It wasn’t just these one-off situations - our weekly work meetings also felt different and casual. In between business updates, we shared book recommendations and cheerily scheduled the next off-work team bonding session. I found myself enjoying work calls, and even looking forward to them.

Even though we haven’t met much physically, we’ve cooked together, escaped a (virtual) room together, and have just shared so much laughter.

I think a big part of our close-knit team culture is driven by the nature of our boss, he has such a calm demeanor, and genuinely cares for the team.

The pandemic has been such a tough time mentally for many people around the world, and I’ve definitely felt stress starting switching jobs and adapting to my new role. But I think that the joyful and fun atmosphere with my team has definitely helped boost my mental health during this time.

I’d like to share my biggest pointer from a DBS mental wellness lunch session: don’t try to fight stress alone by yourself.

People always think about mental health as a journey you take alone - we always hear tips like “be cheerful”, “stay motivated” and “don’t give up”. These are tips targeted at the self. But I feel that it’s more about the community you surround yourself with, and who you can connect with that can help support you.

When valuing jobs, I used to prioritize getting the highest pay grade possible. Now, I look out for the team, and colleagues I’ll be working with, because of the mental environment it creates at work, and ultimately how business goals can be met.”

- Adrian Tjahjadi, Joint Finance Business Development team, DBS Indonesia