When I went to secondary school for the first time, in August 1993, I agreed with some friends from the village where I lived to go cycling together. My secondary school was five kilometers away, about half an hour by bike. We had agreed on eight o'clock, because at eight-thirty the class would start.
But, overwhelmed with stress, I had misunderstood and thought we had agreed to meet at the school at eight o'clock. After a bike ride by myself through the foggy polder, there I was. Half an hour early and in front of a closed door. I was so embarrassed.
Well begun is half done
The practicalities for the first day and some clear agreements can all help to reduce the stress someone has on the first day. Share for example: which clothing is appropriate, what time you are expected at the office, where you can park your bicycle or car and whether you should bring your own lunch.
Companies that want to go a step further in reducing stress can also consider to not only provide the right information before the start, but also to plan a first day on a Wednesday. This way you already have a break after three days, to process all the new impressions.
Balance and overview
Another option is to arrange shorter days for the first week. Because at the end of the day, you will probably be way less focused. As a new employee, it is also smart to keep your social activities after work to a minimum during the first days of your new job.
Before you know it, the first day turns into the first week, the second week, and beyond. And you know exactly what you can expect as an employee.
Fortunately for me, that afternoon in 1993 I cycled back home with my fellow villagers and we agreed to cycle together the next day.