Sometimes, people ask me to describe our firm culture in one word. “Collegial,” I always say. Our office doors are always open. We collaborate on matters. We bounce around issues and ideas. And we really like working together.
The challenge for us is to preserve that part of our culture, conversations, and collaborations when we can’t be physically together.
We’ve moved conversations that would have taken place in office doorways and over the coffee pot on to Zoom and Teams. We’ve had lunches and happy hours together over video chat. It has been fun to see our co-workers’ homes and families and pets in the background when we meet.
While we work remotely, we’ve all gotten some new officemates. At our house, my wife has been working upstairs from me since March. Our dog alternates from her “office” to my “office.” He makes occasional appearances in video conferences.
We’ve made some adjustments to allow some of our attorneys and staff to return to the office, but we’ve kept that group as small as we can to ensure everyone can keep a safe distance.
For the past months, we haven’t been able to have as many clients in our office as often as we would like. So, we’ve been using different ways of meeting with clients, whether on the phone, on Zoom, or when weather permits, in our “outdoor conference room.” Usually, I have some clients I work with almost exclusively over the phone. The first “face to face” meeting I had with a couple of them took place over Teams while I sat in our dining room.
We still like working together, even working together remotely, but as 2020 wraps up, I think we’re all looking forward to returning to our offices again soon.
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