Human Resources Executive profiled remote employee engagement office in Foley’s Dallas office. Dallas office managing partner Michael Newman told HR Executives that once the firm transitioned to work-from-home in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, “it quickly became clear that our close-knit law firm community was missing the daily office interactions that come from working in a large and busy law firm. As an extrovert myself, I was among those in need of some social interaction beyond the confines of my home.”
Newman conceived of the Virtual Engagement Task Force to tackle this challenge and recruited Dallas office event manager Mary Gall and adjusted her title to chief engagement officer to help. Executive assistant Haley Ramsay and partner Rachel O’Neil also helped with activities over Skype. The activities including weekly, virtual boot-camps, meditations and themed happy hours.
Teamwork has been a cornerstone of the project, as employees were encouraged to join self-selected teams to compete on weekly challenges.“It goes without saying that people who choose to work at law firms have a strong competitive spirit, which showed throughout each week,” Newman says.
Pictionary was one of the activities. Newman said they held a practice session to go over rules. “You could cut the virtual intensity with a knife—have you ever created Pictionary rules with lawyers?” he joked.
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