03 February 2021

By trainee Emily Clarke

When I started my training contract in August 2019 I would never have imagined I would spend the majority of my training contract working from home. While lunch breaks in Glassworks (our fantastic restaurant) and Friday drinks seem a long way away, teams and trainees have been finding other ways to keep in touch with one another.

Virtual coffees

In the office I would often have a chat with a colleague at the tea point or in the queue for coffee downstairs. This is difficult to recreate virtually but in both the Planning and Real Estate teams I have attended virtual coffee breaks in groups of about 5 or 6 people. These coffee breaks have been organised so that you meet with a different group of people each time. This is a really nice and informal way to get to know other members of the team, particularly for trainees and new members.

I have found attending virtual coffees with other trainees to be a helpful way of maintaining the trainee support network whilst working from home. For me this support network has been invaluable.

Virtual socials

I think there have actually been more team socials following the move to remote working. I have attended two cook-alongs, a murder mystery social, a scavenger hunt and of course lots of quizzes (amongst many other virtual socials). I have heard about other teams watching films together and competing to break out of virtual escape rooms. Friday drinks in a Bristol bar have been replaced with Friday drinks over Microsoft Teams every few weeks. My colleagues have made an effort to attend these events and virtual events are often more convenient for those with other commitments. 

Get creative

Over the Christmas period I really enjoyed wreath making with some of the other trainees over Microsoft Teams. The great thing about this (and other creative socials) is that you can catch up with people without having to focus on a screen. I was impressed with the results of the cook-alongs I attended and have signed up with some other trainees to attend a make-up masterclass in January.


While Bristol remains in Tier 3 some of us have been meeting up for socially distanced walks (or even runs) at lunchtime or the weekend.

Remote working is relatively new to most of us and my experience has been that colleagues welcome suggestions from all members of the team as to how we can best keep in touch. The firm encourages us to reach out to colleagues and recognises the importance of maintaining relationships during these strange times. 

Key contact

Headshot of Penny Bowring

Penny Bowring Resourcing Specialist

Legal Resourcing

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