Almost a year ago now, Cisco decided to ensure the safety of all employees and closed our offices globally. It was clearly the right move to make in the wake of so many unknowns. As a Site Engagement Manager for our Galway, Ireland offices – I had to sit down and figure how this affected us from a culture perspective.

With 75% site attendance in Galway we always have a highly populated office which helps grow a very special site culture and atmosphere – something we take a great deal of pride in. We are, after all, Ireland’s #1 Great Place to Work!

But, how do you create a culture and atmosphere in a virtual world? Where would our normal “Craic” (Ireland’s way of saying ‘a good time’) with each other take place? Could we generate a friendly, warm and trusting atmosphere without physically seeing each other?

With all site activities paused, thinking through how we connect virtually took a little bit more work. Thankfully, having such a trusting and supportive team, we made it through and connected like never before! It is possible! And Cisco Galway is proof of that.

Here is a taste of some of the different virtual events that we hosted via Cisco Webex to show you how, with some thought and creativity, you can create virtual fun for your teams.

Virtual All Hands – These monthly meetings helped us to share everything that was happening in our new world and to help with any questions, doubts, anxious thoughts, and really being ‘together apart’. Our Site Leader Keith Griffin hosted these events and even included speakers (both from within Cisco and out) for us to connect with and learn from. This proved hugely beneficial and made the meeting fun and different.

Wine O’Clock – Meeting after the workday ended to just have a glass of wine and chit chat with your peers. We kept these groups to smaller numbers so that everyone could have a word and share a topic of interest.

Juke Box – Need a little live music in your life? We have you covered to unwind from a busy week with music from Pádraig Digan as we come together to request songs and chat over Webex Teams. This event was so successful, team members from around the globe joined!

Health & Wellness Sessions – From meditation and pilates to bootcamp classes and a session on protecting your immune system, we were there for each other to maintain our health and wellbeing.

Photography Class – New hobbies were a great way to refocus during such a difficult time. With this 1-hour class on photography facilitated by an employee in our Dublin office we were able to find a great creative outlet.

Cookery Classes/Cisco Master Chef – Every two weeks employees were given three items to make a dish with, they then posted pictures in our Webex Teams Space and there was a winner with the previous weeks winners picking the overall winner. We also hosted cookery lesson on Webex hosted by an employee from our Dublin office. Weekly Table Quiz – Using the Kahoot app over Webex, we’d gather each Thursday night to raise money for charities.

Fun Funds – We hosted a site wide fun fund Summer BBQ, including a Webex DJ!

As you can see there are many ways to be creative while we’re working remotely. What ways are you staying connected with your teams?


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Sheila Greaney

Office Manager

Unified Communications Galway Dev Center