On Friday afternoons in pre-COVID days, much of the staff at The Meridian Group gathered on the company’s sprawling terrace high above downtown Bethesda, grabbed beers from the nearby kegerator, and decompressed on comfy outdoor sofas. Sometimes they’d play cornhole.
“Everyone from the most junior person to the most senior founding partner” would be out there, says Vice President Adam Farbman, who’s been with the 40-person real estate development firm since 2015.
The tradition is slowly returning, as are the catered lunches The Meridian Group has hosted three days a week for the past six or so years. “It’s been intereresting that during this weird transition back to work that people tend to come in on those days more than the others,” says Senior Vice President Cassi Poole Eaton.
Early in the pandemic the firm started sending employees themed gift boxes each month, including one with tools to better organize their at-home workspaces—and another with everything needed to make homemade ice cream. The deliveries stopped early this fall as more people returned to the office.
But it’s not the free meals and other perks that make The Meridian Group a great place to work, Farbman says. Rather, it’s that everyone at the company can have an impact, even in areas that don’t align with their job description. “Whether you are on the deal team or the marketing team or the development team…every day we’re collaborating,” he says, recalling a marketing person early in the pandemic who came up with a way for commercial tenants in buildings owned and managed by The Meridian Group to track the occupancy levels of their gyms and other public spaces to help with social distancing.
By Amy Halpern