Last week Mortgage Solutions polled brokers on their attitude towards organised work nights out. Around a third of respondents said they could not wait to get stuck in, though around one in four (27%) said they avoided them like the plague. Two out of five brokers said that they tried to attend as it is a part of the job.
James Mole, head of mortgages at Gingko Independent, argued that work nights out are important in any industry, as getting on with your colleagues socially helps you work better as a team.
He added that finding the right balance is important too: “We try to do a night out once a month or so, but a few drinks after work are a more regular thing. Other places I have worked in the past have been a lot more full on, we even went on long-haul holidays as a team, but I think there is a line where the big nights out start to affect how you feel the next day, and that’s best not to cross too often.”
Friends go the extra mile
Socialising not just with colleagues but also industry peers can be useful, argued Martin Stewart, director of London Money, though he said he could understand why some people like to keep a firm divide between work and their personal time.
He added: “At London Money we try to build a culture that people come to work knowing that their friends will be there when then get in. Friends tend to go the extra mile for each other so to have that support within in a work environment can only be beneficial for the business “
Rachel Lummis, mortgage adviser at Xpress Mortgages, said that nights out are not something that you can entirely avoid in the mortgage industry. She continued: “You could be out constantly – and there are a few in the industry that always seem to be – but a balance is needed to be able to do the day job. So a selective few invites are accepted throughout the year that will be not only the most enjoyable to attend but that will also be of benefit to our business.”
More to socialising than booze
David Sheppard, managing director of Perception Finance, noted that the mortgage industry leans heavily towards drinking as a way of socialising, adding: “I personally have never been a big fan of big work events – if a few colleagues want to go for an impromptu drink after work that is one thing but getting everyone together has never been great. This in fact can be a bad thing if there are tensions in the office and can reinforce cliques even if not.”
Jenny Watts, chief operating officer at Habito, said that team building is extremely important, and that there are plenty of ways to promote good working relationships without relying on alcohol.
She explained: “For instance, we have catered healthy communal lunch every day which provides a way for our mortgage advisers to chat to our software developers, marketers or talent colleagues about what they have been working on. We also do regular socials outside of work but focused around an activity – in the past, we have had a group cooking class and crazy golf.”