Lifting the lid on wellbeing at Speed starts with the biscuit tin
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PR careers

The office water-cooler is well-known as neutral ground where colleagues gather to discuss their weekend antics, exchange lunch arrangements, and delve into the intriguing state of the Great British weather. At Speed, we much prefer having these office chit-chats by the biscuit tin.

Simple in style – a pleasant cream colour and metallic handle – the tin is certainly no eye-sore; however, it’s what is inside that truly attracts the waves of Speedsters. Under the management of the firm but fair office manager, Sam, a wild variety of fruity, chocolatey, and jammy biccies go in (and out) of the tin every day. It’s a fairly simple scheme. But what it brings, is a source of conversation, laughter and often shared emotions.  A little bit of indulgence that helps us refuel during a busy day (arguably the fruit bowl also does this but nowhere near as popular I’m afraid to say).

I’ve recently joined Speed, and coming from an employer who enforced a ‘bring-your-own-teabags’ policy has meant that complimentary biscuits every day of the week has really blown me away. This got me thinking about all of the other wonderful wellbeing initiatives at Speed and the incredible work that my fellow Speedsters put in to help improve everyone’s work life balance and mental wellbeing.

Pioneered by our legendary People Pillar, this month saw us introduce “Wellness Wednesdays” after what was a very successful “Move More in May”. Both projects are focussed on getting us away from our desks, whether that is for a brisk walk to enjoy the crisp Bristol air or to take time out to meditate in the office garden.

All too often, you can find yourself in the zone, charging through your to do list and only briefly stop to grab a coffee and a Bourbon (my personal favourite). However, actually taking proper time away from your desk has an unquestionable positive impact. I’ll admit, I was sceptical at first, but taking the time to release any built-up stress has massively helped to boost productivity and positivity in the afternoons -not to mention really making the most of the glorious sunshine before the inevitable monsoon season starts up again!

These programmes work in tandem with social events, creating fun opportunities for us to get together and, from what I can tell from my experience so far, enjoy delicious food!

On my first day, Speed hosted an “Easter Feaster” lunch where everyone brought an item of food to create what turned out to be one of the greatest picnics my taste buds have ever known. We had every variation of olive, cake and bread on the market, and a cheese board that was represented with cheesy delights from every country on the continent! I originally thought I’d nailed my contribution by bringing a pot of green AND black olives, but I was left utterly embarrassed by the anonymous contributor of the trio of Spanish olives. Noted for next time!

The snacks again played a big part at our latest event to celebrate a rather special birthday for our wonderful MD, Kelly. Cleverly named Kelly-oke, we downed tools and gathered in our office breakout space, the Escape Room, to pick up the mic and give Gary Barlow a run for his money. That’s what I tried to do anyway! On reflection, I think I am more of a back-up dancer than lead singer material. However, a lot better could be said of my colleagues who absolutely nailed numbers from the likes of Pulp, Madness and Lizzo. Not just PR talent at Speed. We were also treated to an incredible rendition of “Perfect” by Kelly herself. So, watch this space as Kelly-oke might have just been the first performance of the new Speed band (and their back up dancer).

Food has very much stolen the theme of this blog and I could keep going. Cheese, as well as cake, for everyone’s birthdays is absolutely revolutionary. Not to mention the provision of cereal and fruit in the office, helping to keep us fuelled, full and focussed. I haven’t even touched on the boiling water tap yet! I really could keep going, but it’s probably time to conclude and bring us back to the point of my rambling.

In my short time since joining Speed, I’ve been amazed by the effort that goes into providing initiatives that support staff wellbeing. This adds a completely different element to working life that can make the difference between liking the place you work and loving it. The result is an incredibly positive, energetic, and fun atmosphere that encourages creativity and enjoyment in what we do at Speed – and who we do it with. At a time where employers across the country seem pretty keen to get their employees back into the office, I would look no further than Speed Communications, so start taking notes.

First step: introduce a biscuit tin.

By Matt Lewis, Account Executive