As a northern girl, I was initially attracted to Brighton because of its easy-going, quirky culture. The people and the lifestyle radiated fun and creativity – even stepping off the train came with an overwhelming sense of calm and contentment.
After completing a law degree, I had quickly realised that as much as I love routine, the confines of a traditional corporate role were not what I really wanted. I went on to spend my first full-time job after Uni daydreaming about working for a company which reflected Brighton’s free spirit…that’s when I discovered Midnight.
From my first interview, the fun-loving, friendly culture was obvious. There aren’t many businesses that invite the whole team along to interviews because they hold everyone’s opinion at such high value.
In fact, one of the very first team members I met at Midnight was a cockapoo puppy, Lola, who brings me on to the first of my favourite things about the wellbeing-focused culture here at Midnight!
One of the most interesting things about our team is that we are all so different, yet the blend of personalities just works. The one shared love that we can all count on, however, is our love for animals.
Our canine family at Midnight is gradually growing - now including Lola, Pedro, Chilla, Turbo and most recently, black Labrador puppy Jess.
81% of UK employees believe pet-friendly workplaces are happier offices to work in, with 91% finding dogs to be a calming influence. From experience, I can now confirm that this most definitely true!
Regular team check-ins
In addition to the daily banter and our Midnight WhatsApp group, we stay connected with monthly staff meetings and begin every new week with a ‘team status’ session.
This gives us an opportunity to celebrate recent successes and share any concerns about our workload for the upcoming week.
We tend to have an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach when it comes to client work. Everyone gets stuck in, including Midnight’s two owners Alex and Flo. So, if one of us needs a hand we can always rely on the rest of the team to rally around and do what they can to help.
Downstairs in the Midnight office we have an impressive boardroom complete with a huge stylish mirror and a giant flat screen TV. What better place for our annual general meeting (AGM)?
No…Spain, of course! Every year it’s a Midnight tradition to relax and unwind by going away somewhere different for to celebrate our successes. For our last trip (pre-Covid) in 2019 we jetted off to Palma, Mallorca, for two nights.
After a strenuous two-hour meeting on the hotel roof terrace sipping cocktails at sunset, the rest of the weekend was spent shopping, fine dining and having one drink too many on a local tapas tour before dancing in a Spanish club until the early hours of the morning.
Next stop, a weekend of wine tasting and shopping in Rye!
Believe it or not, it’s not all team lunches and nights out at Midnight! Our roles in PR are wide-ranging, hard work and often fast paced.
As part of our personal development, we each have access to a training budget which can be used on courses of our choice for some extra support, to learn new skills or even just to explore topics which particularly pique our interest.
Most recently I attended a session led by a professional opera singer on ‘how to train your voice to speak with confidence.’ Did you know that blowing bubbles through a straw can prevent you from losing your voice?
Flexible/remote working options
You can always count on Midnight to be ahead of the curve! During the pandemic, many companies quickly realised the benefits of adopting a flexible working/hybrid model, with nine out of 10 organisations planning to make a permanent switch.
At Midnight, however, this has been a tried and tested way of working for years for many of our team members. Our Senior PR & Video Manager Jim Round, for example, has worked remotely from Corby for the last few years after moving back home to be closer to family when his son, Michael, was born.
In fact, just weeks before the pandemic hit, Alex, Flo and I agreed a flexible working arrangement allowing me to make regular trips home to help my Dad care for my Nana. Little did I know that I was about to spend the majority of the next year locked down up North anyway…but it felt great to know I was working for people who care and recognise the importance of family.
For me, maintaining a healthy work/life balance is one of the most important factors when it comes to wellbeing. When the pandemic hit this obviously became much more difficult, with most of our time spent at home indoors and social plans completely out of the question.
Conscious of the impact that this could have on mental health, Alex and Flo introduced flexi-lunch hours. This gave us the option to start early or finish later to make the most of the daylight by getting outdoors during an extended lunch break.
The new arrangement worked so well that it is now a permanent fixture – perfect for going to gym classes or long walks along the beach!
Health and wellness allowance
Longer lunch breaks weren’t the only kind gesture our team received during lockdown. With gyms closed, our gym allowance (part of our company benefits scheme) became redundant.
Instead, we were able to use the budget on anything health and wellness related of our choice for a monthly wellbeing boost - whether that be new running shoes, aromatherapy oils or weights, for example.
Who would have thought that a new outfit could provide so much motivation to exercise?
Health and wellbeing plans
As you can probably tell, the benefits scheme at Midnight really is second to none. It also includes personal health cover for a range of different medical issues, demonstrating that the care for our health and wellbeing extends far beyond the working day.
Through our healthcare plan we can claim back costs (up to a certain value) on expenses including dental and optical treatment, health screenings, self-referred therapy, hospital treatment, and professional second opinions as well as counselling and mental wellbeing support. Last year I saved £200 on contact lenses alone, for example!
Earlier this year studies found that almost half of UK businesses have lost employees because their mental wellbeing wasn’t being looked after and nearly a third of working adults in the UK are unhappy in their current role. So, I realise how lucky I really am.
The Midnight culture not only supports the wellbeing of our team, but the kindness and collaboration also spills over into our relationships with clients, who often describe us an extension of their own business.
In a nutshell, if you’re a compassionate and caring person then this could be the company for you! Liking cocktails and sea views may come in handy too…
By Megan Slaughter