Work together, play together: Social life at Spark

Andy By Andy

There’s a familiar dance that tends to play out at the end of job interviews – the candidate asks about company culture, and the potential employer trots out generic lines about a friendly, supportive environment. Unfortunately, that can often be a case of all talk and no trousers, which is bad for both parties. The new employee isn’t likely to stick around for the long haul, and the employer has more interviews to put in their diary as staff come and go through a revolving door.

This story on Huffington Post says socialising with colleagues is good for your health and career, and I’m definitely feeling its effects at Spark. We hit the balance just right; there is fun, but it definitely isn’t forced fun, which can sometimes do more harm than good. Take a recent pilgrimage a bunch of us made to a football match as an example.

The stars aligned when my passion for lower league football – and Dom’s pride at living in Chesham – resulted in a group heading down to a game after work. A real clash of the titans – Chesham United against Basingstoke Town, two of the biggest teams in the Southern League Premier Division (South). After making one of those tube journeys that starts all cityscape and ends in the countryside, we arrived at the aptly-named Meadow ground, handed over our crisp tenners and clunked through the turnstile. Then all that was left to do was grab some chips, a pint and some water for the dog, and find a spot to stand on the terrace.

Chesham took the three points with a 2-1 win in an entertaining game, with a couple of goals borne from moments of real quality, followed by a clanger from the visiting keeper. Far from the partisan atmosphere you might associate with football, we delivered on the line I mentioned earlier – we were both friendly AND supportive – of each other, the players, and indeed, the bar staff. we aren’t into forced fun.

As I said, we’re not into forced fun, and I do (reluctantly) accept that standing on a cold slab of Buckinghamshire concrete might not be everybody’s dream evening. One of the great things about working on Oxford Street is that we’re ideally placed to pop out for world-beating food, drink and events after work. Whether it’s arranging social events for journalists or pub visits to wet the head of new hires, there’s always something on the horizon. If this sounds like the kind of environment you’d like to be a part of, you can find out more about a career at Spark on the ‘Join Us’ page.