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While we were able to operate effectively as a business working remotely last year, it’s clear that we missed out on some of the unseen, and often overlooked, benefits of working together in the office. The camaraderie, banter, sense of togetherness and well-being from working together cannot be underestimated or replicated sitting at home on your own in front of a screen. These are real human benefits, but they also deliver real business benefits as well.


When we started our business, we made the decision to rent an office so that we could all be in the same place to work, and I believe that this is one of the reasons we have built such a successful business. Knowledge is power. We all learn lessons every day and these lessons are more likely to be shared if you are sitting with your colleagues. If you have to pick up the phone to speak to someone or send them an email it is less likely that you will bother to share your knowledge. Every office should have a hum of chatter as this is the sound of knowledge and experience being shared and leveraged – and it is this group expertise that makes us so valuable to our lenders, brokers and our clients.


We need to be accurate; we need to be fast, and we need to drive the best possible outcomes to win business and provide the best solutions for our clients. Sharing ideas and swapping knowledge is all part of the process of building the right solution for a client – particularly when that solution often includes elements from across different divisions of our business. For example, the right finance package may require an element of bridging alongside a buy to let mortgage. This type of collaboration is one of the advantages we can offer to clients, and it’s made much easier when we are all in the same office working alongside each other.

Technology can play a huge part in facilitating remote communication, of course. There is no doubt we have all learnt an awful lot about ourselves, our businesses and our teams during the pandemic and there are many elements of technology that we will continue to make use of. For example, the days of a BDM making every appointment face to face are over and technology enables them to be more proactive and more productive, balancing their role across physical attendance and web-based solutions. Whilst these solutions existed prior to the pandemic, they were not widely used in our sector. Now, however, they are widely seen by many as an entirely reliable and efficient alternative to travelling to every meeting. With the ever-rising cost of living, this is a saving for business owners and their employees, and it is also a more sustainable solution for the environment.


The key, as always, is getting the balance right. As a business that puts a huge emphasis on our people, we, perhaps more than most, felt the physical separation of recent years in a big way and were always keen to be back together when it was appropriate, safe and right to do so. Now we are back in the office together, we are reaping the benefits of greater communication, camaraderie and cultural alignment. This is great news for our business, but even better for our partners and clients.