Earlier this month, we made a pledge to use World Mental Health Day (10th October) as a springboard to re-affirm our commitment to employee wellbeing.

It’s a commitment we take seriously – both because we genuinely care about and value our employees, and because we know it makes good business sense too. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year. So, for a variety of reasons, we do our best to cultivate a positive and open conversation around mental wellbeing, and a supportive team culture.

We’re always interested in exploring new ideas that bring people together, especially when it involves getting out of the office for a few hours, or even better, getting an early dart. And so one gloriously sunny Friday afternoon earlier this month, we launched a brand-new initiative: The Pathway Friday Finisher.

The idea is that once a month, on a Friday afternoon, all of our employees will have the option to finish their working week at 3pm to enjoy some fresh air and relaxed time with colleagues before the weekend begins. And on this occasion, our first ever Friday Finisher took us to beautiful Crosby beach, just a few miles north of our Liverpool office.

You can’t expect an army to march on an empty stomach, so we grabbed some fortifying hot chocolate and brownies from the Waterloo Sunset Café before blowing away the cobwebs with a relaxed walk along the sands.

Colleagues with a dog were invited to bring them along too, and there was much excited wagging of tails and some very naughty – but rather funny – rolling in puddles of estuary mud. We walked amongst the life-size cast iron figures of Antony Gormley’s Another Place sculpture, and watched sun-dazzled container ships as they sailed into port at the mouth of the River Mersey.

The value of a Friday Finisher

It was a genuinely uplifting way to end the week. The consensus was universally positive, though we’re realistic about the fact that the winter afternoon walks may be a slightly harder sell. For now, though, we are delighted to have had some great feedback from the team. It’s hard to think of a better way to start the weekend.

It was great to be able to talk to colleagues out of the office setting without all the usual distractions – to have proper conversations and get to know new members of the team. Plus, I got the opportunity to bring my dogs to meet everyone!

Rosanagh

I liked that the walk gave us the opportunity to chat with colleagues, and it was nice that we could bring our dogs too which brought us more joy and laughter.

Monta

It was lovely to go somewhere so relaxing and peaceful, and it gave everyone time to wind down before the weekend.

Katherine

I liked that the walk gave us the opportunity to chat with colleagues, and it was nice that we could bring our dogs too which brought us more joy and laughter.

Monta