For us at Stephens Scown, the answer is a resounding yes.
I’ve lived and worked in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, but I’ve never been happier than when I settled in Devon, where I could combine a challenging and inspiring career with the ability to hop on my bike and hit the hills of Dartmoor at the weekend, or jump in the car and be on the beach within half an hour of finishing work.
That is a familiar story for many of my colleagues at Stephens Scown – some of whom have found their way back to Devon and Cornwall after working further afield for a while, others who grew up elsewhere but were attracted by the way of life on offer in the South West.
A few years ago we realised that this passion for the place we live and work could be a real asset to the business. We developed our Love Where You Live campaign based on the recommendations from our staff on everything from the best place to get a cream tea (both jam first and cream first options, of course!) to the greatest surfing spots. We even bought a camper van that our staff and clients have used to explore all of the amazing things on offer in Devon and Cornwall.
The result was an award-winning campaign that got noticed in the market place because it was so unusual for a law firm. But more importantly for me, this campaign got our people really inspired and engaged. I’m sure our ranking in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey for four consecutive years is due in no small part to allowing our staff to show how much they cared about Devon and Cornwall so publicly.
Are there challenges to being based in Devon and Cornwall? Of course – the transport infrastructure often lets us down and we need to keep the pressure on central government to ensure that we don’t lose out once the European funding that many local businesses have relied on comes to an end. But, quite simply, Stephens Scown would not be the same if we were based somewhere else.
Our firm grew up on the back of the china clay industry in Cornwall, and our clients today are key players in some of the region’s key sectors from food and drink, holiday parks and agriculture to mining and minerals. Not only that: an increasing number of national businesses see that we have the expertise to match bigger, London-based rivals. Proving that perhaps, being based in Devon and Cornwall means that we really do have the best of both worlds!
Robert Camp is the managing partner of Stephens Scown, which has offices in Exeter, St Austell and Truro. To contact Robert, please call 01392 210700, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.stephens-scown.co.uk/campaigns/lovewhereyoulive/