Challenger financial services firm Revolut is converting office space into areas for staff collaboration while also making flexible working permanent for most of them.
Like many other businesses, the UK headquartered fintech business, which employs 2,000 people, has moved its entire workforce to home working in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The findings of a Revolut staff survey, which has been carried out since, has revealed an appetite for remote working. A total of 86% of employees said they enjoyed not having to commute, and 60% said they now have a better work/life balance. Meanwhile, 92% of staff said their productivity had not changed or, if it had, it had increased.
But there is still a desire to spend some time in a company office. Around two-thirds of staff said they wanted the option to be able to work in the office when they choose to do so.
The company is ensuring that collaboration between staff in person can continue by redeveloping its current office space. It will turn existing offices into what are to be known as Rev Labs, which will enable in-person collaboration and teamwork between staff. This is something considered vital in the tech startup sector.
Jim MacDougall, vice-president of people at Revolut, said the staff have spoken. “Our people have told us that they really love the better balance they’ve achieved by working from home. But they said they missed colleagues and the chance to collaborate face-to-face on key projects, and to balance the convenience of home with the camaraderie of the office,” he added.
“Rev Labs offers everyone the best of both worlds. We’ll be completing the flexible working policy over the coming months, to be attractive to our current colleagues and the hundreds who will be joining us as we grow around the world.”
Revolut’s staff are not unique in the UK finance sector. A survey in October by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) found that half of UK workers in the sector want to continue to be able to work from home for at least part of the week when the Covid-19 pandemic passes. It also found that 26% of staff want to work from home permanently, and 13% want to relocate.
It is not just the challenger businesses, but also the established and traditionally conservative banks. Barclays CEO Jes Staley said recently that the reaction to the coronavirus lockdown had been a learning curve for the bank and had helped it to understand how a “dynamic work environment” would operate.
In June last year, Denmark’s Danske Bank said sending thousands of staff from the office to work from home would have a lasting impact on how work is structured and conducted.
Chris Vogelzang, the bank’s CEO, said: “This experience has proved that there is so much untapped potential in the virtual workspace that we need to explore and use to create a more attractive and flexible workplace, while still maintaining the inspiration, energy and social connection that comes with belonging to a physical team and environment.”