Revolut banks on return to office

The fintech giant has committed to a ten-year lease in Canary Wharf as it aims to grow its workforce this year.

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Fintech darling and former Startups 100 winner Revolut has signed a 10-year lease with the YY London building in Canary Wharf. Revolut has made the investment despite being a remote-first brand, signalling some form of return to office (RTO) might be on the cards.

The Revolut team will move into the larger, newly-refurbished building in March 2025. The startup began in the business district back in 2015, four years before it won the 2019 Startups 100.

The relocation follows the announcement of an employee share sale in May, and suggests Revolut is betting on the new office space to facilitate further growth and investment. The company recently confirmed plans to expand its global workforce by 40% in 2024.

“More innovative” office space

The popularity of remote and hybrid working has created a number of challenges within the commercial property sector. Many businesses have downsized their office space, choosing to reduce rental costs rather than invest in an under-utilised work environment.

Revolut’s latest uproot will do the opposite. The new headquarters will take up 113k sq ft of desk space in the building, over four floors, to expand the company’s overall office footprint in London by 40%.

Despite the change, Revolut continues to describe itself as a remote-first company. Over a third of its workforce is based outside of the capital, and the brand has a “permanent flexible working” policy that allows workers to choose if and when to come into the office.

However, the new lease suggests that office attendance and in-person engagement is a priority for the business. According to a press release, Revolut will use the swanky space in “a more innovative way” for product launches, workshops, team-building activities, and other events.

Recruit to the office?

Revolut’s decision to invest in office space also forms part of its supercharged recruitment strategy. The fintech firm has previously shared plans to boost its global workforce by 40% in 2024, expanding from 8,000 staff members in January, to 11,500 by the end of the year.

Job seekers could be swayed by the many amenities and employee benefits afforded by the new building. Alongside desk space, YY London also has showers, cycle parks, two restaurants,  a cafe, and outdoor terrace space.

Experts have argued that businesses need to invest in flexible office space in order to attract new hires and engage staff members.

Other banking brands have taken a different outlook, however. Last year, HSBC made headlines when it declared it would move out of its 45-storey Canary Wharf tower, and into a smaller, more flexible headquarter building based in the City of London.

Earlier this week, Lloyds Banking Group Plc also confirmed it would move thousands of staffers to the City, in order to create a “more sustainable office footprint”.

Employers split on RTO

Some employers have clashed with their remote workforce this year, as the debate around home working rages. Manchester United and Dell Technologies have both made recent headlines for rolling out RTO policies that punished team members for choosing to work from home.

Revolut appears to be taking a more empathetic approach to the debate. Rather than penalise staff for working from home, the investment in the YY London building suggests the brand thinks rewards, incentives and a new environment will improve office attendance.

It remains to be seen if Revolut’s planned events and workshops will prove exciting enough to keep hybrid teams returning to the office, and encourage new team members to join them.

Interested in working at Revolut? Check out what roles the firm is hiring for in June

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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