Revolut Will Allow Employees to Work Abroad for 2 Months a Year
Before the pandemic, companies lured top talent with lavish perks like subsidized massages, Pilates classes, and free gourmet meals. The hottest lure now is being allowed to work not just from home, but from anywhere – even from the French Alps or a Caribbean island, for example.
Revolut, a London-based banking start-up, announced Thursday that it would enable its more than 2,000 employees to work overseas for up to two months a year to answer inquiries the family overseas for extended periods of time to visit.
“Our employees have asked for flexibility and we are giving them that as part of our ongoing focus on employee experience and selection,” said Jim MacDougall, vice president of human resources at Revolut.
Georgia Pacquette-Bramble, communications manager at Revolut, said she plans to trade the winter in London for Spain or somewhere in the Caribbean. Other colleagues have talked about spending time with family abroad.
Revolut is valued at $ 5.5 billion, making it one of Europe’s most valuable financial technology companies. It joins a number of companies making it possible to continue more flexible working arrangements after the pandemic ends. JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce, Ford Motor and Target have all announced they will be giving up office space as they expect employees to spend less time in the office, and Spotify has told employees they can work from anywhere.
Not all businesses are relocating from the office, however. Tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple added office space in New York last year. Amazon announced to employees that it “would revert to an office-centered culture as a base”.
Dr. Dan Wang, an associate professor at Columbia Business School, said he did not expect office-centric companies to lose top talent to companies that enable flexible working, in part because many employees prefer to work from the office.
When employees are not in the same room, there are fewer spontaneous interactions, and spontaneity is critical to idea generation and collaboration, said Dr. Wang.
“There is a cost,” he said. “Yes, we can interact via email, Slack, Zoom – we’ve all gotten used to that. Part of it, however, is that we’ve lowered our expectations of actual social interaction. “
Revolut said it studied tax laws and regulations before implementing its policies and that any request to work from overseas went through an internal review and approval process. For some companies looking to implement a similar policy, a high tax burden or at least a complicated tax return could be a disadvantage.