Fintech may well be one of the most disruptive industries to emerge over the last couple of decades.
Banking apps, trading platforms, blockchain; gone are the days of lengthy queues at high-street banks; it’s no wonder that fintech is growing at such an incredible pace.
In fact, the UK has emerged as one of the leading fintech hubs, with over 2,500 fintech companies establishing in Britain (mostly in London), making London the ‘third biggest fintech hub in the world’.
However, it’s not just happening in London, with research suggesting that growth hubs or ‘clusters of fintechs’ are establishing all across the UK, with established clusters existing in Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham.
There are also ‘emerging clusters’ established in Bristol, Bath, Cambridge, Newcastle, Durham, Northern Ireland, Reading and Wales.
Following impressive growth in the last two years, UK fintech hit an investment speedbump in 2023. However, Judd Caplain, Global Head of Financial Services at KPMG International believes that ‘the long-term business case for many subsectors within fintech remains very strong—particularly for sectors like payments, insurtech, and wealthtech.’
It stands to reason, then, that in such a competitive space, attracting bright talent and the right investors is imperative.
That’s where the Power of Place comes into play. A workspace/office holds a huge amount of sway in ongoing fintech success – if you’re looking to grow your business and attract the best talent, you need to carefully consider your office environment and create a space where people want to work and thrive in.
As both flexible and remote working are the top two measures fintech decision makers use to attract and retain staff, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your office environment is somewhere that top talent wants to work. There’s a lot of pressure on fintechs, as you’re not just competing with local businesses for the best talent, you’re competing with businesses all over the world.
Here’s what you need to do:
Where you base your business is an incredibly important decision.
For example, many co-working spaces have been established near universities in recent years, both to establish a nice communal working space for students, and to attract businesses that regularly hire university graduates.
When you’re choosing where to establish your physical presence, consider the big-picture geographical (the clusters listed above), but also consider your locale. Are you looking to attract students? Set up near a university. Need to attract industrial minds? Set up near an industrial area.
Many businesses fail to consider the local geography, don’t fall into the same trap.
Are you looking to grow? Are you seeking investment? Perhaps you’re planning your exit strategy?
Regardless of your goals, a quality workplace helps in every way.
At the end of the day, your people sit at the core of your business. The better talent in your employ, the higher quality your output and the higher value of your business.
It’s important to understand your goals and what you want to get out of your business, as this is the only way that you’ll make the most out of your workplace and people.
Finding the right employees can be difficult, but having a workplace optimised for them makes both recruitment and retention substantially easier.
Your employee demographic will vary dramatically depending on your product and industry specialism.
Fintech is inherently fast-paced – you can’t sit at the cutting edge without being so!
As a result, you’ll likely be looking for people who are:
Once you’ve mapped out what your perfect employee looks like, it’s time to shape the perfect office environment.
Chances are, your perfect employee breaks traditions, rejects the norm and wants more from a workplace in order to be content.
These are the types of people that allow fintechs to thrive, so it’s important that you create the right aesthetic at work, all while providing the functionality that they’ll enjoy.
Here are some ideas for how you can create a great office environment to help boost your success.
Looks aren’t everything, but if you’re looking to attract a star team, your aesthetic has to match.
A bold, modern look creates a striking first impression. Remember: you are working at the cutting edge of tech, it’s time you looked the part!
Create a look that people are proud of and want to show off. Remember – if you’re expecting people to spend a significant amount of time in your workplace, it needs to be easy on the eyes.
Here’s some examples to help spark some ideas:
For Origen Financial Services, we integrated finishes and accents such as brushed gold, polished wood and textured matt black, as well as a tonal, muted colour palette, creating a striking and luxurious space that reinvigorated their brand identity. Click here to see more.
For CSA Catapult, we used an opulent purple palette paired with uplifting neutrals, while metallics, glass, and statement lighting brought light into the space, giving a sleek premium finish. Click here to see more.
Modern workplaces are for so much more than just work.
Sure, you need people to focus and knuckle down for periods of the day, but a great fintech workplace balances comfort spaces (for relaxation), focus spaces and collaboration hubs.
Many fintechs are factoring in outdoor spaces, contemplative spaces and other wellbeing-centric elements to their offices, providing their employees with a place to go to relax, destress and (in some instances) sleep!
In addition to this, natural collaboration is a must for any successful fintech. Classic meeting rooms still have their place, but chances are your people want informal social spaces that allow them to come together in a more relaxed way. Your workplace should naturally encourage an atmosphere of discussion and teamwork – it’s the best way forward for any successful fintech business.
Executive Network Group’s gorgeous new space demonstrates exactly how great office design encourages natural collaboration. The sensitive palette of colours and textures, together with flourishes of modern boldness have blended the building’s original features with modern design elements. Click here to see more.
Younger professionals expect more from their workplace.
Bring your pet days, inclusive breakfast and food, places to relax or nap, parties and social events; the modern fintech is far more than your regular 9-5; your office should reflect this.
These small details help both attract talent and better retain those you’ve already employed.
Rhino specialise in creating stunning workplaces that deliver, both aesthetically and functionally.
We’ll take the time to understand your goals and what makes your business unique. Every workspace we design and build keeps the client organisation at the core. You can see some of our work by browsing our portfolio here.
Whether you’d like to speak to our workplace consultants for preliminary advice, or you’re ready to take your first steps towards realising your workspace dreams, click the link below to speak to a member of our specialist team.
If you have a question, if you are looking for some bespoke advice, get in touch with our experts today, we’d love to hear about your project.
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