How fintech offices in Europe are surviving the scorching heat

Businesses across the continent are struggling to keep employees comfortable during record-breaking temperatures. This summer 34 locations in the U.K reported all-time highs while Germany reached a historic 40°C! How exactly are workplaces handling this heat?

                                            A giant ice cream cone on top of a building in Cologne, Germany. Photo by Daniela Paola Alchapar on Unsplash

With baristas, air conditioning, and ice cream!

In July, Altfi News interviewed European fintech firms to discover their strategies for staying productive amidst extreme heatwaves. Let’s take a look at what they found. You may notice a “sweet trend” arise.

We’ll begin with Funding Circle, a commercial lender headquartered in London. Funding Circle’s employees are welcome to choose between its fully air-conditioned office or working from home. The staff was urged to take sensible precautions and put their safety and wellbeing first. For those who choose to stay in the office, Funding Circle will also be serving ice cream and iced lattes in addition.

Now, let's hop over to Denmark, where the hottest July on record just took place, at nearly 36°C! Altfi News spoke with Lunar, a regulated digital bank who shared that only one-third of Lunar employees are currently on-site. However, the office is well-equipped with plenty of fans and ice cream.

Likewise, Germany’s neobank N26 celebrated its “ice cream day” by giving employees a chance to relax while enjoying their favorite frozen flavors. N26 also provided the possibility to work remotely during periods of extreme temperatures. The company even reimburses cooling system expenses for home offices to stay operational during the heatwave.

Back to London again, this time with business lender OakNorth where its staff is treated to delicious iced coffees from a full-blown barista bar. As you might imagine, it's become a crowd-pleaser that’s likely to stick around. Beyond that, OakNorth has an in-house smoothie ice maker and a salad bar for refreshing lunches.

Three more London fintech neighbors, Revolut, Wise, and Zopa shared similar stories. These practices included paid time off, remote working options, and plenty of ice lollies. 

Our last stop is Ireland’s Galway City Innovation District, a shared workspace for many fintech workers. Altfii found similar strategies in co-working spaces, explaining employees are coming in earlier or working shorter days to avoid peak temperatures. And of course, they are blasting fans while handing out frozen treats. 

What about office dress codes? 

Financial firms tend to favor a traditional look for their employees, and some require business casual attire regardless of the weather.

The Guardian took a trip to London’s financial district to see what people are  wearing this summer. They noticed long ties had fallen out of fashion, with an open white or blue shirt and chinos being the popular choice among men. Conversely, women wear a wider variety of outfits, typically linen dresses with tights and small heels.

When asked about his company’s dress code, a fintech employee said even shorts and trainers were allowed for those who weren’t client-facing or attending meetings. Though, he clarified they’re required to wear formal grey suits and trousers throughout the rest of the year. However, not everyone is allowed to relax. For example, a worker from a foreign exchange firm was scolded by his boss for wearing chinos. He was told his outfit was unacceptable for clients, regardless of the weather

What about Robocash?

Meanwhile, on the investment platform Robocash, employee health is a top priority. Their office includes an onsite cafeteria stocked with delicious seasonal fruit. Plus comfy lounge areas for employees to relax and cool off. Furthermore, Robocash allows employees to work remotely at any time of the year. The company provides all the furniture and appliances necessary for work. And if employees still aren’t comfortable, Robocash will even cover moving expenses to relocate to another country.

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Robocash is not regulated under any financial services license. When you invest on Robocash, you buy claim rights for loan receivables and investments in loan receivables are subject to risks. We advise diversifying investments and carefully evaluating the risks.