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Over 300 HSBC employees in Hong Kong have traded in their traditional work space for a desk in WeWork Tower 535 in Causeway Bay. The international banking giant has joined a growing number of companies that move toward a more flexible office set-up.
The HSBC employees that will be working in the flexible co-working setting are part of the digital and transformation teams. According to the bank, the open plan and agile working environment will allow for better collaboration as the company further develops its digital capabilities. Furthermore, HSBC hopes the modern office arrangement will help attract new talent.
“Creating the right environment for our staff, working in the same location as other like-minded teams, including Hong Kong’s FinTechs and other start-ups, is important to us as we continue to attract, develop and invest in the talent we need to meet our digital ambitions”, Andrew Connell, HSBC’s regional head of digital, retail banking and wealth management, Asia-Pacific, said in a press release.
Although the bank did not mention any financial motivations behind the move, according to a recent report by real estate service provider CBRE there are certain economic benefits to co-working spaces.
“[Subscriptions to co-working spaces] create the ability to drive down the base real estate costs whilst providing significant flexibility to cope with volatile headcount”, the report states.
Henek Lo, WeWork’s general manager for Hong Kong, Seoul, and Sydney, confirms there are financial benefits, but emphasises that most companies are mainly interested in the results the co-sharing space can have on their staff.
“Joining WeWork can certainly help companies save money, as well as have more flexibility in terms of their leases”, Lo told Human Resources magazine.
“We’ve seen many traditional companies more excited about the prospects of what their employees will learn, who they will meet, and how they will be inspired in such a creative, out-of-the-box environment, especially for divisions of large companies who are meant to innovate”.
CBRE expects the hot-desking trend to further continue as technology makes it easier for employees to do their job anywhere they want. The company predicts that in the future, not only dedicated co-working space operators, but employers in general will adjust to the development.
“We are now seeing the dramatic emergence of co-working spaces that support these types of workers. The next stage of evolution will see government and building owners create places to work in and amongst buildings”, the report states.
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Photo / WeWork