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PropTech firm allows staff to work anywhere (including the beach)

A prominent PropTech company has given its 134 staff the right to work anywhere they wish on a permanent basis - and that includes the beach.

PayProp, the automated payment service, is thought to be one of the industry’s first employers to become what it describes as “a fully distributed company” with its 134 staff worldwide being allowed to determine where they work.

The staff were given this choice as part of a change in working practices agreed by PayProp’s parent company, Humanstate.


Staff in the UK, as well as those in South Africa, the US, Canada and Switzerland, can now work from home, while travelling, in corporate and group offices – newly converted into co-working spaces – or theoretically, the beach.

The company has already made its first fully ‘distributed’ appointment, hiring a new senior accountant after an interview and induction process conducted entirely remotely via video conferencing. 

While her employer is registered in Switzerland, the new accountant happens to be working from South Africa.

“We trust our employees to make the right decision both for them and the company. But it is prudent to monitor the situation to make sure we don’t see any loss of productivity” says André Holtshausen, PayProp UK chief executive.

“I’m proud that our team has continued to tackle their workload while adapting to this new way of working. It’s also great to hear from colleagues that time which used to be wasted on commuting has been put to better use, allowing them to achieve a more harmonious work/life balance.”

A survey across the Humanstate group found that 46 per cent of employees planned to work almost exclusively outside the office even after the pandemic, while a similar proportion wanted to split their time between offices and other locations going forward.

  • icon

    So much for Bozo Johnson's return to work campaign.

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    • 27 August 2020 15:41 PM

    The WFH genie is out of the bottle.
    WFH workers dread return to commuting.
    They will resist as best they can returning to the Office on a daily basis.

    Indeed I would imagine many are doing extra work to prove to employers that they are just as productive if not more WFH.

    Whilst WFH people are making massive savings.
    Their real net income to spend on themselves has massively increased.
    Strip out the costs of working in an office and getting to it saves fortunes.
    Of course this begs the question on how long employers will pay a wage which largely factors in commuting costs.

    I can easily see many wages being reduced by £5000.

    So many former commuters won't be that much better off but at least they won't have the purgatory of commuting.
    Perhaps employers will simply pay staff travel costs when they do commute the odd times they are required to attend the office.

    The days of the office worker are long gone.
    LL should invest in houses away from City Centres as there is no longer any imperative to live near a city.

    This will be a boon to our struggling High Streets.

    Commuters WFH will tend to go out at lunch hour to avoid going stir crazy.
    Local venues should see far more footfall than they previously ordinarily would.

    I predict there will be more use of local pubs and their food.

    All in all good news for areas where commuters live.

    Tough for city centres.
    They won't be needed that much anymore.

    So all those low wage mostly immigrant jobs will be gone.
    No need then for those immigrants.
    They might as well return home seeing as there will be 4 million unemployed soon.

    LL invested in city centres need to sell up and move their capital to the sticks.

  • Matthew Payne

    This is the thin edge of the wedge. The greatest economic threat we face is not the effect of the lockdown or the fear of the virus but the epiphanic moment for millions of businesses that they can massively reduce their costs by running their businesses differently, having been shown in the lockdown that their staff have been trustworthy and more productive working remotely.

    Whether leases or travel, the savings to be had are game changing for many industries, a catastrophe for others. Anecdotally, I know dozens of businesses that have already dramatically changed their strategies to reflect this and permanently, not just during the rest of this pandemic. The bigger the city or business that relies on the activities of the commuter/traveller, the more they are going to suffer until they themselves adapt as we have seen Pret try to do last week for example with coffee subscriptions.

    A similar challenge exists for countries and supply chains that rely on tourism or the more lucrative regular flow of business flights supporting their GDPs. Holidays will slowly return, but many businesses have worked out they don't need to fly people all over the place anymore and in fact in doing so have actually been harming their business, but they never would have taken the decision in normal times to stop flying. Heard a powerful stat the other day, from a large US engineering business that normally flies its' guys all over the world every day has increased its' productivity by 19% when none of them were able to fly. New strategy for the future - very little flying - now needs sign off at the very top. That absence will make a huge impact to the bottom line of many economies, ours included.

    • 07 September 2020 14:11 PM

    Business travel will decline.
    This gives scope for airlines to pile'em high and sell them cheap.
    Once social distancing is ended the demand for low cost flying will increase exponentially.

    Tourism is the best way for countries to instantly grow their economies.
    They will facilitate mass tourism to get that foreign exchange hit.
    Airlines like Ryanair are set up for low cost flying.
    They can easily expand to meet demand and they know how to manage costs!

    The major airlines will have to adopt a similar low cost business model.
    Should be a lot of competition for the tourist £$€ etc

    The air lines that have used business travel to make money will need to follow the Ryanair business model.
    The demand is there just need to satisfy it.
    Ryanair simply couldn't expand quickly enough to meet that demand.

    The days of business travel are over well at least business class.
    Cattle class will be what is used for anyone not wishing to Zoom!!


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