Technology investors urge start-ups to return to the office – Digitalmunition




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Published on September 4th, 2020 📆 | 5073 Views ⚑

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Technology investors urge start-ups to return to the office

Two of London’s most prominent technology investors have urged start-ups to return to their offices because of concerns that continued working from home could harm their productivity.

Many small technology companies in the UK are considering working from home throughout the winter, with some businesses planning to abandon their offices altogether.

However, two London venture capitalists have expressed concern that this could harm the country’s technology sector.

Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of lastminute.com who now runs the firstminute Capital investment fund, said: “I would love to see far more people back in their office as soon as possible.”

“I think it’s going to be very detrimental if we keep people apart and we lose the team spirit and learning by osmosis that happens in offices,” he added.

Mr Hoberman plans to return to working from his West London office next week. “You have to lead by example,” he said.

A similar warning has been sounded by Tim Levene, the chief executive of venture capital business Augmentum, which has backed financial technology start-ups including Tide, Zopa and Monese.

Mr Levene wrote in a letter to the chief executives of his investments and other venture capitalists last week that “we must guard against being seduced by the narrative that is developing around this issue and recognise a one-glove solution is not right for all.”

“This is a plea to recognise that we cannot continue to operate as we have been these past few months,” he continued before warning of dangers to the mental health of start-up employees if they continue to work from home.

The suggestion made by the investors is in contrast to announcements from some of the world’s largest technology businesses which have allowed their employees to work from home until next year. 

Google and Facebook announced earlier this year that employees will continue to work from home until July 2021.

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