The streaming giant is increasing its physical presence in the UK.
While the circumstances are less than pleasant, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a boon for streaming service Netflix. In the first half of 2020, the service obtained more new subscribers than it did in the entirety of 2019. Netflix’s stock values have risen more than 60% so far this year, with their value up by over 7 points at time of writing. In contrast to many companies that have chosen to dial back their physical operations due to health concerns and cost-cutting, Netflix is looking to expand their physical presence, specifically in London.
According to a Bloomberg report, Netflix is planning to move primary operations in London from their current 30,000 square foot HQ to a new 87,000 square foot building located in the city’s West End. This particular building previously housed outsourcing firm Capita, but Netflix will be buying the lease for the property. However, the previous location will not be abandoned entirely; the old HQ is actually made up of two separate buildings, one of which Netflix will continue to rent. With this partial rental and the new building, Netflix will occupy approximately 100,000 square feet of London when the deal is done.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to the U.K., we are excited to expand our operations in London,” a Netflix spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “It will ensure that we can better serve our members and the local creative community.”
In addition to expanding to reflect their popularity, the opinions of Netflix Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings may be a contributing factor to expanding physical office space in a time of remote work. During a previous interview with the Wall Street Journal, Hastings confessed to not being a fan of remote work, saying that not being able to speak in-person with co-workers and partners, especially foreign ones, is a “pure negative.” He added that numerous companies have been having their employees work primarily in the office, while allowing for one day per week of remote work.