Netflix Expands London Digs

Netflix has broken many molds when it comes to distributing entertainment. Working in the corporate office is not one of them.

The SVOD behemoth just signed a new lease in the United Kingdom, tripling its office space in London’s West End as the streamer expands upon original content productions (“The Crown” and “Sex Education”) in its biggest international market. Netflix is taking over the lease on an 87,000 square-foot office building on Berners Street. Netflix currently employs about 269 people in the U.K., including paying rent on two nearby buildings.

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“As part of our ongoing commitment to the U.K., we are excited to expand our operations in London,” Netflix said in a media statement. “It will ensure that we can better serve our members and the local creative community.”

While Netflix has broken barriers in the entertainment industry, including launching the first recommendation software, issuing complete seasons of original TV shows at launch, in addition to advocating for the end of the theatrical window for new movies, working in an office setting remains important to co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings.

In a Wall Street Journal interview last month, Hastings said not being able to work with others in an office — especially overseas — due to the coronavirus pandemic is a “pure negative.”

“No. I don’t see any positives,” Hastings said. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative. I’ve been super impressed at people’s sacrifices.”

Netflix, like most big corporations, shut down offices when the pandemic hit worldwide in March. Most employees continue to work from their homes. When asked how quickly he would order staff back to the office if he could safely?

“Twelve hours after a vaccine is approved,” Hastings said.