I must stress that @michaelcolley was the person who was instrumental in getting Cardiff off the ground and making it such a lovely environment. I got the ball rolling but handed it off to him at quite an early stage. Colley ran with it and did amazing things.
I think the Cardiff office feels very much like Epworth Street did in terms of vibe - it’s very chilled out and a fun place to be, but atheistically is 1000% nicer than our Epworth Street ever was. We want it to be a Monzo office but also accept that it’s in a different place with different people so at every step we’ve asked the people who work in Cardiff what works for them and tried to source locally as much as possible so it’s a ‘Monzo office’ but is uniquely Welsh too.
I prefer the Cardiff office because it’s smaller and so has all the benefits of a smaller office that doesn’t have to do everything our London office does. It looks a lot like my living room in the social areas too so it feels very homey to me
In terms of a divide I think we have found the right way to do it as I wouldn’t say there is one at Monzo. There will always be individuals who because of where they have worked before may arrive at Monzo with a mental divide between their role against someone else’s but as a company this is not the way we work and not the way we think about people at Monzo. Ideas and diversity are wonderful and it’s why we hire people with different backgrounds/experience, but treating everyone with respect is a requirement to be in the ‘Monzo world’. All roles are valued as everyone is moving and working to achieve our overall goal. Ensuring people have context of how their work impacts others and having the ability to ask questions also reduces any feeling of hierarchy or divide.
We also encourage all members of staff to do COps training and have time helping customers so they understand the challenges of different people in the company and it better informs the work they do going forward. We give regular feedback so that we all work together in the best way so any issues that arise are promptly resolved.
Our socials are for everyone so people build social connections with different people across the company and as part of onboarding every person is introduced to five people in different teams/roles from them to ensure we break down any perceived barriers right away. Could we be more integrated? Absolutely! When we are growing by 10+ people a week it is hard to stop divides forming, but it’s something we’re very mindful of and keep trying new things to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Sorry for the long answer - this is something that is on my mind quite a lot and wanted to give it proper thought.