Having been the CEO of a sixty person company, I understand the real estate challenges that medium-sized businesses face.
It’s hard enough to run a business. You put in years of work to transform your vision into a thriving operation. You reach a point where you need a dedicated space that reflects your brand, where employees are proud to work and customers are delighted to visit. Yet you’re not ready to sign a 10-year lease, put down a security deposit, or spend on construction, diverting most of your cash away from growing your company.
Alongside my partners Federico Negro and Steve Sanderson, we faced these same struggles when running our technology and design consultancy. And I empathize with all the medium-sized business owners who are dealing with them today.
It’s with this shared experience in mind that we’re proud to launch HQ by WeWork, a new offering created specifically to meet the needs of medium-sized businesses –– companies with 11 to 250 employees.
When WeWork was founded in 2010, our primary focus was to provide freelancers and entrepreneurs with an environment that allowed them to engage with and benefit from a network of like-minded businesses, all in a setting that encouraged innovation and collaboration.
Before long, some of the largest companies in the world started coming to us. They recognized there was a fundamental shift in the way people are working and living. Today’s employees are more mobile and more flexible, and want to work in environments that allow them to thrive personally and professionally.
Introducing HQ by WeWork, created specifically to meet the needs of medium-sized businesses.
These companies saw the impact WeWork was having –– how it was instilling a sense of community and culture in people –– and wanted the same for their employees.
In response to this, almost two years ago, we launched our enterprise business focused on companies with more than 1,000 employees. Since then, a quarter of the Fortune 500 have joined us, with the majority of these companies taking up space in one of the close to 300 physical locations WeWork has around the world.
At the same time, via our Powered by We product, we have gone into the existing spaces occupied by many of these companies, redesigning and revamping them in a way that allows them to better connect their people, support their culture, and grow their business.
In the midst of these businesses, large and small, is one of the most important member segments: the medium-sized businesses. Combined, they account for approximately 1.1 million businesses in the United States and are responsible for employing approximately 30 million people.
While we have always attracted medium-sized businesses to WeWork, and count many of them as members, we felt there was more we could be doing for them. In order to develop a better understanding of their needs, we spoke to thousands of businesses within this category, both inside and outside of WeWork.
What we learned was that companies that already have a presence in WeWork love being here and benefit enormously from the cost efficiencies, design, technology, and member services we provide. However, there were many companies that had yet to become WeWork members, despite being attracted by the notion of being a part of our community.
In speaking to these companies, we realized that many of them had unique demands, which required a more bespoke offer.
The first is privacy. You want a space that is all yours, where team members sit amongst their colleagues, collaborating and performing their best.
The second is identity. Your space has to look and feel like your own.
The third need is flexibility. Whether your business is rapidly growing or holding steady, you’re unsure of what it will look like in five to 10 years. Your ideal real estate solution will allow you to scale up or down on your terms, without causing your company financial and emotional upheaval.
Numerous companies told us that if we could offer them the above, they would have no hesitation in joining WeWork.
In response to these conversations, and the learnings we took from them, we created HQ by WeWork — a beautifully designed, adaptable, and cost-efficient office space for growing businesses that meets their needs for privacy, identity, and flexibility.
HQ by WeWork isn’t just another flexible workspace offering. Our integrated design, construction and real estate teams drew on their expertise designing, building and operating high-performance workspaces, and created a product that would allow medium-sized business owners to focus on running their business rather than their offices.
Beyond providing you with a private and personalized space, companies will become members of the WeWork network. As a result, they will benefit from being a part of our community of 268,000 members, while being able to access our close to 300 locations in 77 cities and 23 countries around the world. Broadly speaking, WeWork will be a long-term partner that will continue to provide global solutions and technology, that facilitates and responds to your success as your company grows.
If you’re interested in learning more about HQ by WeWork, contact us here.