How GE Healthcare partnered with WeWork to optimise costs and improve their employee experience

15,000 sq ft Seoul, South Korea

In just eight months, GE Healthcare was able to eliminate wasted space by partnering with WeWork to design a new regional headquarters that engaged their staff.

GE Healthcare employees at their new Seoul headquarters

The Challenge

Under-used office space and a fear of change

GE Healthcare is a $19 billion business that specialises in medical imaging, biomanufacturing, and cell and gene therapy technologies. The company has more than 50,000 employees around the world. A combination of long-term leases and strategy changes have resulted in property issues. In Seoul, GE Healthcare Korea had an abundance of under-used office space, resulting in wasted spend and escalating inefficiencies.

The team saw an opportunity to optimise their portfolio. They sought a strategic partner who could save them a significant amount of money while reinvigorating their employees. “When I think about workspace, the people we have and how we want to enable them, the key word for me is ‘empowerment’” says Francis Van Parys, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Korea. He wanted to instil a culture of flexibility and collaboration amongst his employees.

When I think about workspace, the people we have and how we want to enable them, the key word for me is ‘empowerment’

Francis Van Parys, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Korea

The solution

A strategic partner with operational expertise

GE Healthcare Korea partnered with WeWork to design, build and operate a collaborative workspace that would be cost-effective – even with a prime Seoul location – and transformational for their culture. Mira Lee, HR Leader at GE Healthcare in Korea, envisioned a space that would bring their culture to the next level and democratise workspace usage by letting employees choose where and how they worked. The team wanted to minimise the number of fixed desks and include more flexible spaces for employees to collaborate, network and host events.

To further emphasise flexibility and optionality, GE Healthcare Korea decided to use WeWork Global Access, which allows teams to work from WeWork offices across Seoul. Global Access has given GE employees the opportunity to be closer to their clients and more productive on the go.

Key highlights

  • 15,000 square foot space customised to GE Healthcare’s specifications
  • Personalised space encourages employee engagement
  • Timely delivery with the entire project completed in just eight months
  • Global Access memberships allow GE Healthcare employees to take advantage of all WeWork locations in Seoul

The results

Cost-efficient space for flexibility, simplicity and collaboration

WeWork delivered the new space in just eight months, saving GE Healthcare money and time. “We delivered a cost-saving project for GE while achieving cultural transformation to collaborate better together” says Van Parys. WeWork also helped simplify the process. “Before, we managed infrastructures, landlords, utilities. Now we have one partner with whom we work and with whom we can expand if we need to.”

We delivered a cost-saving project for GE while achieving cultural transformation to collaborate better together.

Francis Van Parys, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Korea

The new environment is open and collaborative. It encourages interaction, bringing more diversity and creativity to GE Healthcare’s employees and their guests. “Due to the nature of our work, we have many visitors, and they all love the space. The atmosphere at [our] meetings has got much better” explains Young Woo Cho, a GE Healthcare employee in Seoul.

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