The pandemic is on the downswing in much of the world, with borders reopening and travel restrictions lifting. The future of globalisation – which many believed to be in danger in early 2020 – looks brighter. A number of companies have learnt lessons while managing a fully remote workforce or using a hybrid model. In particular, they learnt that employees don’t need to be present all day, every day, at a central office location to thrive at work.
Flexible policies have empowered these companies – many of them small – to expand into new markets. Here are three companies that partnered with WeWork to move into new markets they might not have considered without the use of flexible workspace.
An e-commerce company gets familiar with new cities
The challenge: last autumn, a New York City–based e-commerce company began planning its strategy for bringing employees back to the office. The company wanted to move quickly to provide workers with space and opportunities for in-person collaboration, but it also wanted to prioritise its employees’ safety, well-being and desire for flexibility. It needed a solution that would evolve with its overarching return-to-work strategy.
The solution: the company provided WeWork All Access passes to its 33 employees. Soon they added 10 more employees – and 10 more passes. Using data collected by WeWork, the company was able to identify the locations preferred by employees and the ways in which employees used them. This information helped the company choose an ideal location and configuration for a dedicated half-floor office space just six months later.
The result: issuing employees WeWork All Access passes worked so well for the company in New York City that it’s now its standard procedure for entering new markets. As the business onboards its workforce in a new city in the US or abroad, this strategy gives decision-makers time to get familiar with the market and employees’ needs before investing in a more permanent home base. In New York City and beyond, the company is reducing its capital expenditure and maximising every penny spent on property.
A fast-growing fintech company finds solid ground in new markets
The challenge: after a fintech company secured new funding and began its transition from startup to enterprise, it needed a flexible workspace solution that could expand along with its growing workforce. The swift changes surrounding its rapid growth and the company’s need to move quickly into new global markets made choosing property a major logistical and financial challenge.
The solution: the business partnered with WeWork and created a fully customised workplace solution that fits its growing workforce and expanding global footprint. The company currently has 10 satellite offices at WeWork locations across the world, ranging in size. It’s able to quickly scale up or down as needed. Each satellite location is fully branded to bring the company’s vision and culture to life.
The result: in the last 12 months, the business has tripled its space needs, and WeWork made each transition swift and seamless. Together, WeWork helped the company set up in a brand-new, unknown market as well as expand an existing office to accommodate new employees. And with a single contact for all of its property operations and invoicing, the company saves the time and energy typically required to manage these assets – and has a tighter handle on expenses.
A data-streaming platform tests the waters before putting down roots
The challenge: a data-streaming platform experiencing rapid growth wanted to test new markets. But it faced considerable financial risks associated with setting up offices in uncharted cities. It wanted to be able to make decisions informed by data about where to set down roots before signing a short-term or long-term lease for office space.
The solution: for now, WeWork All Access is ideal for the company. In the last 12 months, it has increased its workforce from 85 to 120, and each employee’s WeWork All Access pass allows them to work from any of the WeWork locations in cities where they live, including Barcelona, London, Tokyo and several cities in California. The company’s strategy is to use WeWork All Access to provide flexible workspace while testing out new markets. If a market is viable, WeWork usage data will help inform the decisions regarding whether it makes sense to set up a dedicated office suite there.
The result: flexible WeWork products and leases enable the business to take risks in markets where they may not have been able to set up offices otherwise. WeWork’s trademark flexibility, large portfolio of buildings across the globe, and ability to let the company scale up or down quickly makes it easy for the company to seamlessly transition from WeWork All Access passes to a customised office space in a prime location with all of the WeWork amenities its employees have come to love.
Tapping into new markets takes a lot of strategic planning, especially when it comes to setting up offices in an unfamiliar city. With flexible leases and products, including WeWork All Access, a company can move into a new market and test it out before committing to dedicated office space. And wherever a business decides to plant itself for the long term – whether it’s a small office suite with room to grow or a full-floor collaboration hub – WeWork gives companies the flexibility to scale their space up or down quickly.
Kristen Bailey is a veteran writer and editor based in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She has a penchant for helping large and small brands create stories that tell the why.