How WeWork Office Suites Compare to Commercial Office Space

By Michael Hershfield, Senior Director, Medium Business Segment, WeWork

If you're in the market for 11-250-person office space, WeWork office suites may be the solution for you. Here's what we offer above and beyond the traditional.

WeWork office suites are private, personalized spaces within thriving WeWork locations.

There comes a point in every company’s journey when you’re ready for a space of your own. Perhaps you just closed a major round of funding. Or outgrew a shared office. Or exceeded sales targets every quarter for two years and feel secure enough to put down roots.

I know how exciting those milestones are because I’ve experienced them as a company founder, CEO, and COO. It’s an amazing feeling to start seriously looking for a home for your business.

Yet the commercial real estate process can quickly deflate your mood. It’s time-consuming to run around town looking at office spaces. And even though your company is financially stable, you may not be ready to sign a 10-year lease—and put down a hefty deposit that you could be investing in your business’ growth.

So what’s a company leader to do?

For medium-size businesses with 11 to 250 employees, WeWork has a solution: WeWork office suites, a private, personalized space within a thriving WeWork location. With WeWork office suites, you get your own conference rooms, amenities, and branding—plus full operational support and access to all WeWork common areas. This way, you can focus on running your business while we take care of the rest.

Wondering what that means? Here’s how WeWork office suites compare to your traditional commercial office space. (Or if you’re ready to calculate what that is in your market, start here.)

Lease terms

Commercial leases are long-term—five to 10 years for prime real estate in the United States, Canada, and the U.K.—and usually inflexible. Companies that experience growth or change often move every few years, breaking leases and adding stress to their resources, finances, and employees.

WeWork understands that businesses evolve. We expect you to grow and change. That’s why our service agreements start at six months for WeWork office suites. If you need to expand, then congrats! We can meet your needs for additional space.

In addition, WeWork is your single global real estate provider. With more than 287 locations in 77 cities in 23 countries, we can help you open satellite offices when you’re ready to move into new markets. Growth should be something to celebrate, not stress over.

Lease Terms

  • Commercial lease: 10 years
  • WeWork office suites: starting at six months
WeWork Marunouchi Kitaguchi, Tokyo

Lease cost

Signing a commercial lease on office space requires an upfront payment to secure it, often a year’s rent—and sometimes significantly more for newer businesses without a long credit history.

With WeWork, there are no debilitating capital investments or hidden costs. We charge a one-time service retainer of 1.5 to 2.5 times your monthly membership fee, depending on your payment method. We return it to you within 30 days after the agreement ends.

Upfront cost

  • Commercial lease: One year of advance payment
  • WeWork office suites: 1.5-2.5 month service retainer

Office build out cost

If you’ve taken the leap and signed a lease for a commercial office space, you then have to customize it. This means sourcing and managing architects, designers, contractors, engineers, IT specialists, and other vendors. In New York, the average office build-out cost ranges from $161.05 to $247.67 per square foot, depending on the layout.

With WeWork office suites, you don’t need to undergo that expensive and time-consuming process. We’ll work with you to make the space your own, at no additional cost. First, you select the office layout and design style that best suits your company. Then, we’ll integrate your branding and personal touches.

Office build out cost

  • Commercial lease: $161.05 to $247.57 per square foot in New York
  • WeWork office suites: $0
A WeWork office suite

Time to market

The search, customization, and build-out before a move-in process can take 12 to 18 months. This leaves a lot of room for unproductive work as employees remain stuck in inadequate environments while they wait for their new space.

With WeWork office suites, your space is move-in ready. Generally, you can make yourself at home as soon as you’ve signed your agreement (unless you’ve opted for a space in one of our soon-to-be-opened locations).

Time to market

  • Commercial lease: 12-18 months
  • WeWork office suites: Immediate move-in (for currently open buildings)

Office operation costs and logistics

Even the best-designed office can’t run itself. You need a team to keep it clean and safe. In the U.S., the average office manager salary is $46,285, and the average IT director salary is $114,685. The average receptionist and mail clerk salaries are each $27,000 annually, while a custodian is $24,000. That’s a total of $238,970 without factoring in benefits or the supplies and infrastructure (e.g. WiFi, software, phones, coffee, cleaning materials) each of those employees needs to perform their jobs—which would push that total well above $350,000 a year.

WeWork allows you to offload office-management logistics. Our team handles WiFi, utilities, phones, conference-room reservation and guest-registration technology, security, cleaning, and mailroom services. We’ll stock your kitchens with fruit-infused water, micro-roasted coffee, and tea. It’s all included in your WeWork membership—and that’s time and money you can reinvest in your business.

Operational logistics

  • Commerical lease:$350,000+ per year
  • WeWork office suites: $0
Fruit-infused water

The benefits of a WeWork membership

With WeWork office suites, you get your own private space, complete with a reception area, kitchenette, and phone booths—and you enjoy all the benefits that come with being a WeWork member. Your team can work, take meetings, and connect with other WeWork members in your location’s common areas. Plus, we provide access to discounted professional services, career-development events, and perks like reduced gym memberships—the kinds of benefits once afforded only to large companies.

WeWork membership and perks

  • Commercial lease: N/A
  • WeWork office suites: $0
A common area at WeWork 205 Hudson, New York

Focus on your business, not on real estate

As a business leader, the decisions you make don’t just affect your company’s performance; they also affect each employee’s overall experience. Even though your office space plays a crucial role in your company’s success, managing it shouldn’t occupy all your time.

That’s why WeWork is here for you. With WeWork office suites, you get a private, beautiful workspace designed for innovation and creativity that’s personalized just for your brand—plus all the benefits and perks that come with being a WeWork member. But more important, we give you the freedom to focus on growing your business.

Want to learn more about how WeWork office suites could help your business? Compare what it costs to build an office by yourself or with WeWork in your location, or contact us here.

Interested in WeWork office suites as a solution for your company?

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Compare what it costs to find, build, and run an office by yourself or with WeWork.

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