’Tis the season for wrapping gifts, wearing holiday sweaters, and eating delicious cookies—and showing your appreciation for the ones who mean the most. As 2019 comes to a close, the community teams at WeWork gave thanks to those who help the community thrive—the WeWork members.
Starting on Dec. 2, community teams in over 60 WeWork buildings hosted a series of events to show their appreciation for the members in their buildings. “This was a great opportunity to make the holiday season even more special for our members,” says Yani Romero, a community lead at WeWork 1460 Mission St in San Francisco, who planned several events with her colleague Eleanor Hall, the building’s community associate.
Romero and Hall kicked off the month by ordering freshly baked cookies for their members from a local bakery. They also brought in manicurists and massage therapists from local spas to offer their members a day filled with self-care. “We understand that the holidays are a crazy time,” Romero says, “so we want to make sure our members feel special.”
The team prioritized working with local businesses to show that their community extends beyond the walls of the building, and planned an event to put together holiday care packages for the homeless. Downtown Streets, a local nonprofit organization that’s committed to ending homelessness, partnered with the building to distribute the packages to the homeless in the area. “We are grateful for our members in our building, but we’re also grateful for the greater community that we’re in,” says Romero.
The members are the heart and soul of WeWork buildings, and the onsite community teams often have a close relationship with them. “As the community team, we want to make their lives as fun, relaxing, and obstacle-free as possible,” Romero says. While the community team always goes above and beyond to make sure their members’ needs are met, these seasonal events gave them an excuse to elevate the member experience. “It was a great way to give back to our community and invest in the people who make this business thrive,” she says.
For Alexa Healey, a community lead at WeWork 115 Broadway in New York, the holiday season provided the perfect excuse to bring together her 1,500 members, who work across six floors of the building. “These events give the members a chance to see how big the community is,” Healey says. “For some companies, the building gives them a family within their office space.”
Healey planned several events for the month of December, her favorite being a waffle breakfast. “I made homemade waffles for all of the members,” she says. She planned the breakfast for early in the month, so she could meet some of the new members who had recently moved into the building. “It was a total surprise for our members,” she says, “and everyone had a smile on their face.”
Healey also bought 200 holiday and New Year’s cards and set them up on a table for her members to fill out for their loved ones. Romero and Hall planned a gift-wrapping station and offered to wrap any gifts their members brought into the office. “The members were so genuinely appreciative,” Romero says.
Ishpreet Chandok, a community associate at WeWork RMZ Latitude Commercial in Bengaluru, helped one of her members organize a “gratitude dinner” for other members in the building and their families. During the dinner, attendees told stories about the people in their lives they appreciate, wrote thank-you notes for loved ones, played charades and other games, and shared a delicious dinner.
“We often get so caught up in our routines—these events keep you grounded,” Chandok says. The dinner gave members an opportunity to share the space and community with their families, which is not an aspect of their lives that family members usually see. “Gratitude is magical,” she says. “Grateful people are happier people, aren’t they?”
Jenna Wilson is a senior associate on the social media team at WeWork and a writer for Ideas by We. She writes about impact, sustainability, and WeWork’s employees around the world.