In just under 10 years, WeWork has evolved from a New York–based coworking provider to a global enterprise that offers agile real estate solutions for businesses of all sizes. Today, more than 30 percent of the Fortune 500 are WeWork members.
The reasons that companies leverage WeWork range from increasing their real estate agility to providing an elevated employee experience, with financial benefits that can trickle down throughout the business. Many have discovered that having teams in WeWork locations helps them solve important business challenges that traditional real estate cannot. Read on to learn about the business benefits that enterprise companies have gained via WeWork.
Short- and long-term financial benefits
Agility is an important concept to today’s ever-evolving businesses—yet traditional real estate tends to hinder rather than help companies move fast and evolve.
Think about it: Traditional leases are inflexible, require capital expenditure up front, and lock in companies, when many can’t forecast hiring (let alone business trends) more than a few years out. Within a 10-, 15-, or 20-year time frame, can you say with certainty whether your head count will expand or shrink? And by how much? What markets will you scale into? Will you employ more or less remote workers? Unforeseen factors such as the volatility of the market or changes in your industry could further impact your business needs.
Building flexible workspace into your portfolio has the potential to deliver the best return for your business now and into the future. And there’s less risk because you can adjust your space according to what your business needs at the given time. Flexible workspaces can help companies reduce capital expenditures, stabilize expenses, align with the GAAP changes that went into effect in January 2019, and pay for only the space they need.
That’s why, when Slack needed to design and build out a regional headquarters in New York, WeWork was an appealing option.
“For any company, expenditures on capital is a dollar that we didn’t spend on R&D, it’s a dollar that we didn’t spend on marketing, it’s a dollar that we didn’t spend on head count,” says Deano Roberts, vice president of global workplace and real estate at Slack.
Onsite access to target customers
How convenient would it be to work in the same space as your target customer base? That’s the very situation that Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) found itself in when they chose WeWork as a strategic partner to help them find a multi-market real estate solution.
RBC employees were soon working alongside everyone from entrepreneurs to global enterprises in their WeWork locations. RBC saw an opportunity to offer their financial and business expertise to these companies by launching advice hubs within the Toronto and Montreal WeWork locations.
“Our teams tell us they’re able to create and build out tailor-fit solutions collaboratively with our clients versus just providing a standard solution to a unique business problem,” says Niranjan Vivekanandan, vice president, strategy, commercial banking, RBC.
The program continues to be a success, and RBC now has more than 700 desks across major cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
A sense of community for remote employees
As America’s fifth-largest brewer, Pabst Brewing Company has a 175-year history and a strong company culture. The challenge is that it also has a large remote workforce, who are not onsite; therefore, it can be hard to keep them engaged without a community of coworkers to rally around.
Pabst decided to try an experimental pilot: letting some of their remote workers use WeWork global access in select cities. WeWork quickly became the go-to workspace for those employees, whether they needed a place to do focused work or host a team meeting.
“What we are doing with WeWork is the future of how many businesses our size will look at real estate,” says Matt Bruhn, general manager of Pabst Brewing Company.
WeWork offers companies of all sizes space solutions that help solve their biggest business challenges.
Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer who covers work, personal finance, and higher education. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Family Circle and Monster.com. Follow her on Twitter.