How agile real estate helped an educational software company grow globally

Instructure tapped into WeWork’s network of spaces to gain a foothold in key markets

Around the world, companies of all sizes find space to succeed at WeWork. Our Member Spotlight series shares their unique stories.

The challenge: sourcing workspace on a worldwide scale

From your first day of school to your last day of work, Instructure wants to help people grow and learn—and they’re doing so on a global scale.

The educational-software company started in Salt Lake City in 2008, and within a few years, they branched out internationally and went public. Evelyn Guerra, senior director of global workspaces at Instructure, was there to witness it all.

“When I joined Instructure, I was here to manage an office, which is our headquarters. Within three months I was tasked with building three locations, and we just kept growing,” Guerra says. “Our growth went from national to worldwide.”

While exciting, expanding so fast—and so far and wide—came with its own set of challenges.

Instructure wanted to set up a satellite office in Hong Kong. They needed space in Seattle for recruiting engineering talent. They also had remote employees scattered in different cities who wanted to feel connected to the company culture. And it was up to Guerra to figure out all of the workspace logistics.

Guerra needed a partner to take on these tasks, so she teamed up with WeWork.

The solution: flexible workspace and terms to expand or contract on demand

“Instructure scales rather rapidly, and our headcount projections are always a moving target. Partnering with WeWork allows us to expand or contract as needed,” Guerra says.

The flexibility lets Guerra and her team test out new cities to see if they’re the right moves for the company.

“Using WeWork as our pilot locations helps us determine whether or not it makes sense to invest in that location long-term. Having a five- to 10-year lease is a big commitment,” Guerra says. “WeWork helps us identify whether or not we will be there long-term, and if we will find the right talent in that area.”

Instructure’s IT administrator, Ben Porter, agrees that they can be nimbler with WeWork.

“WeWork has been a great partner in that aspect of when we’re looking at an emerging market and trying to decide if we should expand there,” Porter says. “Being able to know that we have a partner that’s in that location already, we can get a small office started there and have the ability to expand that office if needed.”

The results: the ability to grow at the speed of business

WeWork’s global network of spaces has helped Guerra fulfill and optimize Instructure’s real estate needs.

“There were times we did need to grow rapidly and we did not want to tap into our capital expenditures,” she says. “With WeWork, we did not have to do that.”

Instructure now has about 1,400 employees with teams in WeWork locations in the U.K., U.S., Hong Kong, China, and Australia. And with WeWork, Instructure has found a partner for global office space as they continue to grow. 

Key highlights:

  • Flexible terms allow for expanding or contracting space on demand, as the business requires
  • Ability to quickly and easily open offices in emerging markets
  • Freedom to pilot new locations for sales opportunities and talent recruiting
  • Reduced capital expenditures, thanks to paying only for space that’s needed 

WeWork offers companies of all sizes space solutions that help solve their biggest business challenges.

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