Most companies have a concrete growth strategy, which is probably cautious, measured, and deliberate. But what happens when sales suddenly skyrocket when you least expect it, and you need to bring on a lot more people, stat?
During a period of hypergrowth, it’s crucial that the executive leadership team stays laser-focused on managing the growth, which can be messy and complicated, writes Alexander V. Izosimov in a Harvard Business Review article. He was the CEO of VimpelCom, a firm whose market capitalization went from $607 million in 1996 to $16 billion in 2006. Decisions are made in a panic, and you may find yourself short-staffed and overwhelmed as you put out fires and manage crises.
Among the most important ways to stay afloat during the growth tsunami, according to Izosimov, is to organize in a way that’s predictable and scalable. That means that all of a hypergrowth company’s offices across markets ought to look the same and have the same systems and processes in place. When a manager goes from, say, the Shanghai headquarters to a satellite office in London, she shouldn’t have to struggle to acclimate to the culture, learn new ways of doing things, or get the lay of the land.
That’s where WeWork can come in. With hundreds of locations across the globe, each adhering to a cohesive design principle, WeWork provides consistency across continents, from workspace layout and culture to decor and amenities. Even better, WeWork can manage your entire portfolio so that all you have to do when you need to scale or try out a new market is pick up the phone.
Here’s how four companies experiencing hypergrowth are using WeWork to solve their workspace challenges, so they can focus on navigating the challenges of growth—and come out stronger.
A fintech member experiences hypergrowth in Paris
The challenge: When a midsize fintech firm joined WeWork, it had 200 employees and enjoyed a comfortable, branded workspace in a popular location in Paris’ central business district (CBD). But when the company raised new funding and experienced a period of hypergrowth, the management team realized they would soon outgrow their space. Deciding to lean on WeWork, the company turned to its portfolio manager for a solution.
The solution: The company secured a full, private building in the CBD, close to its original space. Its team worked closely with the WeWork team to design a highly branded space with extensive customizations that highlight the company’s unique culture and open, collaborative style of working.
The result: WeWork consulted the firm at every step of the design and remodeling process, and the new headquarters was ready within a year of signing the papers. Employees love that it’s still in the CBD and features all of the amenities that they’ve become accustomed to. Leadership loves that there’s plenty of room to expand (to up to 980 desks). Plus, the 48-month lease term is ideal for reevaluating the setup for whatever the future may hold.
A software company needs desks in a new market—yesterday
The challenge: A software company in California needed an 18-desk office space in a hot new market in the Southeast in order to meet the company’s hiring goals for an expanding sales team—and time was of the essence.
The solution: The company and its real estate broker chose to partner with WeWork and signed a 12-month lease for a premier central location with large floor plans and plenty of room to expand. WeWork developed a phased workspace solution that would accommodate the company’s future expansion plans in the market.
The result: The sales team moved into their new dedicated office suite just one month after the company signed up with WeWork. The company’s leadership—and the local team—appreciated how quickly the space was ready. The company saved on capital expenditures and reduced its operating lease liabilities. And when the 12-month lease is up and the company is ready to scale up, the space will already be there.
Flexibility for a delivery startup’s European expansion
The challenge: A fast-growing delivery startup wanted to use its latest round of funding to expand into the European market. With more than 200 new employees coming on board, the biggest challenge was finding a way to quickly increase workspace in multiple cities—including some brand-new markets—despite uncertainty about head count.
The solution: The company approached WeWork, and together they created a dynamic and flexible plan that filled the company’s current projected needs—and left the door wide open for scaling up or down on a dime.
The result: In under three months, the company grew from zero to 208 desks in WeWork locations across EMEA. Flexible terms enable the company to adjust workspace in real time, based on current needs. And since WeWork has a large portfolio of workspace in major cities across the world—and many smaller ones—the company can enter new markets down the road with confidence and ease.
Best of all, according to the company’s executive team, WeWork provides an environment designed for productivity and offers employees a consistent experience across global markets, enhancing the firm’s workplace culture and innovative spirit. WeWork and the company are currently partnering up to bring pop-up events and other special affairs to key WeWork locations, in order to bring teams together and inspire unity and creative thinking.
A tech company doubles its footprint
The challenge: A digital sports platform was experiencing hypergrowth after a successful public listing. Its key markets—in particular, Las Vegas—were ripe for expansion, but that meant accommodating an additional 400 employees, fast.
The solution: Realizing the time, expense, and risk involved in signing a long-term, conventional commercial lease, the firm approached WeWork for a solution. Within 90 days of signing an agreement, the firm moved into a Las Vegas headquarters with custom branding and the specialized infrastructure they need to stay at the top of its game. A flexible, 12-month lease meant the company could reevaluate its space in a year’s time and scale as needed.
The result: After moving into its headquarters in a WeWork location on the bustling Las Vegas Strip, the company has more than doubled its footprint and currently leases 60,000 square feet, accommodating 890 employees. As it grows in Las Vegas and other markets, the company now turns to WeWork exclusively for its office needs. This reduces capital expenditures and provides employees with a welcoming workplace community and the amenities they love.
WeWork makes it easy for companies experiencing hypergrowth to provide workspace for a large number of incoming employees. During these periods, companies want to focus their attention and energy on maintaining their growth and providing top-notch services—not juggling leases and managing renovations across markets. WeWork is a one-stop shop for workspace needs, and knows that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Customizable and combinable products and flexible leases allow companies to design their ideal workplace situation. WeWork can make it happen—fast.
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.