A creative office solution boosts Microsoft’s employee productivity

Access to every New York City WeWork location cut down commutes and increased work time

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The challenge: losing valuable work time while commuting

Microsoft’s New York City–based sales team worked out of the company’s headquarters in a WeWork location in Times Square. Each day, hundreds of team members fanned out across the New York region on sales meetings. Yet all the travel time caused them to lose valuable working hours as they went back and forth between meetings and their headquarters.

WeWork proposed a solution: WeWork global access, which would give 300 employees—about 70 percent of Microsoft’s sales team—the ability to work from any WeWork location in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

“We started to think of the benefit to our teams, which is what drives us as a company,” says Matt Donovan, general manager at Microsoft.

The solution: access to all WeWork locations in New York City

In granting the sales team access to all New York City WeWork locations, Microsoft hoped to accomplish three objectives:

  • Cut down on their employees’ commuting time to and from work and reduce the time they spent traveling between meetings
  • Enable team members to engage with WeWork’s creative, collaborative community
  • Measure the impact on performance, productivity, and employee satisfaction

Donovan says that “creating a positive environment” for the sales team was important to Microsoft. To make sure that they were doing exactly that, they surveyed the team.

The results: happier, more productive employees

About 84 percent of those surveyed believe access to WeWork makes them more productive during their workday, and 74 percent say membership makes it more convenient for them to have access to their customers. More than 90 percent were satisfied with the locations they visited.

“There is a lot of early evidence—and it’s only been a few months—to suggest this is a very positive experience,” says Donovan.

He says that “the retention of great people” is something that Microsoft has always prioritized.

“We want to grow our people, and give them a chance to work on problems that have impact and change the world,” he says. “I think solutions like this are another way to keep our best people.”

Key highlights:

  • With WeWork global access, 300 Microsoft employees gained access to all WeWork locations in New York City
  • Team members reduced their commute and gained valuable work time, increasing productivity
  • 92 percent of Microsoft employees surveyed were satisfied with the WeWork locations they visited
  • 84 percent of those surveyed believe access to WeWork locations makes them more productive
  • 74 percent say WeWork access allows them to get close to customers

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