Given the spread of COVID-19, WeWork conducted a comprehensive update of safety measures in all of our locations.
We’ve already enhanced sanitization practices, set distancing standards, and implemented state-of-the-art HVAC updates to bring fresh outdoor air inside—a key way to reduce the transmission of an airborne disease. In a Harvard University study, researchers estimated that the productivity benefits from doubling indoor ventilation rates averaged $6,500 per person per year. They proved that outside air is good for the brain, and your bottom line.
In addition to updating WeWork’s indoor spaces, many of our locations also offer the added benefit of having beautiful outdoor spaces. As suggested by the Centers for Disease Control, gathering outside rather than inside slows the possible spread of COVID-19.
Outdoor work areas not only provide the open space required to reduce disease transmission but access to fresh air also benefits our cognitive functions and well-being. Sunlight diminishes our stress response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure while stimulating reward neurons in the brain for higher productivity and creativity—something we could all use a bit more of right now.
In the spirit of happiness, health, and productivity, WeWork has appointed our outdoor spaces with everything businesses need to be successful. There is high-speed WiFi and power for charging so that employees can get heads-down work done. Teams can collaborate around patios and connect with larger groups via outdoor projection screens. They can even bond over yoga at our outdoor studios.
Take a look at how we’ve designed seven outdoor spaces with employees’ productivity and safety in mind.
Covered area with skyline vistas
This outdoor terrace at WeWork 1920 McKinney in Dallas offers a view of the city skyline, as well as two different seating areas for either heads-down work or group chats.
Greenery as a natural separator
Employees at WeWork 101 N 1st Ave have access to a beautiful terrace with fantastic views of downtown Phoenix. Greenery provides a natural divider between seating areas, which keeps conversations more private and teams at a professional distance from one another.
A courtyard on the Beltline
Employees can embrace the Atlanta heat from WeWork 725 Ponce’s large courtyard. This sprawling outdoor area offers coworkers plenty of space for sitting and catching up, replacing indoor watercooler chat. Plus, this building is located on Atlanta’s Beltline, an outdoor walking path that’s perfect for getting in some midday exercise.
Employees can admire the historic architecture of Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood from this open-air terrace at WeWork 501 Boylston St. Movable seats offer several options for meetings with various configurations.
A slice of outdoor serenity
The terrace at WeWork 1460 Broadway in New York City offers a welcome change of pace—and space—for employees looking to get some sun. Several individual seating pods allow for safe distancing, and umbrellas provide ample shade, helping to ensure that employees stay comfortable during extended periods of outdoor time.
A modern, chic grove
Employees can work outside amid lots of greenery at WeWork Lantana in Santa Monica, CA, perfect for getting a change of scenery and perspective. The outdoor work grove here is ideal for taking calls and private one-on-one meetings, or just enjoying a few meditative moments during the workday.
Take meetings poolside
Whether looking to get some laps in or lounge poolside, employees at WeWork Aventine in San Diego can take advantage of the city’s sunny days with an on-site pool. Amenities like this allow employees to blend work and play—a welcome combination during stressful times. As we return to work, WeWork will continue to reimagine our outdoor spaces.
This article was originally published on August 18, 2020, and has been updated throughout by the editors.
David Zhai, WeWork’s global spatial experience team lead, oversees a diverse group of designers, architects, and workplace strategists in the development of product standards and strategies for programming and overall space planning.