How GE Healthcare Partnered With WeWork to Optimize Costs and Improve Their Employee Experience
15,000 sq ft Seoul, South Korea
In just eight months, GE Healthcare was able to eliminate wasted space by partnering with WeWork to design a new regional headquarters that engaged their people.
Underutilized office space and a fear of change
GE Healthcare is a $19 billion business that specializes in medical imaging, biomanufacturing, and cell and gene therapy technologies. The company has more than 50,000 employees around the world. But a combination of long-term leases and strategy changes resulted in real estate problems. In Seoul, GE Healthcare Korea had an abundance of underutilized office space, resulting in wasted spend and escalating inefficiencies.
The team saw an opportunity to optimize their portfolio. They sought a strategic partner who could save them a significant amount of money while reinvigorating their employees. “When I think about workspace, the people we have, and how we want to enable them, the key word for me is ‘empowerment.’” says Francis Van Parys, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Korea. He wanted to instill a culture of flexibility and collaboration among his employees.
“When I think about workspace, the people we have, and how we want to enable them, the key word for me is ‘empowerment.’”
A strategic partner with operational expertise
GE Healthcare Korea partnered with WeWork to design, build, and operate a collaborative workspace that would be cost-effective—even with a prime Seoul location—and transformational for their culture. Mira Lee, HR leader at GE Healthcare in Korea, envisioned a space that would bring their culture to the next level and democratize workspace utilization by letting employees choose where and how they worked. The team wanted to minimize the number of fixed desks and include more flexible spaces for employees to collaborate in, network, and host events.
To further emphasize flexibility and optionality, GE Healthcare Korea decided to utilize WeWork global access, which allows teams to work from WeWork offices across Seoul. Global access has given GE employees the opportunity to be closer to their clients and be more productive on the go.
- 15,000 square foot space customized to GE Healthcare’s specifications
- Global access memberships allow GE Healthcare employees to take advantage of all WeWork locations in Seoul
Cost-efficient space for flexibility, simplicity, and collaboration
WeWork delivered the new space in just eight months, saving GE Healthcare money and time. “We achieved a cost-saving project for GE while achieving cultural transformation to collaborate better together, ” says Van Parys. WeWork also helped simplify the process. “Before, we managed infrastructures, landlords, utilities. Now we have one partner with whom we work and with whom we can expand with if we need to.”
“We achieved a cost-saving project for GE while achieving cultural transformation to collaborate better together.”
The new environment is open and collaborative. It encourages interaction, bringing more diversity and creativity to GE Healthcare’s employees and their guests. “Due to the nature of our work, we have many visitors, and they all love the space. The atmosphere at [our] meetings has gotten much better,” explains Young Woo Cho, a GE Healthcare employee in Seoul.