Business is changing. Thanks to the digital revolution, traditional business ideas are morphing into something that is totally unlike what’s happened before. Increasingly, individuals are working remotely for companies in order to save money and time.
There have been some growing pains in the transition from traditional workspaces to the new global economy. While working from home has its advantages, there are compelling reasons to share space with others. WeWork was created to give workers a place to go that balances the freedom of working independently with the connection of sharing a workspace.
Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann started WeWork in 2010 after two years running their previous startup, GreenDesk. The latter was meant to be an eco-friendly space for coworking. After selling Greendesk, Neumann and McKelvey partnered with Joel Schreiber, a real estate investor in Manhattan. Schreiber bought a one-third stake in the company for fifteen million dollars, and WeWork was born.
The spaces include private offices that function for teams or for individuals. The walls are glass, which let in natural light and encourages interaction while also giving workers privacy. There are common spaces for work or take breaks, as well as kitchen areas. All spaces include amenities like lamps, desks, lockable filing cabinets, printers, scanners, copiers, coffee, and more. The onsite staff attends to the needs of workers during business hours.
WeWork spaces even provide fitness areas and classes.
Part of what makes WeWork an appealing idea is that it gives individuals and small businesses a method to effectively network. The idea was to take the best of what an office has to offer and to include it in a shared space while maintaining low costs.
WeWork holds networking events, lunch and learn programs, meet and greets, and office hours with industry professionals like venture capitalists. There is a feeling idea incubation and collaboration in a WeWork space, even for individuals who are not a part of a formal business company.
The company focuses on startups and technology culture. There are services for small businesses, freelancers, and even large enterprises. WeWork has gone through several significant rounds of investment. The company has expanded heavily into China, in addition to its locations across the United States.
This company has faced several separate allegations of workplace discrimination, including retaliatory firing, sexual harrassment, and age discrimination.
The We Company
In 2019, WeWork announced that it would be changing its name and branding to The We Company. This change is expected to coincide with restructuring and expansion.
The company has expanded to more than five hundred and fifty locations and fifteen thousand employees spread over eighty-six countries. WeWork manages more than forty-five million square feet of office space. It has one hundred thousand members. It offers a wide range of additional services through its brands WeWork Labs, Rise by We, WeLive, and WeGrow. Subsidiaries of WeWork include Flatiron School, Managed by Q, and Meetup.
Ninety percent of WeWork’s revenue comes from memberships. It generates almost nine hundred million dollars in revenue each year.
There are no direct competitors for WeWork. It’s a totally different way to create community and to network in business, innovating in its own niche along the way.