WeWork and Beer: What’s Next?

WeWork

Within about sixty seconds our OT staff came across two major articles on the topic of WeWork, the hip and happening coworking space operator which, unless you’ve been operating under a rock, you are well aware of.

The most recent article came out of Bloomberg and goes into considerable depth as to the history of WeWork, their many groundbreaking initiatives and their marketing tactics. Worth a read.

We thought we’d share some of the facts and figures from the article with you below:

  • Recent valuation at $5 billion
  • Has 23,000 customers working in 32 locations (roughly half in New York City)
  • Is the fastest growing consumer of office space in New York City
  • Has $355 million in venture capital, after its latest round of funding
  • Is expanding and forecasted to open offices in San Francisco, Austin, London, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Berlin
  • Gave out 90,000 free glasses of beer last month (this, according to founder, Adam Neumann)

The WeWork model is startling in its unabashed allegiance to providing workspace that disrupts the officing status quo. And they are banking on the ‘work anywhere’ trend to become the norm in a relatively short period of time.

The Bloomberg article cites a comment from Bruce Dunlevie of Benchmark Capital, who states:

“Today’s 23-year-old in a decade will be a 33-year-old, and I don’t think they’re going to want to go back to the old model. They will have derived utility and created a habit around a WeWork-style workplace.”

But wait, there’s more. Not content to rest their collective footprint in officing alone, WeWork is soon to unveil ‘WeLive’, a combination of office and what they term ‘micro-apartment’.

Wow. The WeWork model continues to shake up the coworking space communities.

And, truthfully, in an atmosphere where 5:00pm is referred to as “beer o’clock”, there is much to attract young entrepreneurs. At least for those who have no problem erasing the lines between work space and play space.

The question is, will this work environment ultimately eclipse traditional business centers?

Not by a long shot, according to many owners and operators of business centers. Kathlene Buchanan, CEO and driving force behind the highly successful Washington D.C.-based Metro Offices, is quick to point out that the WeWork model is not for everyone:

“There’s going to be people who want shooters in the middle of the day while walking around in flip-flops. But if I have clients doing heads-down work, I have some responsibility to them to keep it professional.”

Will WeWork keep on working? Could it even out-maneuver giants like Regus with its agility? By all appearances WeWork’s momentum is showing no signs of letting up. Nor are traditional serviced office spaces, by the way. That may be the best news yet for an industry which thrives on choice and balance. What do you think?

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Image: WeWork

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