- Former WeWork executive Frank Bistrian aims to regenerate the workplace by focusing on health and wellness
- Bistrian was inspired to launch his company, work well win, after “years of working in the exhausting corporate world”
- In an interview with Allwork.Space, Bistrian discusses plans to open 90 locations over the next 5 years and his aspirations for the future.
Last week, Frank Bistrian, founder of work well win and former WeWork executive wrote about “5 Ways To Enhance Your Workspace And Prevent Employee Burnout,” arguing that “creating a humane, invigorating workspace doesn’t demand a total upheaval of company culture or identity.” Instead, Bistrian proposes a return to the basics, a return that can transform a depleted workspace into one of vitality and wholeness.
In fact, Bistrian isn’t just writing about transforming workspaces, he is in fact transforming them with his recently founded coworking company. Allwork.Space reached out to Bistrian to learn more about work well win, his approach to workspace design, and why it is that we, as a society, need to start creating more humane workspaces in order to lead a better life.
Allwork.Space: What’s the story behind work well win?
Frank Bistrian: I founded work well win in 2017 to give mature professionals a place to work where their health and wellness are respected and promoted. After years of working in the exhausting corporate world and then running development for WeWork, I realized there was a huge market opportunity to combine both of my career experiences and create a wellness coworking company, which we’re calling well-working, that targets corporate level professionals.
In addition to focusing holistically on wellness, work well win provides a higher tier, upscale workspace with flexible lease and growth options, to accommodate the needs and growth rates of any type of professional and professional group. We announced our $22M seed funding round, launched the brand at SXSW 2018 and are opening 90 locations over the next 5 years.
Allwork.Space: How many locations do you currently have and where?
We currently have one location in Austin, TX and one in Greenwich, CT. The locations in which we will be launching over the next 5 years includes Santa Monica — which will be located in what used to be a Barnes and Noble, Venice Beach, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago and Washington D.C.
Allwork.Space: What made you want to focus on wellness?
It’s time we as a society change the way that humans are treated during their workday, and we’re starting by creating contemporary workspaces focused on wellness. After years of working in the corporate world, I realized how unhealthy most workspaces and work days are, which directly correlates to lack of productivity and most importantly, unhappiness. By creating workspaces that make wellness convenient for people, they will in turn live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.
Allwork.Space: What can you tell us about the design and fit out of the space? What were some key elements/materials that you looked into to create the right atmosphere? What are some of the unique perks and amenities that work well win offers?
The most important part of our spaces is that they are each being designed from the ground up with wellness woven into every aspect.
Architecturally, the spaces will be designed to promote maximum natural light as numerous studies and organizations including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have found that increased natural light “reduces the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, increases visual clarity and color perception, stimulates the pineal gland, which helps to regulate sleep patterns, increases mental alertness and improves mood.”
Another health and wellness area that we’re heavily focused on is air quality. The World Health Organization has found that “up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality,” so we’re designing each space with highly advanced air purification systems to eliminate air pollutants and prevent sickness. Other features of work well win spaces will include meditation and mental health programs and designated spaces, mentorship and learning opportunities, partnerships with top fitness companies and partnerships with local organic health food providers.
Allwork.Space: What type of members are you targeting?
We are targeting corporate satellite offices, growing professional groups and independent professionals. Our spaces will cater to mature, wellness-oriented individuals who are looking for a prime location office space with flexible lease terms.
Allwork.Space: Are you hoping to obtain any wellness certification like the Fitwel certification or WELL Building Standard?
We’re currently evaluating and researching these certifications to see if they make sense for us.
Allwork.Space: I understand you have previously worked within the coworking industry. Where do you see the industry going and what are some trends that you have identified?
The coworking industry is at an incredibly exciting growth point. Coworking has reached a point in the market where it’s very widely accepted, validated and used by many professionals.
I noticed a gap in the existing coworking market for a model that was tailored to the needs and wants of mature professionals, professional groups and large corporate satellite offices and of course, a model based on well-working. Our model is unlike anything existing in the market; our design is highly upscale and wellness focused, our spaces have soundproof private areas and our spaces offer more square feet per person.
Allwork.Space: Anything else you’d like to add?
Although the coworking market has been widely covered in the press, it is still at the early stage of the life product cycle. According to a recent JLL report, “under 5% of current U.S. office inventory is controlled by independent, third-party flexible space providers (spanning all operator types, from traditional executive office suites to coworking to incubators). Given industry shifts, flexible workspace and shared amenity spaces are projected to encompass approximately 30% of the office market by 2030.”
We are thrilled with the size of this exciting opportunity.