Daily Digest News – March 26, 2021


Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.

Here’s what you need to know today:

WeWork Is Officially Going Public

WeWork is officially going public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company at a much lower valuation than its $47 billion from a few years ago.

Today, the coworking company announced it would merge with blank check firm BowX Acquisition that values WeWork at $9 billion.

The operator will be receiving around $1.3 billion in cash as part of the deal that will go towards its growth plans.

$800 million of this will come from prestigious investors including Insight Partners, Starwood Capital Group and Fidelity and BlackRock.

Despite the major obstacles the coworking industry has faced over the past year, WeWork said its business has managed to hold up relatively well.

As of December 2020, WeWork walked away from over 100 unperforming locations and now nearly half of its customer base includes large companies. The company also said it is moving towards more long-term leases as opposed to its usual monthly model.

“WeWork has spent the past year transforming the business and refocusing its core, while simultaneously managing and innovating through a historic downturn,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork. “As a result, WeWork has emerged as the global leader in flexible space with a value proposition that is stronger than ever.”

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Finding Balance With The 3-2-2 Work Week

Parts of the world are slowly transitioning to a post-pandemic reality, and with this will be major changes to the way workplaces operate.

Although remote working will continue to play a role in how businesses function, many will turn to a “3-2-2” work week that allows employees to work three days in the office, two days from home and two days of rest.

This, of course, will have a major impact on commercial office space. Now, business leaders need to reconsider how much of their real estate portfolio they need, and how to reconfigure these spaces to accommodate the new normal.

Many remote workers are struggling to balance childcare responsibilities, lacking home office space and not having the technical infrastructure to work seamlessly.

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However, working remotely has also provided a lot of benefits for many workers, such as a better work-life balance, the ability to choose their own schedule and having more time to care for their home responsibilities.

That is why 3-2-2 seems to be the ideal choice, as it combines the best of both worlds. But this transition will require changes to the office itself.

Now, employees are expressing the need for more private workspaces when they come back to the office in order to better support their health and productivity. This is a clear pivot away from the growing popularity of open, shared office layouts that preceded the pandemic.

Most importantly, employers need to focus on creating a workplace experience that is not just work-centric, but employee-centric.

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Doing More To Bring Women Back Into The Workforce

Working parents have faced unprecedented obstacles over the past year, particularly mothers. Now, many are looking for more flexibility in order to help them balance work and family responsibilities.

Statistically, women have been most impacted by pandemic-related job loss. Many have had to walk away from careers to care for their children, which has led to the lowest labor force participation since 1988.

Now, it is up to companies to make the necessary policy changes to keep women in the workforce, or suffer major losses.

One of the easiest methods of doing this is providing more flexibility in terms of scheduling and arrangements. 

According to a survey from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 84% of companies are providing some form of flexibility throughout the pandemic. Continuing to offer these arrangements will be crucial to a healthy workforce moving forward.

Additionally, business leaders need to make it clear that they understand workers may be struggling at the moment. In fact, one-third of parents said they feared losing their job if they were open about their workload stress and balancing childcare responsibilities, according to a report by Après, a career resource website for women returning to the workforce, and NUA Group.

That is why higher ups need to send a message that it is safe and healthy for employees to take advantage of flexible programs within the company, especially if that means workers will feel better supported and less stressed.

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