In today’s world, it is possible to work anytime and anywhere. How do you envision the workplace of the future? One company has the answer to this question, and that company is none other than WeWork, a co-working space that was founded in February 2010 and has recently expanded into the co-living territory.
Welcome to the 52nd edition of Magazine B.
The workspace brand WeWork was founded in 2010 by Israeli-born Adam Neumann and Oregon native Miguel McKelvey. WeWork expanded and improved on a model the duo had successfully and profitably tested with their previous startup, Green Desk, through which they leased an entire floor of a building in New York to re-lease as a co-working space to multiple tenants. And so WeWork was born, not in Silicon Valley — the West Coast home to world-famous startups — but in New York. As of the first half of 2016, the company had locations in 39 cities in 12 countries around the world, not to mention a valuation of US$17 billion.
WeWork has become home to a diverse pool of tenants, officially called “members.” Freelancers and small businesses make up a large majority, but major corporations are also setting up their global distribution and marketing teams in WeWork spaces. WeWork plans come in a variety of options and prices, including private offices, dedicated desks, and the flexible, undesignated “Hot Desk” option. The spaces are also outfitted with a variety of convenient features and amenities, from a private phone booth for quiet calls to a lounge for relaxing or holding meetings, to a kitchen. Most every element one might consider necessary in the modern working space has been included.
Recently, the company launched WeLive, a platform for co-living spaces, generating ample interest and close attention to this next stage in WeWork’s evolution. But as co-founder McKelvey told Magazine B, WeLive is less about WeWork venturing into accommodations and more about the company providing its members with spaces they can use for different purposes. If it’s a space that members want or need, WeWork is ready to consider it. In the same vein, WeWork’s acquisition of both CASE, an architectural agency that uses technology to conduct 3D analysis of buildings and quantify aspects of the building process, and Welkio, a company that has developed digital sign-in software for the office, demonstrates the company’s willingness to diversify the spaces it operates. Such moves are strengthening WeWork’s capacity to one day become a total solutions provider for all things related to space.
WeWork likes to emphasize the “we” in its name more than “work.” The spaces are linked to an online network accessible to members worldwide to use on their computers and smartphones. Here, members can exchange information and stay up to date on news on other members.
The physical WeWork spaces also continue to support networking, with members encouraged to connect with other members. Events like seminars and parties are offered and can be hosted by members. In this way, members inhabit WeWork “separately but together.” In actuality, the atmosphere is not so different from a large company, where various departments gather in one place. Separated by glass walls, the members have frequent direct and indirect interactions, and they influence one another. Co- founder McKelvey alluded to this dynamic in
his interview, recalling how difficult it was when Green Desk was sold to let go of the relationships that had been built with the members: “People whose aspiration is to build a business and sell it (don’t) know what it feels like.”
It’s common these days to see people studying and working in cafes rather than libraries. Libraries are quiet but they can also feel isolating; cafes might be somewhat noisier, and busier, but one does get the sense of being connected to other people, of influencing and being influenced in whatever small way. At a time when heightened attention is being paid to how work-life balance can be achieved, thinking deeply about the spaces in which we work may be part and parcel of thinking deeply about our lives. In any case, WeWork’s value proposition speaks directly to this need.
Taehyuk Choi, Editor-in-Chief
Devin Vermeulen, Creative Director
WeWork’s well-designed co-working space
WeWork’s online member network
A look at the diverse members who call WeWork home
A look at WeWork locations around the world through Instagram
David Fano, Chief Product Officer Dolores O’Connor, VP, Real Estate Strategy & Operations
WeWork’s criteria for choosing locations, as witnessed in five major cities
WeWork’s new model for living
Rebecca Paltrow Neumann, Chief Brand Officer
Co-working and co-living options in major global cities
The birth and growth of WeWork
Special offers for WeWork members
Giving back to the community by supporting mission-driven companies
Co-Founder & CCO
WeWork and the co-working movement in numbers
- Publisher Suyong Joh
- Editor In Chief / Creative Director Taehyuk Choi
- Senior Editor Eunsung Park
- Editor Jaewoo Seo, Yeongmin Kim
- Guest Designer Gyeongtak Kang
- Filmmaker Sukwang Baak
- Marketer Hyunjoo Kim
- Distribution Manager Sanghoon Kim
- Correspondents Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Nari Park (London), Lena Shin (LA), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Jeewon Lim (Milan), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
- Publishing JOH & Company
- Working in the Unoffice
- The Style of Coworking: Inside the World’s Coolest Coworking Interiors
- Why People Thrive In Coworking Spaces
- Share House: Young People Living With Strangers
- A New Way to Work
- Coworking: Le Film
- Coworking: How Coworking is Changing How and Where We Work