How much WeWork is too much WeWork? | Innovation & Feature
Larger tenants can now rent a more private WeWork space with less branding.
WeWork has realized that not all of its customers want to drink the WeWork kombucha.
The company has grown to a $20 billion valuation by supplying office space with short-term leases, flexible terms, a built-in community and a signature glass-and-hardwood office design that’s minimal but distinct.
But that is more than what some tenants — particularly bigger ones, which are increasingly WeWork’s customers — want. So today, WeWork announced new, less-branded and less-staffed offerings, called HQ by WeWork. These are targeted at medium-sized businesses that want WeWork’s flexible lease terms without its preset culture.
This allows larger tenants to “pull pieces of WeWork culture as needed, but not being sort-of engulfed in it,” said WeWork Chief Growth Officer David Fano.
HQ by WeWork is targeted at businesses with around 11 to 250 employees, putting these companies on private floors in smaller buildings than typical WeWork locations.
WeWork will still provide the basics — office furniture, phone booths and conference rooms, some facilities maintenance — but there won’t be things like WeWork-branded signage, building-wide happy hours or full-time staff dedicated to the building. If customers want more amenities, such as cold-brew coffee or increased staff — such as a dedicated community manager — they can order them as add-on services.
“The idea is WeWork is all-included, and this is a la carte” Fano said.
The move comes as WeWork tries to grow beyond its initial audience of entrepreneurs and “co-working” tenants — focusing on larger clients — and as competition grows. New York-based Knotel, for example, offers “agile” headquarters on flexible leases, with over 60 locations in four cities. Convene, another would-be rival, recently raised $152 million. WeWork has also moved into consulting, offering office-design advice, and recently won a deal to redesign a UBS office in New York.
WeWork has already signed six leases for HQ by WeWork buildings and claims that there has been high demand from tenants.