WeWork former executives to set up rival company, offering support to landlords who would like to create their own co-working spaces.
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The energy and collaborative spirit present in successful co-working space is highly sought after. WeWork, the leading co-working provider, has become incredibly successful at creating the right environment for startups to flourish. So successful in fact that consulting firm PwC recently redesigned 35 of its US offices using the co-working model: “Our strategy is how to create WeWork within PwC,” says Toni Cusumano, part of PwC’s global human capital practice. Now two former WeWork executives want to help landlords and corporations build successful co-working spaces themselves.
WeWork runs shared, flexibile-lease offices in 113 locations in 33 countries. The company rents large premises from landlords, redesigns them into shared workspaces and sets up community features and operational facilities before subleasing it to businesses at a profit. It works because, more often than not, landlords don’t have the drive and knowhow to do it themselves. But now a new company, which is yet to have a name, is changing that. Mark Kennedy, a partner on the project who has a background in private equity and real estate, has called it “coworking in a box.”
The new company will essentially offer a consultancy service to landlords looking to set up their own spaces, project managing the design and engineering of the spaces while also setting up the service providers like cleaning and security. The clients are landlords or large companies who want to operate their own version of co-working in their existing offices. Once the partnership is underway, they can then choose to manage their own premises, ask the startup to operate it under a profit-sharing agreement, or partner with a third-party operator.
We recently wrote about an innovation that offers free co-working space in exchange for content and another app that claims to find the ideal workspace within open-plan offices. What other workspace innovations will we see to balance individual freedom, flexibility and productivity?