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WeWork Rolls Out New Flexible Arrangements For Smaller Companies

The interior of a WeWork coworking space in Miami

After a year in which it was sometimes lambasted for a rigid pricing structure and an insistence on doing things its way, despite the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic, WeWork is now offering more flexible options to UK small businesses.

WeWork has launched Growth Campus, a new initiative aimed at giving a boost to the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The aim is to tempt smaller businesses, many of whom exited WeWork last year, to give work-from-home a rest and return to work-from-work.

Last summer, WeWork seemed determined to carry on with existing business models, despite the pandemic. The firm indicated that it would not cut prices in one of its UK regional flagship locations, even though occupiers might need more space to meet social distancing requirements. Other operators were cutting rates in an effort to retain clients, with an eye to recovery post-pandemic.

Whilst WeWork spokespeople told Bisnow it had always prioritised flexibility and will continue to work with and support members on how they best choose to utilise their office space, there was no suggestion that they will modify desk-based pricing structures.

The new initiative will operate virtually and through subsidised space in WeWork offices. It will have a main hub at WeWork Aldwych House, and campuses across London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Members have online access to mentoring and coaching opportunities, customised educational programming, a global network and member community, and exclusive member benefits and discounts to help them grow.

Growth Campus is open to startups and scale-ups, accelerators and incubators, investors of all sizes and corporates with an innovation agenda. Early members of WeWork’s Growth Campus include a broad spectrum of businesses from social enterprise to fintech, WeWork said.

“The pandemic has clearly been an accelerator in disrupting the way we work,” WeWork UK General Manager Mathieu Proust said in a statement. "Working from home has stifled productivity, collaboration and creativity, and as many companies begin to think about returning to the office, Growth Campus can offer the network and workspace designed to help businesses thrive."