EXCLUSIVE: WeWork Launches Executive Suite Offering Targeting Finance, Law Firms
Coworking giant WeWork announced a new offering aimed squarely at financial firms, law offices and corporate clients, seeking to broaden its base of potential customers.
The new offering, called WeWork Office Suites, includes more private executive office suites meant to provide more of the trappings of a typical office, but with the flexible lease terms coworking is known for.
“What we’re hearing from some medium and large companies is that, to consider flexible workspace, they need the space to feel like their own, feel exclusive,” WeWork Global Head of Design Ebbie Wisecarver said. “Especially those in industries that demand more formal settings.”
Coming after the firm’s somewhat disappointing Q3 earnings call — steady occupancy paired with a write-down of annual earnings — it suggests WeWork believes the bedrock tenants of most central business districts will do more than dip their toes into flexible leasing strategies and coworking as uncertainty around remote work and office footprints persists.
The bet suggests that as some users may cut back on the service, larger tenants will come knocking as they figure out their future office utilization.
Enterprise members of WeWork have been asking for these changes, Wisecarver said, so it became obvious firms wanted this kind of space. This elevated offering, which will rent at an unspecified premium, was a recent pivot to meet the behavioral shifts of these firms. It is meant to be an off-the-shelf product that lets companies take larger space on less stringent lease terms, minus the capital expenditure investment.
Wisecarver placed this within the larger suite of WeWork products, an attempt to provide options to keep users of any size within the firm’s portfolio, and a step above the standard office offering.
WeWork is far from the first company to try and offer a more flexible upscale office product. A number of new offerings seek to make coworking or flex space more attractive or attention-grabbing, expanding beyond the startup vibe so commonly found in coworking spaces before the pandemic.
One of these new executive office suites can be found at WeWork’s 167 North Green St. location in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood. Another location in Atlanta was used by Moderna to quickly erect a regional HQ, housing more than 100 employees in 19K SF that included custom branding and private outdoor space.
Wisecarver said these suites offer upscale furniture, amenities — such as interior offices, meeting rooms, lounges, pantries and even board rooms — as well as numerous branding opportunities to make a space appear much more like a standard company office than an open floor filled with freelancers.
This shift underscores how companies and landlords are moving away from the traditional office leasing structure. Between firms like Codi offering a timeshare model for firms, the rise in spec suites and statistics showing that the length of new office leases has significantly shrunk, the traditional 10-year lease is being revisited and, in many cases, rejected.