Most of us probably know about the WeWork saga that happened in 2019 and 2020 — how the company was raising massive amounts of capital, and yet was making unbelievable losses on its locations.
But now, WeWork is back and apparently, in better shape than ever. Last month, the company launched its first and only flagship location in Singapore at 21 Collyer Quay.
With 21 floors of office space situated a five-minute walk from Raffles Place MRT station, the new location is quite the spectacle.
So what does WeWork hope to achieve from this new opening, and what are its plans for Singapore?
With many co-working companies and spaces popping up in Singapore, WeWork was determined to make its mark with the Collyer Quay flagship outlet.
What was formerly a corporate building occupied by HSBC, WeWork has transformed the building according to four ideas: community, wellness, enterprise, and events.
Amenities for members — both individual and enterprise — are scattered throughout the building. The first floor has a cafe, and the third floor houses a yoga studio, showers, and private services room.
There are also fitness classes offered by Just Jym, in a partnership with WeWork.
To better cater to enterprises that lease space from WeWork, different areas can be segmented or combined to accommodate for different events and companies.
Larger companies may lease entire floors and adjust the proportion of workstations, communal areas, and meeting rooms to suit their needs. As for smaller companies, there are also smaller offices to cater to their needs, including soundproof phone booths and pantries.
As for individuals, there are communal tables for co-working, and for those who need to take calls or prefer to work in a more private setting, booths are also available within the building.
The building even has auditoriums, to allow for business presentations and meetings.
The 18th floor features a lounge and networking area, with an in-house barista for anyone needing their morning pick-me-up, and beer taps offering free kombucha, beer, and flavoured sparkling water.
As part of the company’s efforts to reach profitability by the end of this year, the company has opened a new flagship location in Singapore. This new flagship location will target mostly enterprises, and is WeWork’s 14th space in Singapore.
The new location was designed with the intention of having 80 per cent of the building to be occupied by enterprise companies — think Fortune 500 companies and other global companies.
To that end, around 17 of the 21 floors of the building are dedicated to private offices to be leased to such enterprises.
Flexibility has been a strong concern for businesses ever since the pandemic hit, and we don’t see people wanting to go for leases that are seven years or ten years long- nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow or next month, and the ability to scale back or expand operations is going to be key.– WeWork Spokesperson
Flexibility has been a strong concern for businesses ever since the pandemic hit, and we don’t see people wanting to go for leases that are seven years or ten years long- nobody knows what is going to happen tomorrow or next month, and the ability to scale back or expand operations is going to be key.
One way that WeWork is seeing its clients use their office spaces is the creation of satellite offices. While some companies might have an office that they own, which functions as the company’s headquarters, these companies also engage WeWork to set up offices for individual business units.
While WeWork is not currently planning to open any new outlets, the company is confident about Singapore’s criticality for the its plans to become profitable in the near future.
Due to the fact that many companies operate in Singapore before expanding throughout the region, Singapore functions as a launchpad for many companies, and WeWork hopes to tap on this demand for office space in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
According to WeWork, occupancy is at 90 per cent across the 14 outlets that they have.
Ever since the ouster of founder and former CEO Adam Neumann several years ago, the company has apparently made operational efficiency one of their top priorities.
For now, however, WeWork’s main focus in Singapore will be to complete the opening of its flagship 21 Collyer Quay outlet. While individuals are already filling the bottom few floors, several of the enterprise levels are still being adjusted to accommodate requests from tenants.
While it remains to be seen whether WeWork can make good on its promise to become profitable by the end of the year, the opening of the new Collyer Quay flagship outlet by WeWork is certainly testament to the company’s longevity. Having survived its ill-fated IPO and the ouster of its charismatic founder, the company is now fighting back to save itself.
Featured Image Credit: WeWork
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