It is impossible to miss the importance of social interaction to us humans; just make a quick search online and you’ll be faced with thousands of networking events globally.
Community is central to progress and, over the past decade, the way people work have changed; from siloed companies who obsessively guard their secrets, we are now at a time when companies are not only open to outside collaboration but are actively pursuing it.
WeWork, while starting as a shared workspace in one city, has evolved into a global community with over 268,000 members found in over 287 locations globally.
“Seventy per cent of our members collaborate with each other across our international locations,” said Turochas Fuad, WeWork’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia. This is a very high percentage, considering the number of WeWork’s members. It shows that people and companies are not just simply sharing a workspace but are forming communities and innovating together.
The WeWork community is a good blend of members that drive innovation
In their 2018 Economic Impact Report, WeWork approximate that 75 per cent of their members are small businesses, first-time entrepreneurs, local companies, and growing startups, with more than two-thirds employed in the innovation economy.
And it’s not just startups and small businesses. A quarter of the WeWork’s community is comprised of enterprises, with 25 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies being WeWork members.
Though the numbers are impressive, they are simply indicators of what makes WeWork remarkable: a global ecosystem that collaborates beyond borders to power innovation.
WeWork’s member companies are a good blend of startups and enterprises, which lead to potentially innovative results. Startups introducing new technologies can find themselves supported by enterprises with the resources that they need to create solutions that could, in turn, help said enterprises innovate.
To illustrate, a small startup in Kuala Lumpur can collaborate with a large enterprise in Munich. Or an entrepreneur in New York can partner with a local startup in Bangok. Or a startup in Ho Chi Minh can compare notes with a startup in Sao Paolo. You get the idea.
Beyond their network, WeWork members also help fuel the neighbourhood
The WeWork community has a significant impact on the cities they locate in, and not just in the form of taxes – though a rough average of 650 companies paying taxes per city is noteworthy – but also in the form of of added business in the neighbourhood.
“In the future of work, life is important -where you eat, where you hangout, where you have drinks after work, where you go to the gym, how you get from one place to another – those are very important elements to what we choose as location.”
In Singapore, for example, the nine locations of WeWork are found in neighbourhoods with access to transportation, shops, restaurants, and many other conveniences. And while the idea behind this is to ensure that it’s members could easily get what they need, it also translates to more activity and spending on local businesses.
Increased economic activity brought by the WeWork community can transform neighbourhoods, opening opportunities for more businesses to earn off of accommodating the needs of a large number of new people that WeWork often brings in (as an example, 73 per cent of New York members did not work in the neighbourhood prior to joining WeWork).
WeWork is designed to facilitate the forming of community
Accessibility is key. WeWork has designed its spaces and services to create the optimal state of being able to facilitate connections between its members.
Startups, for example, have access to a myriad of things – workspace, collaborators, potential partners, and resource. Central to this is the community.
“With our strong global network connecting our members and bridging cross-border collaborations, WeWork is helping businesses grow where 45% of our members have credited us with accelerating their company’s growth.,” said Fuad.
This means more than just helping startups expand their reach globally or addressing the corporate innovation needs of enterprises. At the end of the day, a global community collaborating means being able to develop and deliver technology solutions easier and quicker to the markets that need them the most.
For enquiries on WeWork membership, visit their website
Disclosure: This article is produced by e27 content marketing, sponsored by WeWork