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[dupe] The cult of WeWork (propertyweek.com)
27 points by gadders 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

I've been in my WeWork for nearly 3 years. As a (largely) solo worker it made a massive difference to my working life, and I've made the money I've spent on it many times over from meeting people there.

Some people live and breathe it. If I was 22 and an employee of someone, and still into drinking a bunch of beer every night, I'd probably live and breathe it too. Your work life and the people you meet would be better than 90% of your friends.

That said the gloss wore off for me in about 6 months. You realise you can't be 100% productive and drink beer every day. Events are great, but most of the time it just means I have to find somewhere quiet to work. Etc. Etc.

That said, I'd still recommend it in a heartbeat. I have no intention of moving unless I have to. The staff are great, the internet is super fast, and I love it at the weekend when it's mostly a big, empty quiet, well stocked building.

My two cents. I'd recommend against it, at least when abroad. As are all my coworking experiences, the reality is more akin to working at a cafe with wifi than being part of a community (but perhaps I'm the odd one out, which may or may not have to do with being about 20 years older than the others).

I was upsold my own desk at a WeWork Netherlands, when there was clearly space at the hot desks (they denied there was room for me), but due to needing a work space sooner than later, I regretably accepted the up-sell. The deposit was twice the hot desk, and while they accepted my money very quickly, getting it back was another story. It took 3 months to get my deposit back, after just one month at WeWork. They failed time and time again to fix my situation or, IMHO, to take it seriously.

The environment was nice enough, but their handling of my money turned me off from ever dealing with them again.

That's a question I've always had about WeWork (or other co-working spaces, I've never really been in one, except for events).

Do people actually really socialise and meet other people? I'd expect that people go there to work - knowing myself for example, I'd put my headphones and work without talking to anyone, because, well, I'm here to work and need to get shit done.

Can you clarify this to me? How to do you meet those people? I DO believe it'd be very valuable for me to meet and socialise with most WeWork workers, but don't really see how this happens. Except as you mentioned, through the events at night.

Yes - some people are very, very social. There are a good number of people that have drinks towards the end of the day - like any other office-y environment, you just need to take the leap to talk to people. Of course I've seen people here who never speak to anyone, but the larger percentage people do talk.

Personally - I'll come in, say my good mornings to the people I know, sit down and put headphones on and power through. Occasionally I'll go make a drink, where I may have ten minutes of screen break / water cooler chat. There's proper 'social' drinks once a week, and probably 1 or 2 other 'events'. At the drinks especially it's easy to just say "hey" and get talking. It's easier if you're a hotdesker and you see that face every day. Otherwise you'll bump into people throughout the day. You just need to chit chat - "Hey, that smells good, what is it?" / "Sorry, can I just grab the milk from behind you? ... I don't think we've met before..." etc.

I gotta say it was invaluable to me - I had maybe 5 years at home beforehand and I'd be bouncing off the walls by 6pm. Social interaction, even lightly, is very beneficial.

Hope that answers your question!

It happens just like it happens in any other office environment. Obviously, if you're the kind of person who studiously avoids talking to people at work, coworking is not going to somehow increase your socialization through other means. Generally the people who choose coworking are of the belief that they can spend some time talking to people and still get shit done (in fact if you do place value on socialization then you realize it constitutes "getting shit done" on some level).

What about breaks? You don't take any?

While I respect everything you've written the article wasn't about wework but the cult like attitude of its founder.

Why does so much of the news these days sound like the introductory chapter to a 1990s soft sci-fi novel?

Yesterday I read about Papua New Guinea establishing a cryptocurrency zone that’s exempt from local laws and can issue its own passports. Today it’s a coworking space founder who acts like a cult leader, has his own festival and wants to build entire towns owned by his company (and is funded by a shadowy Japanese conglomerate — pure William Gibson!).

Cory Doctorow once said that good sci-fi doesn't predict the future so much as it anticipates the present.

I tend to view WeWork as the AWS of Office Space. It’s hard to make real estate “sexy”, but they’ve done it. I totally see the value of the WeWork culture & community. You go to WeWork for the affordable office spaces and amenities, you stay because of the community connections you build.

That being said, this article just seems weird. Ofcourse it’s a company that’s “cult like”, if it weren’t, it’s just be another shared office space provider. WeWork is definitely tapping into something unconventional, maybe even a market that other traditional real estate guys just don’t see.

As Reid Hoffman might say, they’re Blitzscaling. Sure it may not be efficient, but if done right, WeWork will emerge as a new kind of market leader a la Amazon, Uber etc. Instead of moving to Silicon Valley, it may be that innovators around the world join a community like WeWork.

CEO's wife, on stage, sitting beside her husband: “You helped him create the biggest family in the world. A big part of being a woman is to help men [like Adam] manifest their calling in life.”

This is awkward and uncomfortable, no matter what lens by which you consider it.

I would charitably read it as her describing her own presence in her husband's life and how exactly she's there for him. I'd take it as her talking about herself as a woman, and many people do thrive in supporting roles as opposed to leadership ones. She's every right to describe what womanhood means to her.

It might still be awkward and uncomfortable to hear (I would balk at any talk of making a company be like 'family', for example), but I wouldn't take it any further than personally disagreeing with the sentiment. No one is ever going to agree on a single definition of what family means, or what men and women are here for.

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