With the office market in limbo, WeWork has launched a pay-as-you-go offering that allows users to drop in for as little as an hour (and $10).
A source familiar with WeWork’s new “On Demand” program said it’s being piloted for the next 60 days in New York City. As companies reopen for business, it reflects a growing demand for a “third place” to work — in other words, a flexible space that is neither home nor office.
In an email obtained by The Real Deal, WeWork said On Demand is available at 12 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Users can book a workspace for $29 per day or a meeting room for $10 per hour. Membership is not required.
It’s not the first time WeWork has tried its hand at hourly workspaces — a model associated with Breather, a VC-backed on-demand workplace startup that ran into financial trouble last year.
WeWork previously offered a flexible option at WeWork Now, a retail location at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron district. The location closed in May as WeWork divested non-core businesses.
WeWork announced its new On Demand program to former members of WeWork Now on Monday. A source familiar with the offering said On Demand is focused outside of WeWork’s existing members.
In general, flex-office providers say they are poised to help companies bring employees back to the office by offering ancillary locations for some of their employees. Serendipity Labs, for example, which operates in suburban markets, offered an interchangeable subscription during the month of May.
Even as WeWork grapples with the loss of some tenants, including VC-backed startups that are struggling with fallout from coronavirus, the company is courting big corporations, CEO Sandeep Mathrani told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. In June, large companies accounted for 65 percent of new customers. “If you want to continue to grow faster, the additional demand comes from enterprise businesses,” Mathrani said.
The embattled co-working company slashed 8,000 jobs and is looking to terminate a chunk of its leases. After a series of painful cuts, the company is on track to be profitable by the end of 2021, executive chairman Marcelo Claure told the Financial Times in July. Covid sent demand for private spaces “through the roof,” he said.