When a steam pipe in New York’s City’s Flatiron district exploded in July, many of the surrounding buildings were shut down for several days. Dan Reich, CEO of Troops, a company that makes automated collaboration software for sales teams, couldn’t get into his office.
“We would have had to work from home,” he told me. “We had nowhere to go.” Luckily, he says, he was renting his office through WeWork, and so he dispersed his team to desks across the coworking network for the week. Troops is the first company to take advantage of a new WeWork offering for medium-sized companies. Rather than renting an office or a floor at a WeWork proper or having WeWork build and operate a previously leased office space, as it does for enterprises, companies with 11-250 employees can now get an individual office space through WeWork. Think of it as WeWork à la carte.
The service, now called HQ by WeWork, officially launches today. “For the longest time we’ve been enabling companies to take full floors at a WeWork, but it was kind of a hack,” says Dave Fano, head of growth at WeWork.
To accommodate mid-sized businesses, WeWork is leasing spaces in realm of 5,000 to 6,000 square feet, as opposed to whole buildings. Companies that lease these spaces through WeWork will have a membership to the whole WeWork platform, enabling them to, say, book conference rooms outside their immediate office or attend WeWork sponsored events. WeWork will also maintain the office spaces it rents. The company will handle cleaning, plant watering, and coffee services. Unlike with its other properties, there will be no full-time staff member on location running the office. The product is pitched as a slimmed-down version of a typical WeWork. “We’re calling it ‘service light,'” says Fano.