WeWork made its name renting shared office spaces to startups and other small companies in trendy buildings with fruit water and ping-pong tables. But in a bid to lure larger and more mature clients, WeWork is testing a new business proposition: offices for companies that, when it comes to the workplace, don’t actually want to share.
In recent months, WeWork has begun providing design, construction, and management services to “enterprise” clients who want a workplace with the company’s signature amenities and flair, but would rather pay WeWork to customize their space than lease one of its shared offices.
“What we’re seeing is that large companies want to be small,” Dave Fano, WeWork’s chief product officer, told press at a breakfast in downtown Manhattan this morning. “What they really want is that space as a service,” he added, riffing on “software as a service” (SaaS), a popular bit of jargon in the tech industry to describe software that’s licensed on a subscription basis rather than owned. “Community managers, fruit water, coffee—they get the full experience.”
WeWork decided to test an enterprise option after noticing that several companies had booked entire floors in its existing locations, effectively carving out their own offices. WeWork currently has 30 floors among its more than 135 locations that are rented out by single clients, or “members.” It has
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