Fostering the Creation of CommunitiesSat, 12/01/2018 - 16:47
Q: After one year operating in Mexico, how has the market received WeWork’s offering?
A: Our first location had a capacity for 1,500 people. One year later, we have opened five locations, we have approximately 8,500 members and we expect to reach 10,000 members before the end of 2017. The company’s growth in Mexico is among the fastest WeWork has experienced. This has a lot to do with the fact that we have learned since launching operations seven years ago how to grow more quickly. Mexico City has been incredibly receptive and has easily accepted the experience WeWork brings to the market.
Q: How does the labor ecosystem in Mexico City compare to that in other cities of the country?
A: We see Mexico City as a global business center and a bridge to the rest of Latin America, which is why multinational companies want to have a presence here. Our approach has always been to open in world capitals and once stationed there, to connect to other cities in those countries. On several occasions, our members have told us where they need us to be. That was the case of the members in our Miami offices who asked us to open locations in Mexico City. Now that we have operations here we are seeing the same phenomenon happening, and that is why we continue opening so many locations in Latin America.
Q: What added value does WeWork offer to companies and professionals using its spaces?
A: WeWork’s priority is the community we are building, which means that the entire infrastructure we are developing is designed to foster the creation of this community. The idea is for our members to find in a single space an entire team focused on understanding the needs of their business. Our technology supplements this understanding. It allows us to connect our 8,500 members in Mexico to our 150,000 global members and to our infrastructure, both digital and physical. This means that if one of our members in Mexico has to travel to Shanghai or Berlin or London, they can go to the WeWork space in that city and the local community will receive them. We intend to add multiple locations each month around the world, meaning that our 150,000-strong community will continue growing. What differentiates us is our focus on community and our global infrastructure.
Q: What other trends do you perceive in the labor market?
A: We have discovered a change in people’s mindset in the way they want to work. Not necessarily in the physical spaces but that people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in an environment where they can share and get to know other people who contribute to their work. One of the most important transformations we have seen is that people do not want to divide their life in two: the working part and the actually part of living life. The line between work and life is becoming blurred and people want to do something that thrills them when they are working and that provides them with a road to self-realization. This shift in mentality, of wanting to be something bigger than your work, is part of the change and it is something that we are perceiving everywhere. The more you feel you are doing something important, something that adds value to the community, you feel more fulfilled as a person. This transformation and trend is not precisely related to a physical space. That’s why WeWork’s mission is helping people create a life, not a living.
Q: How do you convince large traditional corporations of the value WeWork can offer to their operations?
A: When WeWork started, we were mostly associated with startups and early-stage technology companies. Now, we are attracting every kind of business. At the end of the day, big companies or corporations are made up of people and these people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Hence, companies understand that their future depends on the talent they can recruit. Having a set-up in spaces like WeWork allows them to recruit and retain better talent, since it is a space where people want to be and where they feel more comfortable.