WeWork plans to offer back-up workspaces

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A WeWork logo is seen at a WeWork office in San Francisco, California, Sept. 30, 2019. -- REUTERS

By Jenina P. Ibañez

WEWORK Companies, Inc. seeks to offer back-up flexible workspaces to assist Philippine companies with business continuity plans (BCP) in disruptive situations.

Turochas Fuad, WeWork Southeast Asia and Korea managing director, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Monday that the company ceased support across its Philippine locations.

Only select industries are allowed to operate in their facilities or offices within the enhanced community quarantine.

“Closely aligned with the government’s directives, WeWork has since ceased community and cleaning support across all locations. Members have also been strongly encouraged to abide by the government measures and work from home,” he said.

He said the company is looking into its offerings to help companies with both the current situation and future disruptive scenarios.

“In view of the current situation, we are still seeing a healthy momentum of demand through increase in proactive conversations from our members and non-members in better understanding the importance and relevance of space-as-a-service as part of their BCP strategy.”

He said WeWork is adapting its swing spaces or short to long-term solutions offerings to give companies the space to scale up or down and mobilize their workforce.

“In the event of a disruptive situation, having a back-up workspace is crucial as part of a macro BCP strategy where companies can relocate their teams to maintain business operations.”

He said the spaces can be a recovery asset, as companies that under or overestimate real estate needs can experience “huge opportunity costs.”

In an e-mail to brokers and clients, WeWork Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani said the company is evaluating changing its floor layouts to support social distancing, including “every other” desk occupancy in private offices and reduced lounge and common space capacity.

“We will post new recommended capacity load signage and messaging at entrances to each room,” he said, noting that the spaces will have regular cleaning and will put up sanitation stations.

Mr. Fuad said the company is working with each of their Philippine location’s building management for hygiene measures.

WeWork Companies, Inc., Bloomberg reported, does not expect to hit its 2020 financial targets due to the outbreak. The company’s plans for an initial public offering last year failed.

WeWork Philippines has suspended all its internal and member events, and has implemented work from home measures for employees.

WeWork has five Metro Manila locations, including Menarco Tower, Uptown Bonifacio Tower Three, Milestone at 5th Avenue, and Brilliance Center in Taguig City as well as RCBC Plaza in Makati City.