Aug 25, 2021 - Economy

WeWork expands hour-at-a-time office bookings

Illustration of person holding a phone with an uber-like app with an office chair

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork's OnDemand product that lets anyone book office space for an hour at a time is going international, expanding from the U.S. to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and Australia.

The big picture: The pandemic has given rise to a remote and hybrid work revolution, but that doesn't always mean working from home. WeWork is betting that "third workplaces" — like its offices around the world — will become hotspots for teleworkers.

The backdrop: The rise of telework initially seemed disastrous for WeWork, which has invested piles of cash into perk-laden office spaces.

  • But the firm is attempting to future-proof by pivoting from big, long leases for entire companies to an "Uber-for-office-space" model designed for individuals.
  • "Third workplaces" are becoming increasingly important as the Delta variant continues to disrupt work and school, and corporate burnout intensifies.
    • Employees need quiet workspaces where they can escape family members or roommates and the pressures of home. Many companies have already started reimbursing remote employees who book space at local WeWorks.

Among the cities where OnDemand is opening: London; Manchester, England; Dublin; Singapore; and Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Australia.

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