(It’s less…much, much less…space than you think.) So far, We Work has applied this knowledge to its own locations.
But for the past year, the company has quietly been experimenting with ways to turn that data into new products for enterprise customers.
“It’s only fairly recently that we have the computing power, the memory, and the democratization of these technologies, especially in machine learning,” says Josh Emig, a bearded architect with a Roman nose.
Emig arrived at We Work in the fall of 2015, around the time that the company formalized a research and development department.
We Work manages an entire building for IBM in Greenwich Village, and it now runs Airbnb’s Berlin office as well as Amazon’s Boston office.
Soon, the company anticipates, large enterprises will outsource their office buildings to We Work, which will draw from its increasingly sophisticated data to insure that enterprise clients get the most productivity possible for the least amount of money.
To date, big companies like Microsoft or IBM have used We Work spaces in places where they don’t need to have as many employees or in areas where they believe their employees might benefit from an outside environment.
But many of those companies are now testing deeper integrations.But first, We Work must sell large companies on the promise that it can manage their space better than they can.Since the advent of computing, researchers have been attempting to calculate more efficient ways to lay out the modern office.Curious how many conference rooms are currently occupied in Charlotte, North Carolina? We Work is counting on this research to form the meat of its business and to justify its newly ordained position at the very top of an elite group of startups.Maybe you thought We Work was about hip shared offices for millennials and beer on tap, or corporate slogans in twee typeface that read “Do What You Love.” But We Work has much larger ambitions.But you won’t mind sharing it, because said employer will make sure you have a private room with green leafy plants, soundproof walls, and warm light between 2 and p.m. At p.m., when you need a conference room for the product managers’ meeting, you won’t even have to book it. And everyone attending remotely will already be invited.“This isn’t right away, of course,” David Fano tells me.