Shared office space company WeWork starts facilities management service

By By Herbert Lash Features Reuters

FILE PHOTO - A mug bears the name of WeWork is seen at its flagship location in Hong Kong, China February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Shared office space company WeWork Cos is starting to expand with a broader real estate facilities management service, it said on Wednesday.

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WeWork is building on what it calls "on-site services" that began with an unnamed corporate client in Chicago that is reducing its leased space to two floors from three, said David Fano, the New York-based company's chief product officer.

Fano said the new enterprise was "still not fully integrated, still not real estate services in a box."

WeWork, the largest leaser of new U.S. office space for the past three years, said it could reduce both costs and time to build an office, while using an in-house design team that will optimize space and create a floor plan that improves employee interaction.

"We've got certain beliefs, philosophies of what it takes to make a highly energized work environment," Fano told reporters at a news conference, "and often times that means reducing your footprint, getting people to work a little more closely."

WeWork has become a multibillion-dollar real estate company by offering start-ups communal office for a monthly fee, allowing them to expand or reduce both headcount and number of desks easily.

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About 22 percent of its customers are now companies with more than 500 people, a client base WeWork is targeting for growth potential. It operates in 135 locations spread across 44 cities in 14 countries.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)