Now that most of you have returned to hybrid working arrangements, I’m sure that you miss the luxury of working remotely. Gone are the days of working in your pyjamas and escaping small talk with your colleagues.
While the pandemic has brought you a small sense of relief for a while, some businesses faced troubles and suffered a major dip in profits.
Wework is a company that leases co-working spaces to individuals, small teams and even medium to large companies.
The company that was once valued at US$47 billion (S$63 billion), had recorded overall losses of US$397 million (S$538 million) in the second quarter of 2023.
The company has since filed for “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”. Since many of you reading are not businessmen in Wall Street, let me explain in layman terms what “Chapter 11 Bankruptcy” entails.
Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy that involves the reorganisation of a debtor’s business affairs, debts, and assets. Basically, the company can still stay in business while this reorganisation happens lah.
WeWork has entered into a restructuring agreement to drastically reduce its existing funded debt and intends to file bankruptcy recognition proceedings in Canada.
Singapore’s Operations Remains Business as Usual
Despite its crisis, WeWork’s locations around the world are unaffected for now unlike their US and Canada counterparts. In fact, when speaking to The Straits Times, a company spokesman said that they are still leasing their spaces and taking on new members. They do not plan to reduce headcount or cut the pay of employees in Singapore.
The company’s occupancy rate in Singapore is 82% in 2022.
WeWork’s Business in Singapore
WeWork has 14 locations in Singapore, mainly in the Central Business District (CBD). You can find these co-working spaces at Funan in North Bridge Road, Suntec Tower, Mapletree Anson and more.
Over a year ago, WeWork even launched their largest co-working office, 21 Collyer Quay, right in the heart of the CBD. The workspace occupies 21 floors in the former HSBC headquarters and holds more than 220,000 square feet.
Apart from office spaces, this building boasts living-room-style work lounges, an auditorium, a business centre and an attractive sky bar where panoramic views of our city’s skyline can be seen.
When 21 Collyer Quay was launched, Wong Xian Yang, head of research for real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield said, “Co-working spaces will continue to expand in Singapore.”
She explained that there is a shortage of Grade A office space while companies redesign their offices due to hybrid work. Hence, there would be a higher demand for co-working spaces.
These spaces are utilised as an interim while companies search for a suitable office space or while waiting for their permanent office to be renovated.
This could explain why Singapore’s locations can continue to operate as per usual.