WeWork, recently re-branded as The We Company and is once again transforming the workplace. Now the largest occupier of office space in Manhattan is revamping its app to enable its nearly 500,000 members to offer up their skills and services to others in the network.
In a series of software updates expected to be released in the coming months, the app will streamline reservation processes, enable members to connect professionally and offer their services and products to one another.
The company says the member app, which was originally designed to serve as a social networking site and reserve conference rooms and desk space, needed to do more.
“It turns out that people didn’t want just another social network,” said Andy Palmer WeWork’s vice president of digital product. “What they were really looking for was a way of solving work-related problems.”
Improvements to the app will include the ability for members to scroll through available rooms and choose with a single tap.
“We found during our research that about 40% of members booking rooms want one immediately, and 80% want one for that day. The current app was not built to handle that effectively,” said Palmer whose team interviewed hundreds of members and used machine-learning to examine more than 100,000 posts to derive insights from which to build the app’s new features.
WeWork’s app solves workplace problems
Members also indicated that they wanted to know more about where to connect with like-minded people and get advice from experts in their fields, the new app features push notifications that send information about events based on their specific area of interest identified by members and enables them to connect to experts with relevant experience and advertise services and products.
Compared with tenant branded apps offered by commercial brokerages like CBRE and others, WeWork’s app offers a much wider range of industry experts and professionals to connect with.
The new features are likely to be big game-changers for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small companies that make up more than 30% of WeWork’s membership base and among a series of recent steps the company has taken to propel the base.
Last month, WeWork launched its first membership free co-working retail site where it now sells member merchandise and products. WeWork also announced the acquisition of Euclid, a platform which tracks workplace productivity and occupant use patterns just last week.
Although WeWork says the changes are aimed at fostering collaboration among its member community, they also present an opportunity to collect data from users about their work habits and lifestyle preferences.
While it remains to be seen exactly how these changes will play out in the future, one thing is clear- WeWork is well on its path towards transforming the workplace.