HR&A Partners with WeWork to Evaluate its Economic Impact and Define the Future of Work

Technology is changing the way we work faster than ever before.

In the past, workers typically worked for a single company and businesses generally operated from a single office. Today, 36% of American workers are either freelancers or entrepreneurs. Businesses are following talent back to urban areas and increasingly operating from multiple locations around the world and even within the same city.

WeWork is at the forefront of this change.

Since its founding in 2010, the company has revolutionized the way people work and created a community of over 250,000 members around the world. While WeWork’s growth story is clear, the impact it has on members, neighborhoods, and cities had yet to be quantified. HR&A Advisors partnered with WeWork to get a better understanding of its influence by assessing the company’s economic impact in three major cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Building on our experience assessing the economic impact of the Tech Ecosystem in New York City, the film and post-production industries and disruptive technologies like Airbnb, we measured WeWork’s impact using sales and census data from WeWork and publicly available data from the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Kauffman Foundation. This granular approach enabled us to examine WeWork’s impact at the member, neighborhood, and city level.
Among our favorite findings from the study, we found that:

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Source: WeWork, HR&A Analysis


Read the full report on WeWork’s website.

WeWork’s impact is undeniably significant and has far-reaching implications for how cities approach economic development. How can cities partner with innovators like WeWork to recruit new businesses? How can public schools, universities, and workforce developers tap into resources like WeWork’s Flatiron School to train the next generation of talent? What will the future of work look like and what, if anything, should cities and economic development agencies do today to shape it?

We are excited to help cities and innovators like WeWork answer these questions. By bringing together public and private resources, we can build a future of work that is better for every city and every worker.


Interested in learning about the future of work and how your city or company can prepare? Reach out to Kate Wittels, the leader of HR&A’s urban tech practice.