Regional News

The architect of the shared offices Miguel McKelvey, visits Argentina

By Silvia Castro Betancourt 0 Comments NEWS, Regional News
WeWork co-founder and architect Miguel McKelvey

WeWork co-founder and architect Miguel McKelvey

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

The co-founder of WeWork visited Buenos Aires and talked about how the sociability of Argentines is perfect for their model.

In recent years in Buenos Aires, freelancers left the cafeteria and entrepreneurs stopped renting private offices. Even companies are changing their minds in the midst of the transformation of the workplace: the trend of coworking, shared work spaces, came to the city to stay and WeWork is the international reference that came to the country to settle the model.

The company that took its first steps in New York -where it has 40 rented buildings to sublease its customers- already has two spaces in Buenos Aires, one in Retiro and another in Olivos. Next month, WeWork will open a third place in Cañitas and, in the future, a fourth space of 36,000 square meters. It will be the largest building of the brand in Latin America.

In 2019 the WeWork plans to have eight buildings and, in the midst of the expansion, WeWork co-founder and architect Miguel McKelvey visited Buenos Aires and spoke exclusively with the nation.

Why do you think Buenos Aires is a good market to disembark?

The Argentines are very social and that is part of our structure. Connecting is a value, not only for the business, but for how life and work are intrinsically related. It is seen that the spirit is aligned with that of the Argentines. In addition, Buenos Aires has a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. We want to support businesses of all sizes and be a place for people to meet, even when times are tough.

In Argentina the macroeconomic context is not the best. How does it impact the business of coworking spaces? Are there more clients because companies reduce their private office space?

The important thing is to see where the chance of success is when things are complicated. And we think that this opportunity is when you can look to the right or to the left and find other people who will support you in those moments. Able to do business together, able to connect you with another person ... or capable is just an ear to think the challenges together. I think that, regardless of whether the economy is good or bad, it is always good to be connected: that is the strength of the community, and not only in business.

At that time in the United States, could not you see a trend?

We do not need proof of what happens because in reality our business continued to be successful despite the economic context. Here in Buenos Aires our buildings are complete and the same happens when we get to any city.

Does your model transcend crises?

Somehow, yes. We are still very young, very new. So far we have this evidence: the buildings are at full capacity. We also see good numbers in internal growth, that is, many companies that take more space in our buildings. But it is difficult to know what would happen if they were not inside our space, so there is no point of comparison.

Do they work with buildings on demand with developers?

Not yet but we would love to have that opportunity to also play a role in the design process.

And is the rental and subletting model profitable? Do you plan to try another model?

Until the moment we found this rental model very fast, easy and profitable because entering from the beginning into real estate developments would require a much longer timescale.

What kind of buildings are you looking for today?

The best scenario is to be bright and have air. The important thing is that it gives you the feeling of well-being. The goal is for people to come into the office and think that they love coming every day. We want buildings to have personality. When we first started we saw that the restaurants, the hotels had good designs, but the offices were boring, and we wanted to bring some of that flavor to the offices. A desirable building also has a good location and is well connected in terms of transportation. In addition, we are interested in having life around, such as bars or restaurants, or a green space for them to enjoy after work.

What is the role of the community manager in your buildings? Is it like an evolution of the facility manager?

Your job is to serve members not only to help them technically but also to connect them with other members. He is your host at events, he knows them well to know what each one is doing and thinks which person can help them go further.

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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