Co-Working Provider WeWork Expands Into Fitness

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NEW YORK, United States —  Co-working space provider WeWork is gradually expanding into the realm of fitness by offering workout classes inside select New York outposts.

According to Quartz, the seven-year-old company plans to open a permanent gym at 85 Broad Street in New York, where it currently operates a co-working space. The proposed facility will also house yoga studios, a sauna and a meditation room, a source close to the company told The Real Deal.

Listing a job vacancy for the new initiative on its website, WeWork references how its successful co-working model could shape the gym concept, known as WeWork Wellness.

“In other gyms, everyone is working on themselves, and that manifests in an environment that can be intimidating and isolating,” the job description states. “At 85 Broad, we believe that charting your own path to fulfillment and motivating for holistic health go hand-in-hand with ‘affiliation’ (social bonds).”

In the run up to the gym’s launch, both WeWork members and non-members can sign up for fitness classes such as spinning, yoga and kickboxing, which currently take place in spaces including common areas and rooftop decks. The classes, ranging in price from free to $20, can be booked via Eventbrite and ClassPass, as well as a dedicated iPhone app.

On track to hit $1 billion in annual revenue this year, WeWork is currently rumoured to be raising a new round of funding which would increase its valuation to $20 billion. Arguing that its brand and membership base can be leveraged to power other types of businesses, over the past year the company has launched a number of new services. The most recent, an app store, offers over 100 business services, including Office 360, Slack, and Xero, which members in the US can purchase at discounted rates. However, the company’s CEO Artie Minson had hinted at a possible fitness offering earlier this year,

Speaking to Quartz in April, Minson explained that a good way to understand where WeWork might attempt to expand next, would be to think, “What support services do people need? Travel, software, life services? Do they need credit card, banking, wellness, education, services? They could need help with insurance, payroll, digital and so on.”

In fact, expanding into wellness is perhaps one of the more obvious choices for a business selling the notion of community and shared experiences.

“The more people feel that they can get from WeWork— that they can get that ‘business in a box’ solution— the more people are attracted to WeWork,” Minson told Quartz last year. By throwing wellness into the mix, the hope is that when people come to WeWork they’ll never want to leave.

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