WeWork Dublin has 1,000 people and 100 companies up and running

13 Jun 2018

A view from the first WeWork premises overlooking Harcourt Street. Image: Robbie Reynolds

WeWork building on Harcourt Street is operational, with two more similar-scale buildings coming on stream across Dublin.

Collaborative workspace player WeWork has revealed that the first of its three Dublin premises already houses 1,000 workers from 100 different companies.

Tenants at the 55,000 sq ft premises include a slew of start-ups, freelance professionals and creative firms, but also established companies such as Microsoft and cloud communications firm Twilio, which has 160 workers in situ in Iveagh Court. Twilio isn’t even the largest tenant – one unnamed tech company has 200 people now based at the WeWork space at the top of Harcourt Street.

WeWork UK and Ireland general manager Leni Zneimer told Siliconrepublic.com that WeWork is now planning to open two new similar-sized premises, one at No 2 Dublin Landings on North Wall Quay, next door to the new Central Bank of Ireland headquarters; and another at Georges Quay on the south bank of the Liffey, close to Tara Street DART station.

Each of those facilities could house a further 2,000 workers from companies attracted to this new way of working.

Build it and they will come

Inside WeWork Dublin

Image: Robbie Reynolds

We recently reported how WeWork – which hosts workspaces for more than 250,000 members in 74 cities and 22 countries – has signed a deal with property firms Ballymore and Oxley Holdings to lease 10,000 sq m of commercial office space around Dublin.

Valued at $20bn, WeWork recently acquired UK office design and fit-out company LTB and revealed plans to buy Devonshire Square, a sprawling 13-building campus in the city of London.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Zneimer said: “We now have 1,000 people in this building on Harcourt Street from 100 companies who are spread over five floors, and we are planning two more buildings of a similar size. Actually, the Dublin Landings building will be a little larger.

“Dublin has always been on our radar. It’s clearly an innovative city with so much business presence. It is a hub for tech, media, transport, and every day amazing things are happening here.

“We knew that the overall community would be receptive to having WeWork here, but as soon as we said we were coming, uptake was pretty instant. We did a lot of work engaging with the local community; it really has been wonderful.

Inside WeWork Dublin

Image: Robbie Reynolds

“Whether it is freelancers, smaller two-to-four-person companies, mid-size firms with 20 workers, right up to companies with hundreds of employees, they are really attracted by our unique blend of doing what is right for our communities.

“They are attracted by the magic of collaboration. There is a shift in the way that people are working in general and this environment doesn’t just lend itself to small start-ups any more. The smaller companies want to be just like the big guys and the larger companies want to be around environments where they can be inspired and be around smaller, creative companies.

“We design and engineer our spaces, including common spaces, hot-desking and private offices, to be a balance and mix of all of these things.”

Crucially, Zneimer said that WeWork lends itself to companies eager to scale. For example, Twilio would have more than 700 people worldwide as members using its workspaces.

Globally, WeWork has more than 1,000 enterprise members (companies with 1,000-plus employees around the world), including HSBC, Salesforce, Spotify, LinkedIn and Samsung.

“As well as the flexibility to scale, it is about being able to plug into a global network. Around 70pc of our members have actually collaborated with each in some way. Around 50pc have done transactional business with each other.

“Many of these connections were made possible through physically being in the same places but WeWork is also a global platform where you are able to reach out to a community of 250,000 people and say, for example, ‘I’m going to be in LA next week, is there anyone there who will meet me to advise me about intellectual property and can we set something up?’ That’s how it happens.”

Zneimer would not be drawn on whether WeWork is planning further locations around Ireland such as Belfast, Cork, Galway or Limerick, but said that the company researches opportunities intensively.

Guess we’ll just to watch those workspaces.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years