Last week, WeWork, a company known for the lofty goal of creating community in the office space, filed for bankruptcy. WeWork was my first job out of college, my introduction to San Francisco, and a teacher of what I value in the workplace. When I sold my WeWork shares last week at a loss of 99.65% (fortunately, a loss I can write off my taxes), I felt the end of an era in my last connection to the company.
During the company’s first attempted Initial Public Offering (IPO), investors criticized the pre IPO document that marketed itself as a product of community, not office space. Leading up to going public, WeWork was believed to be a unicorn. People asked, “is the product of “community” worth a billion dollars?” At the time, investors said no. As someone who was hired by WeWork to build community at the office, I would argue that community in the workplace is worth a lot.
The people I met through WeWork taught me to love showing up to work. My teammates taught me the power of positivity, inspiration, and support. The hundreds of members (office tenants) I got to know managing the front desk over the years taught me the magic of human connection in daily life. One of those member connections led me to One Wealth Advisors. Community at my workplace brought me a lot of fulfillment.
We spend so much of our days, our weeks, our lives, with our co-workers. I continue to be critical of the narrative “work family” to describe a company culture, however WeWork felt like all of the positive aspects of a work family. To me, families take care of one another. They act as a team, stepping up to help others and letting others help them. When I left WeWork for One Wealth Advisors, completely changing industries in the process, I knew I made the right decision because of that sentiment and those values.
Three years after I first stepped into the doors of WeWork as an intern, I accepted a job offer from David Steele and he told me on the phone “welcome to the family.”