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What WeWork's bankruptcy means for the future of coworking spaces

People walk out of the co-working space WeWork in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn in New York City.
People walk out of the co-working space WeWork in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn in New York City.

WeWork – the shared office space company – was once hailed as a revolutionary way to work, with a $47 billion valuation to match.

But earlier this month, the company filed for bankruptcy.

In said filing, WeWork reported more than $18 billion in debt and around $100 million in unpaid rent.

It’s the latest in a series of financial pitfalls the company has suffered since 2019 when its valuation dropped 7-fold, it laid off thousands of its staff, and it fired its founder and CEO Adam Neumann.

And while the bankruptcy may be the final nail in WeWork’s proverbial coffin, many other coworking spaces have cropped up all around the country.

An analysis by LinkedIn estimates the coworking space market to be around $14 billion globally, and is projected to soar in years to come.

But with remote work levels tapering off from their pandemic peaks, what does the future of remote work look like? And how do coworking spaces fit into that future?

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Lauren Hamilton