The jury’s out on whether WeWork needs Adam Neumann – but the flex sector no longer needs WeWork

Adam Neumann has once again made headlines in recent weeks for his $500 million bid to buy back WeWork.

It’s a move that has proved rather divisive, with some dismissing the ousted co-founder's input as inconsequential at this stage, while others question if it's the Hail Mary the struggling workspace operator needs.

There’s been much to-ing and fro-ing in past months on whether WeWork will emerge from its mighty fall from grace, but here’s the thing many are missing: while the sector does have much to thank WeWork’s legacy for, flex space will do just fine without it.

Take London, for example. In 2024, hundreds of flex spaces are proliferating across the city, managed by dozens of both established and emerging flex operators. What’s more, sites WeWork has exited from are being readily snapped up by these same operators, something NCG has witnessed time and again as we work with them to migrate their infrastructure.

And it’s not just the market that’s matured beyond WeWork, it’s the offering; there’s much the sector has learned. In terms of relationships between operators and building owners, management agreements are increasingly popular over tenancies, so landlords’ hands aren’t cuffed behind their backs as chaos ensues a la WeWork. Meanwhile, the spaces themselves are at their very best, perfectly adapted to the evolved needs of the modern workforce – increased flexibility and scalability, improved community management and upgraded tech are just a few examples.

Simply put, the flex sector is not WeWork – and it’s high time we stopped defining it by a non-representative single entity.