Clearly, workers and management don’t see eye to eye on the virtues of ditching the couch for the office cubicle. Is there a third way? A familiar if egg-splattered face from a less contentious workspace era thinks so.
WeWork, which offers employees a way to return to the office without returning to the office, announced on Tuesday a partnership with Latch, which provides enterprise software to residential buildings. Under the arrangement, New York City residents of Latch buildings will receive a free subscription to WeWork’s all-access membership program. Smart homes. Shared office space. You get it.
The Third Rail of Office Politics
Latch, which began first as an app-controlled home-locking company in 2014 before expanding to all sorts of smart home and building management bells and whistles, rode the SPAC wave to a public listing in June of 2021, and it’s been downhill since. Its stock price, which hasn’t traded above $1.50 since early this summer, is down nearly 90% all-time.
At least with WeWork, Latch gets the benefit of a partner that for all its infamy still has brand-name appeal. And Latch residents get some fancy perks:
- Latch users in New York will earn a free All Access WeWork membership, which runs the typical customer $299 a month plus taxes and grants 24/7 access to all of WeWork’s hundreds of locations across the globe.
- The program will first be available to select Latch-connected New York City apartment building residents, before expanding across the city and — eventually, according to a press release — to Latch users worldwide.
Remote Control: The partnership comes just as the return-to-office battles are heating up. According to Bank of America’s newest Home Work survey, 43% of 30 to 40-year-olds said they were working from home for the majority of the work week in September, down from 55% in June. With summer over, and kids going back to school, perhaps management everywhere is wondering why parents can’t bring themselves to do the same.