January 27, 2023

A Culture That Works: Territory Vice President of WeWork Elton Kwok | Episode 17 of Twist of Fate 

A Culture That Works: Territory Vice President of WeWork Elton Kwok | Episode 17 of Twist of Fate 

Entrepreneurs who are just getting their feet wet will have a lot of questions about how and where to spend their money. Some will want to conserve every last dime, others will classify nearly every expense as an investment in their future. As always, there’s a balance that needs to be struck in those critical early days. Douglas Younger III, the host of the Twist of Fate podcast, sat down to talk to Elton Kwok, WeWork’s Territory VP for CA, about how spending money for office space can actually net more  than people realize. 

Professional Culture 

Home, hotels, Airbnbs, coffee shops, the beach: the internet has made it possible for us to work nearly anywhere. As a small business owner, the instinct can be to put the money you would have invested in office space into more pressing matters of the business. But Doug points out that this is flawed logic. A place like WeWork is more than just office space. It’s a professional culture that inspires you to put in the hours. It’s a professional place to bring clients, one where you won’t have to worry about spilled coffee or waiters interrupting the most pivotal part of the conversation. 

As a small business owner himself, Doug was impressed at how much more productive he and his team became once they invested in a WeWork. This is exactly what WeWork’s employees want to hear. Kwok is a first-generation college graduate born to immigrant parents in Los Angeles, and he was inspired by what WeWork wanted to do. It was what led him to jump ship from an unfulfilling bank job to a company that promised real joy in the daily grind. 

A Place for Everyone 

When Kwok was still in his corporate life, he stumbled across some very happy people coming out of a building. Their smiles were the first introduction he had to the company, and it’s a reaction he’s used to after his own twist of fate led him out of his chosen career and into WeWork.

Since then, he’s seen people utilize WeWork spaces for multiple reasons. Students come because they like it more than the union or the library. Small business owners come to pursue their dreams, whatever they happen to be. Even larger companies will buy WeWork space for on-the-go employees or remote clients. 

As simple as it sounds to say “I’ll just work from home” or “I’ll work from the hotel”, the realities are very different. Equipment malfunctions, distractions arise, you need to host a one-off event: it can start to feel like a conspiracy if you don’t have anywhere else to turn to. WeWork set off to solve this problem, and they’ve been very effective at it.

WeWork created a place where people could build professional relationships in an exciting place. Since the pandemic, they’re focused on targeted growth in the cities and towns that can truly utilize the space. The company is also introducing more perks, like Happy Hours that help workers engage on multiple levels. (Decision-makers rely on feedback at each location, meaning each office space has its own flair.)

Above all else, investing in office space means bringing people together in a reliable and safe place. For as common as it these days to work from home, the reality is that there’s no substitution for being with the same people in the same place day after day. Even for a solo entrepreneur, it helps to be surrounded by positive energy and a clean, professional environment. For entrepreneurs trying to make something happen, it may be the most important investment they make. 


Become a guest

Embark on an entrepreneurial odyssey with Twist Of Fate: A Small Business Podcast. Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Or on a quest for reinvention? Dive into small business insights with our episodes, explore our blogs, join our Patreon, or seize the opportunity to be a guest on our show, sharing your tale of inspiration with a like-minded community.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.