[Case Study] Streaming Company-Wide Meetings: How WeWork Stays Connected
“Our mission is to enable people to work to create a life, not just a living.” This is how Nick Nienaber describes WeWork, the transformative community platform for creators of all kinds. WeWork, based in New York City, provides the space, community and services that are needed to create more meaningful connections in work, life and play. WeWork has over 140 locations open across 44 cities across 15 countries worldwide, and over 2,000 full-time employees.
Streaming Company-Wide Meetings
Companies of every size need a consistent, reliable way to connect with their employees. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, engaged employees report 31% higher productivity than their less-engaged counterparts. Keeping the lines of communication open is more than a best practice – it’s a necessity.
Nowhere is this more apparent than at WeWork. Conversations from their New York headquarters need to reach the entire community, in all 15 countries. “It’s really important to make sure the all-hands meetings are easy to access,” Nienaber stresses, “and as smooth and as informative as possible, especially when you’re operating globally.”
Initially, WeWork’s all-company meetings were conducted over a two-way video conferencing platform. Although this workflow was difficult, it wasn’t impossible to manage. Then WeWork began to scale at a much faster rate, hiring employees in different continents, and it was clear the company needed a new solution.
Finding the Right Video Solution
Introducing live video into an office environment is more common than you’d think. Live video is more personable and engaging, combining the spontaneity of an in-person presentation with the reach of social media. Eye contact, body language and gestures are how we communicate with one another, which is something a company-wide email can’t replicate. Real-time video signals to employees that they are part of a conversation, not a lecture. There’s a good chance your message can get lost in translation if you’re only communicating with plain text or intermittent announcements.
In WeWork’s case, it was obvious that it was time to pivot to a video conferencing solution that was fast, flexible, and reliable. WeWork now uses Livestream to stream all-company meetings and archives them for easy distribution.
Accommodating New Team Members
Juggling hundreds of participants on a video conferencing call was an unsustainable strategy. Often employees would report difficulty connecting to the conference, and there was no guarantee that the call was secure. “It was either tricky to manage credentials with passwords, or it was just the open link,” Neinaber says, adding, “Now, we embed the Livestream player onto our own portal – WeConnect – and it’s only accessible to employees, which also solves a security issue we had under conferencing.”
Livestream handles the archiving on the backend, freeing up Nienaber and his team to focus on other priorities. “On Livestream, video is available literally seconds after the event is finished.” After switching to Livestream, WeWork’s all-company meetings experienced an immediate boost in viewership.
New York and Beyond
Nienaber was impressed with the Livestream Support team’s insight and problem-solving skills. “Knowing that Livestream is local, knowing that we have a good partnership, and knowing that we have support when we need it is a huge plus for us too,” he says.
As WeWork continues to expand, Nienaber is exploring new use cases for the technology. The ease at which employees can access their all-company meetings has inspired similar initiatives across WeWork’s family of offices. “We’ve gotten such good feedback with Livestream,” Nienaber said, “and some of our regional branches have asked us can we use Livestream for their regional team meetings.” Other teams are looking to adopt Livestream for public-facing events and regional meetings.
Although WeWork’s headquarters are in New York City, employees around the world stay in sync. When your presence is expanding globally at a fast rate, “all-company meetings become really critical,” Nienaber stressed. The most important factor, above all, is “to create and maintain that sense of community with employees.”