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Knotel vs. WeWork

September 10, 2019 | by
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Tootell

Knotel vs. WeWork – what do these companies have in common?

At a time of booming global entrepreneurship, when start-ups are sprouting up everywhere, the search for the perfect office space can be very challenging. Uncertain how to find the ideal office space to fit a growing company’s needs, many now turn to a workspace provider for help. Two of the most successful businesses currently dominating this space are WeWork and Knotel.

Each of these workspace providers is busily snapping up office buildings around the world. In turn they rent them out – often complete with support staff and furniture – to businesses with lease term flexibility that is not usually provided by your typical landlord. 

Flexible Offices in NYC

New York City is by far the largest city in the U.S., and is a haven for numerous industries ranging from tech to finance. It’s not a wonder that WeWork and Knotel both began there. Finding office space in NYC can be a harrowing process for a company. Companies often feel forced to take on long leases in spaces that might not actually suit them in the long-term. 

As a result of this high demand for flexible office space in NYC, there is a need for services like WeWork and Knotel. Both offer alternatives to the traditional office space search—and both of these companies are buying up NYC real estate at top speed. The Commercial Observer reported recently that as of the summer of 2019, Knotel had purchased its 100th NYC building, bringing its total square footage in the city up to 2.5 million. And boasting nearly twice that square footage, WeWork is now New York City’s largest office tenant. 

Knotel vs. WeWork

While Knotel and WeWork have similarities and are in heavy competition with each other, they are not identical.

What do Knotel and WeWork have in common? Some of the characteristics that WeWork and Knotel do have in common include offering the following:

  • Customized commercial real estate tailored to a business’s particular brand or needs
  • Ready-to-move-in office spaces
  • Locations in 100+ cities around the globe

What is the difference between Knotel and WeWork? Some of the most notable differences include:

  • WeWork also provides coworking spaces that particularly appeal to freelancers and entrepreneurs
  • Knotel has put more focus on serving larger businesses
  • WeWork has more square footage to rent overall, though Knotel is working fast to catch up 

Full Service Office Space

WeWork and Knotel have found great success in offering full service office space to companies of all sizes. They both recognized a demand in the market for scalable office solutions that take the pain out of office rentals. WeWork and Knotel work with clients to find a space among their offerings that meets their location needs and has the right design to fit their brand.

Knotel, for example, makes clever use of modular furniture and other pieces, allowing them to quickly and easily design a custom office space that also leaves room for a company’s evolving needs.

Both of these flexible space providers offer a range of full service office space amenities that enable companies to focus on their work, rather than worrying about day-to-day office management needs. These amenities include everything from security services to a stocked kitchen, covering all the important bases that are expected from a workspace provider.  

Coworking Space

When it comes to the question of Knotel vs WeWork, it must be noted that WeWork is the only one that also specializes in providing coworking space. In fact, WeWork began specifically as a company offering shared office space. Their coworking spaces are mostly aimed at freelancers and other individual workers who want access to some of the advantages of an office environment. Some freelancers also find it an antidote to the isolation of working from home.

Start-ups with small teams also like to take advantage of coworking spaces, since they offer flexibility at a time when a company’s staff is in flux. With the shifts in personnel that a growing company inevitably experiences, it really helps to function in an office space that can accommodate staff changes. 

Coworking spaces also offer users many of the amenities of a typical office, without the financial and organizational responsibilities that would come with running your own office. For those renting coworking desk space, WeWork provides amenities like high-speed wifi, kitchenette and conference room access, common areas, front desk reception, package handling, and more.

Is Knotel Overtaking WeWork?

Founded in 2010, WeWork has been in operation much longer than its rival. WeWork’s range of services and real estate offerings are broader—but Knotel has been moving forward at lightning speed. Much of the industry buzz lately has focused on Knotel’s quick ascendance and increasing competitiveness with WeWork. As TechCrunch reported in August 2019, Knotel just completed $400 million in funding, which will give the company the ability to vastly expand its footprint. 

As a thriving workspace provider that offers office space in NYC and other major global cities, Knotel has also distinguished itself by focusing on serving big-company clients like Starbucks, Microsoft, and AT&T. Naturally, being known as the office space provider for huge, well-known names like those gives Knotel a further boost in the industry. 

The Winner of Knotel vs WeWork

So, in the battle of Knotel vs WeWork, is there a clear winner? That really remains to be seen. WeWork is set to go public soon, and so far there are extreme opinions in both directions as to whether or not the IPO will be successful.While Knotel is obviously on the rise, could it be growing too fast at a time when fears of a recession are looming?

We don’t know which company will ultimately come out on top. However it is clear that both of these full service office space providers are meeting a significant need by offering something different from traditional office space solutions.

Other Flexible Space Options

If you are looking for flexible space solutions, you have a variety of options available to you in addition to WeWork and Knotel. For example, PivotDesk, a shared space marketplace (think AirBnB for office space), connects you with companies with extra space in their offices for rent. If you are looking for flexibility but want a space of your own, FLEX by SquareFoot allows you to rent the office of your choosing — on your lease terms.

How Can We Help?

SquareFoot is a new kind of commercial real estate company. Our easy-to-use technology and responsive team of real estate professionals delivers the most transparent, flexible experience in the market. Get in touch to start your search today.

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