Claire Rowell


Claire Rowell

Claire Rowell is a Workplace Researcher and Strategist for WeWork’s Powered by We business. Using social research, Claire supports WeWork’s member companies in bringing insights and innovation to how physical space, experience design, and community activation can enable individuals and teams to do their best work.

Before moving to WeWork, Claire was the Managing Director of PLASTARC, a workplace innovation firm helping clients leverage their spaces for optimal employee experience and performance.

Claire has a background is in Cultural Anthropology with professional experience working at the intersection of Workplace Experience, Architecture & Design, and Change Management.

About WeWork

WeWork is a platform for creators, providing over 400,000 members around the world with space, community, and services through both physical and digital offerings. Founded in 2010 in New York, WeWork currently has 400 physical locations in 100 cities and 26 countries around the world. In Australia, WeWork currently has over 10,000 members in twelve open locations across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane with another five announced, including its first location in Perth.

WeWork provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life, not just a living. WeWork currently has 1,000+ enterprise member companies (businesses with at least 1000 employees around the world), representing over 30% of WeWork’s total membership.

How do People at WeWork Eat Lunch? Workplace Anthropology & The Social Science of Space

At WeWork, we’ve created the physical-world equivalent of a digital platform, which provides organizations of any size with flexible space, on-demand services and a global community. Three key elements support this vision: highly intentional design, warm hospitality, and flexible solutions that enable people, teams and companies to do their best work. Theories anchored in social science - such as proximity, consistency & familiarity, prospect & refuge, and identity - and understood through research inside WeWork’s walls, drive the continual improvement of the product and experience.

WeWork uses human centered research at many scales - from topical studies across buildings to exploratory client discovery. Gleaning insights from mixed methods, research at WeWork helps explore both the marketplace supply and demand, as well as deeper topics from like how different cultures eat their lunch and the effects of staircases on relationships.

The objective? To deliver an exceptional people-focused workplace experience in WeWork spaces around the world by using human-centered, evidence-based insights.

Examples from WeWork will set the stage for a discussion of social research, workplace experience, and continual improvement.

Key Insights:

  • Meeting habits varies cross-culturally, including preferences around size, features, and booking habits associated with them.
  • Pantries are petri dishes of culture: How workplace dining habits vary across cultures.
  • An internal staircase—where it’s located inside a building, how visible it is from nearby, which amenities it connects to—makes a difference in friendships between members.

Key Takeaways:

  • How WeWork is using human-centered research insights to inform and improve workplace experience
  • The ways you can take a fresh perspective on research to improve your workplace
  • Creative ways to turn user feedback into action
  • Insight into future workplace trends

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