A Few Thoughts on the WeWork Beef



If you follow coworking on social media, you’ve likely see the news that WeWork is no longer paying for meat for its employees. As Fast Company reports, the company has “instituted a new policy that employees will not be allowed to expense meals including poultry, pork, or beef, nor will the company pay for meat at any of its events.”

The word came down from WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey, who announced via email that, “New research indicates that avoiding meat is one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their personal environmental impact, even more than switching to a hybrid car.”

Planetary Thinking and Ass-Backward Values

As a longtime vegetarian, I can’t argue with the fact that reducing or eliminating meat intake is good for the planet.

That being said, it strikes me as ass-backwards that a company that has aggressively poached members of other coworking spaces, sued to prevent any other workspaces from using “we” or “work” in their name, lured members with ridiculous offers of free membership and basically elevated predatory capitalism tactics in the workspace industry, is now some kind of social purpose company.

Oh So Uber

Yes, this is eco rather than social, and the company is making moves to reduce plastic, but what does that mean on the heels of horrendous practices and a really questionable cultural foundation? Does WeWork care really deeply about the planet but not its neighboring coworking spaces and communities?

It parallels how Uber is now rebranding itself as some great company, even though they’ve put countless cab drivers out of business, disregarded city transportation laws, and grown on what Bloomberg described as a “culture of dishonesty.”

A New Model?

What is this new model of destroying everything, shamelessly pushing forward to grow at all cost, then turning around and reinventing yourself as some kind of ethical, values-driven company?

I’m not down with it.

At all.

I’m interested in companies that weave social good and purpose into their DNA from day one.

This WeWork meat kerfuffle feels more like an attention grab than it does any kind of meaningful cultural shift.

What do you think? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and let me know.

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