WeWork, the cooperating empire that once had a value of $ 47 billion before the reality set in, and plunged the company and its investors into a crisis, has another problem that adds to its growing hurdle – one that does not accurately reflect its core business
The issue is a security risk affecting users of WeWork workspaces in the US and Canada. Today, the company sent an email to members in the regions warning that increased formaldehyde levels were detected in some 1,600 telephone booths installed at WeWork's sites. This could cause health problems for people in contact with the gas. [1
The booths will be available in their shared workspaces so that WeWork members can receive calls privately – if others share them. Divisions are shared by all users.
"After a member informed us about odors and eye irritation, WeWork conducted an analysis in which an outside consultant also ran a series of tests on a phone booth sample. After we received the results at the end of last week, we started to decommission all potentially affected phone booths, "the members said in an e-mail.
Affected phone booths shut down immediately You will be removed from your location as soon as possible, "he adds.
In addition to ~ 1,600 stalls that have been confirmed to be affected, another 700 stalls will be decommissioned in the process described by WeWork as "Caution In Plenty." more checks done – with the promise of another update as soon as the tests are completed.
Members who want to know which stalls can be safely used in the meantime are encouraged to contact the community team at their WeWork location.
WeWork also states that alternative quiet spaces are provided, for example in conference rooms and unused offices.
The WeWork e-mail notes the health risks of formaldehyde gas, a chemical used in various building materials: "Short-term exposure to formaldehyde in elevated concentrations may lead to acute transient irritation of the nose, The pharynx and the body's airways, including coughing or wheezing. These effects are usually transient and usually resolve after removal of the formaldehyde source.
"Long-term exposure to formaldehyde, as occurs, for example, in workers employed for many years in high concentrations has been linked to certain cancers. Further information can be found in this FAQ at the workplace safety authority.
The e-mail requests all WeWork members with health concerns to contact a doctor feeling "burning eyes" after using the cabins.
They also said that several people in their team had the same problem.
"Some complained of nausea after staying in the cabins," wrote the tipster. "I never felt it, but the burning eyes were 100% for me several times. Scary stuff. "
A spokesman for WeWork acknowledged the problem with formaldehyde and said that" some "stalls at" some "sites in the US and Canada were decommissioned due to" potentially elevated levels "formaldehyde concentrations caused by the manufacturer , "
" The safety and well-being of our members is our top priority, and we are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible, "states a statement.
It is currently not clear how many locations WeWork are affected by.
WeWork has also failed to provide more detailed information on how long members may have been exposed to elevated levels of formaldehyde – its e-mail has only suggested some of them. The cabins have been in operation for "months".
"The potentially affected telephone booths have been installed in recent months. The exact time depends on the location, "they say.
Although c The extent of exposure varies from person to person depending on the use of the stands.
The company did not answer a question as to whether any of its international WeWork locations were affected by the issue.