x+why celebrates 5 years as trailblazer in provision of services to CRE sector with sustainable business model

Leading flexible workspace and hospitality specialist x+why is marking its five year anniversary this month, celebrating a remarkable record of sustainable growth.

x+why today is a B Corp certified business with twelve innovative, green flexible spaces across the UK, totalling almost 400,000 sq ft of flexible workspace and hospitality amenity at over 85% occupancy, and more scheduled to open this year. The team has expanded to include over 80 employees across its UK wide locations.

In a sector that has seen some well-documented failures, x+why has quadrupled in size coming out of COVID. It has achieved this success by building a sustainable business model, with sites operated solely under joint venture arrangements with its landlords, limiting the risks of traditional leases. It has also been responsive to changes in office and amenity requirements post pandemic, opening high-end hospitality spaces within a number of buildings. This approach has ushered in a wave of innovation within the UK flexible workspace sector. 

In five years, x+why has established a track record as a trusted partner with a diverse range of institutional landlords, including the global bank Santander, Salford City Council and two of London’s historic landed estates – the Portman Estate and Grosvenor Properties. 

The team has also achieved a number of landmark transactions with new members, including 65,000 sqft to Lloyds Banking Group in Birmingham which was the largest flexible office deal in 2023.

The growth achieved over the past five years is a result of founders, Rupert Dean, Phil Nevin and Tanya Dean, recognising and responding to the demand for more responsible ways of working and greater amenity in commercial buildings. x+why is a mission-driven business, founded based on a commitment to changing the way the world works for good, and now supports businesses with high-quality office spaces and hospitality-led members clubspaces and events spaces that offer excellent sustainability credentials whilst also creating a collaborative community of purpose-driven organisations.

The founders continue to put Better Business at the core of the work that the company does. It was incorporated as a B Corporation in 2019, making it one of the first coworking spaces to achieve this and paving the way for many other operators to do the same. Members of x+why currently include 28 other B Corps, and x+why have set up a programme, WhyB, in conjunction with B Lab UK, to support businesses through the B Corp process. They have also published a book, Mission Lit, lighting the way to building purpose in business, and regularly hold thought leadership events on the subject. 

The business had a notably strong year of growth in 2023, with five new spaces opening in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Milton Keynes, totalling 270,000 sq ft of additional space. Revenue rose 250%, with over £14,000,000 of revenue for private offices alone and over £3,000,000 of revenue from meetings and events.

x+why continues to innovate to provide the best suite of services for their members. In 2023, it launched a best-in-class hospitality offering, opening a members’ clubspace, eighteen, in 103 Colmore Place in Birmingham, as well as The Orchard at One Great Cumberland Place in London with more due to open in 2024 and beyond. These clubspaces, with food and beverage at their heart, aim to close the gap between work and play, creating a venue ideal for modern hybrid working and employee engagement. In March this year, x+why launched a new in-house award-winning design team, whydesign, focused on customising sustainable and design-led office spaces. 

In an acknowledgement of the success that x+why has achieved, the company has been shortlisted this month for Property Company of the Year in Property Week’s 2024 Awards.

Rupert Dean, CEO and co-founder of x+why said: “Five years ago, we set out on a mission to redefine how people work and connect, based on our belief that business should be a force for good and the office was not simply a place to sit at a desk and work. We wanted to do this using a sustainable business model that avoided the pitfalls of the traditional lease model. We are grateful to work with fantastic, forward-thinking landlords, and to have built an impact-driven team committed to making this aim a reality, and are hugely proud of the 400,000 sqft of innovative, sustainable work and amenity space that we have opened to date.

“As we mark this milestone, we’re not just celebrating our own journey, but the brilliant community that has grown with us, and our members’ stories of creativity and collaboration. We look forward to seeing this community of like-minded, inspiring businesses continue to expand across the country. We remain as passionate today as we were five years ago about driving impactful change with our workspaces, and are excited for what is ahead with even more emphasis on hospitality led amenity spaces across the UK to come.