In Uncertain Times, Start-Ups Flock to Co-Working Spaces

When Melissa Pancoast moved her financial literacy start-up, The Beans, into a WeWork office in San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower last May, most of the offices around her were rented out but unoccupied.

As vaccination rates climbed and San Francisco flirted with lifting pandemic restrictions, her neighbors started trickling back in. Ms. Pancoast’s social calendar soon filled up with bike rides and coffee dates with other start-up founders she met in the building.

Today, the co-working space is bustling. “Phone booths and conference rooms have become precious commodities,” Ms. Pancoast said.

She is one of 1,100 members at the 76,400-square-foot WeWork location, which has three floors with panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. Her neighbors include start-ups that make business software, online recruiting tools for engineers and open-source database systems.