"The joy of working in a diverse workplace and the sense of togetherness that comes from everyone" - Erik Gabriel, WeWork Japan, Technology Services, Senior Manager



Technology that supports the work of WeWork members and employees

Interested in Japanese history and culture and came to Japan

WeWork grows with your performance

Adapting to individual environments while maintaining standards

At WeWork, diversity and inclusive connections continue to inspire us to move society forward, but so do our employees. We value the individuality of each employee in terms of work history, living environment, nationality, and way of thinking, and we embody a free way of working that is not bound by stereotypes. In this interview, we will introduce employees who are active in their respective departments.

WeWork provides the same IT environment at all of its locations around the world. The person behind this is Gabriel Erik, Senior Manager of Technology Services.

Technology that supports the work of WeWork members and employees

──Please tell us about your job.

I am a senior manager in Technology Services, which manages the IT environment for all WeWork locations in Japan. In addition to the Onsite Support Team, Network Team, and Sales Support Team, which are responsible for managing shared facilities and supporting residents (hereinafter referred to as “members”), there is also the Corporate Technology Team, which is responsible for managing WeWork employees’ computers and IT-related activities.

The team members and their onsite counterparts are responsible for managing Wi-Fi equipment, multifunction devices and other network-related equipment, various monitors in conference rooms and other locations, systems for connecting computers and sharing screens, and server room equipment at each location. Some members also request to bring in their own servers and other IT equipment. In such cases, we consult with them on how we can make this happen.

Corporate Technology, on the other hand, manages the computers provided to WeWork employees, as well as arranging and setting up computers for new employees and granting access privileges. Other duties include a wide range of IT and AV-related support at events, carried out by a total team of 12 people.

Interested in Japanese history and culture and came to Japan

── Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am from Mississippi, US, and it has been 13 years since I came to Japan. I have always been interested in the culture and history of Japan and other Eastern countries, and I first came to Japan for 3 months to study Japanese as a language student. At that time, my love for Japan grew and I thought, “I want to live here! I came back to Japan once and went through a long-term study abroad program. I returned to my home country and came to Japan again, this time for a longer period of time. I have lived in Japan ever since, and am now married with a family.

After graduating from college, I worked as an English instructor and at a real estate company before moving to an IT company where I put to use the computer science and programming skills I learned at college. That was my previous position at WeWork. WeWork has as many facilities and security policies as there are members. The experience I gained at that time is very useful in my current job, where I deal with a wide variety of members and employees at different locations.

WeWork grows with your performance

── How did you hear about WeWork?

A colleague of mine at my previous job had already started working at WeWork and recommended it to me. In fact, he is a friend of mine from my Japanese language school days. He told me that WeWork was opening new offices one after another and that working there was very exciting. I was interested in the work and joined the company in March 2020.

At my previous job at an IT company, I basically followed the instructions of the outsourcing company and did not see much of the results of my work, but at WeWork, I can feel that my work is directly connected to the growth of the company. If I perform with a high level of awareness, WeWork will also grow. This realization gives me great pleasure.

The first thing I was assigned to do after joining the company was to provide on-site support for WeWork KANDA SQUARE’s IT. For example, if I heard that there was a problem with a monitor in a conference room, I would check the situation and take care of it. As new locations opened and WeWork grew, it was a great experience for me to work close to the site where I could see the real growth of the company.

── How did you get to your current position after you joined the company?

I felt that WeWork was a company with a special culture, so I joined the company with high expectations. However, upon joining the company, I became a remote worker due to the Corona disaster, and I worked from home for the first six months or so.

After things settled down a bit, I gradually had more opportunities to visit various locations to talk with the community team and work face-to-face with other teams, and I began to feel more comfortable with the company. It has also been a good stimulus for me to be exposed to work in diverse industries by communicating with members at various locations.

I was on the on-site team until the end of 2020 when I joined the company, but in 2021, the manager of the Corporate Technology team was retiring and I was asked to replace him. I decided to accept the position, as I thought I could make use of my previous work experience. The Corporate Technology team frequently communicates with the head quarter in the U.S., so English is essential. On the other hand, when I spoke with employees in Japan, it was in Japanese, so my manager at the time thought that I was the right person for the job because I was bilingual. About a year later, I was asked to manage the tech team and then the network team, which led me to my current position.

Adapting to individual environments while maintaining standards

── What is the most difficult thing about being in charge of IT for 40 locations?

Maintaining the standard of hardware and software that WeWork provides worldwide, customizing it to the needs of the members at each location, and if there is a location that is having trouble with the same equipment as other locations, I try to determine the cause of the problem. This is the mission and the hard part.

How do we reconcile WeWork’s globally maintained IT environment standards with the unique environments of our members? This is a theme that sometimes troubles me, but the good thing about WeWork is that it is flexible, so I will continue to search for an IT environment that can be easily used by a diverse range of companies.

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── What is the proudest part of your business?

WeWork allows me to get my business up and running quickly because the IT environment is already in place, whereas it would take a lot of time and money to set up a regular rental office. This is a huge benefit for many companies. I feel a sense of pride in the work I do to support them.

I would also like to reiterate that we can meet a variety of requests, such as bringing in our own servers, in addition to using WeWork’s IT environment. We have accumulated a wealth of knowledge from our support at various locations, so we are able to respond to consultations on a wide range of problems and issues.

When we were opening new sites one after another, we were running at full speed, focusing on setting up the sites, but now that the sites are in place, our focus is on supporting our members. Now that we have the locations in place, our focus is on supporting our members. When new locations open in the future, I believe that we will be able to handle them more smoothly than before, based on the manuals that we have compiled from our past knowledge.

── What is WeWork like as a workplace?

I have been with the company for almost four years now, and what I like about WeWork is its corporate philosophy of “We are better, together” (together we are better). In addition to our IT team, we have a sales team, a finance team, and a community team that interacts with members at each location, and seeing everyone working together so well makes me realize the corporate philosophy.

In addition, since we, the IT team, manage the quality of many of the systems and circuits globally, we have many opportunities to communicate with other regions such as the US, UK, and EU regarding these matters, and this is truly a workplace where we can experience diversity. For example, I talk with network engineers in APAC (Asia Pacific) such as Singapore about IT infrastructure, and I keep in touch with people overseas on a daily basis.

WeWork Japan also has employees of various nationalities. In addition to our team, we have a digital team that handles software. If you go to WeWork Japan’s headquarters in Nogizaka, you will see not only English, but also French, local Indian languages, etc., and you will meet employees from diverse backgrounds that you will not find in other workplaces.

── Do your employees interact with each other in their off-time?

Now that the COVID Disaster has settled down, we are getting back to face-to-face interactions. Not long ago, we had a relatively large party at our headquarters in Nogizaka, where we, the tech team, and the community teams from each location gathered.

Others are opportunities for people with similar interests to get together. I like automobiles, so several of us car enthusiasts in the company, mainly Tech Team employees, got together and went for a drive, and we are talking about going for go-kart rides in the future.

── What are your plans for the future?

I would like to organize and train my team to contribute to WeWork’s growth in the IT field and make it stronger.


In 2023, WeWork Japan received the “Best Workplace” award, the highest of four certification ranks, in the “D&I AWARD 2023” (administered by JobRainbow Inc.), which recognizes companies that will lead the way in diversity and inclusion (D&I) in Japan. WeWork’s corporate philosophy is to provide “the best workplace” for its employees.
WeWork’s corporate philosophy is “We are better, together,” and community is at the core of our company. From the design of our spaces to our programs, we strive to be a place where everyone can be themselves, regardless of background, color, gender, political or religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any other “difference.

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