SickWork and Office Space

SickWork and Office Space

WeWork now claims the accomplishment of being the number one occupier of office space in Manhattan based on square footage. The Wall Street Journal first reported this news noting the flexible co-working space provider leases 5.3 million square feet of office space. WeWork says with its lease of 258,344 square feet at 21 Penn Plaza  it has topped the 5.2 million square feet of office space that JPMorgan Chase owns or rents. WeWork became the largest private occupier of office space in London and Washington, DC, earlier this year.

Maybe it's time for SickWork, where doctors and other health professionals can rent office space by the month, or even by the day if they so choose. It may make sense for many reasons:

  1. The build your own brick and mortar model is collapsing under it's own weight as care migrates from hospitals to non-hospital based care delivery channels.

  2. Patients want convenience and a better experience. So do doctors.

  3. As the sick care workforce changes and evolves, BIG MEDICINE would have more flexibility to adapt without being burdened with BIG FIXED COSTS, just like all the other Fortune 500 companies using WeWork.

  4. Flex, open spaces are supposed to make collaboration and innovation easier. The fact that it does not is besides the point. Why should that reality spoil the innovation theater?

  5. More and more doctors want to work part-time, flex-time, job-share or do side gigs. Why pay for minutes you don't use?

  6. Sharing medical equipment and personnel makes a lot more sense than buying your own. I mean, who wants to buy all that telemedicine equipment that will be obsolete quicker than you can say artificial intelligence?

  7. Flex space makes it easier to cover the overhead when you are giving your employees more vacation time and bonuses instead of pay raises.

  8. All that free coffee might help lower the burnout rate.

  9. Since sick care can't be fixed from inside, maybe you will bump into some techie or finance person in the space next door who has already created a solution for your problem.

  10. Minipractices and alternative PCP models are popping up all over the place.

  11. All that empty mall space needs to be filled with something.

  12. Millennial docs want to live, work and play in the same innovation district.

Of course, one problem that can't be solved will be parking. But, since only 20% of us will own a car in 15 years anyway, the problem should go away if we just wait long enough...sort of like sickcare.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.

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  • Daniel Jeffery

    Good post

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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