WeWork pulls thousands of phone booths out of service over formaldehyde scare

TechCrunch | 10/14/2019 | Staff
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WeWork, the co-working empire once valued at $47BN before reality struck plunging the business and its investors into crisis, has another problem to add to its growing pile — one which doesn’t exactly reflect well on its core business of kitting out and maintaining modern working environments.

The problem is a safety concern affecting users of WeWork co-working spaces in the US and Canada. Today the company emailed members in the regions to warn that around 1,600 phone booths installed at WeWork locations have been found to have elevated levels of formaldehyde — which it warns could cause health issues for people exposed to the gas.

WeWork - Issue - Manufacturer - Booths

WeWork blames the issue on a manufacturer of the booths.

The booths are provided in its co-working spaces for WeWork members to be able to take calls in private — given other common areas are shared by all users.

Member - Odor - Eye - Irritation - WeWork

“After a member informed us of odor and eye irritation, WeWork performed an analysis, including having an outside consultant conduct a series of tests on a sampling of phone booths. Upon receiving results late last week, we began to take all potentially impacted phone booths out of service,” it writes in an email to members.

Affected phone booths “are being taken out of service immediately, and will be removed from your location as soon as possible”, it adds.

Addition - Booths - Booths - Service - WeWork

In addition to ~1,600 booths it has confirmed are affected, a further 700 booths are being taken out of service in what WeWork describes as “an abundance of caution” — i.e. while it carries out more checks — with the promise of a further update once it’s concluded its tests.

Members wanting to know which booths are safe to use in the meanwhile are told to contact the community team at their WeWork location.

WeWork - Spaces

WeWork also says alternative quiet spaces will be...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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