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Calgary co-working space so much nicer after two years

Work Nicer celebrates two years of expansion, celebration and Friday beer kegs

Alex Putici, founder of Calgary co-working space Work Nicer

Aaron Chatha / Metro Order this photo

Alex Putici, founder of Calgary co-working space Work Nicer

It’s kind of telling that Calgary co-working space Work Nicer is in a location formerly occupied by an oil and gas company.

Located just across from the Globe Theatre downtown, Work Nicer is celebrating two fruitful years of operation and is emblematic of the diversification away from the energy sector that’s taking place in Alberta.

For the unfamiliar, a co-working space is a collection of desks, offices and meeting rooms where you can rent a space to operating your small or medium business.

When founder Alex Putici created the co-working space two years ago, he imagined it as about 10 or so people working together and building meaningful connections.

Six months in, they quickly outgrew their original office space and had to move to a bigger location. Work Nicer now has nearly 200 members.

“Working at home is particularly soul crushing, so we were trying to build a community of people who were going through similar struggles,” Putici explained.

“We wanted a place to celebrate the wins, because when you’re self-employed at home, it’s tough when you land a big deal and you have no one to high-five but your cat.”

With the downturn in the economy, co-working spaces like Work Nicer have exploded in popularity across the city – but Putici says the entrepreneurial spirit housed within these spaces is nothing new to Calgary. In fact, while they do have a few former oil workers turned entrepreneurs, they tend to be the exception to the rule.

“Calgary’s always been an entrepreneurial city, and Alberta, there are pioneers here,” Putici smiled. “The attitude has always been there, but it’s been overshadowed by oil and gas.”

His favourite moments from the last two years involve streaming tears. The space gives people a community to lean on when things aren’t going so well – and a group to celebrate with during those big victories. It’s not uncommon to see someone come out of the boardroom with exciting news, high fiving people on their way.

“We have a real sense of community,” said Zayne Sayeed, who runs an import fabric retailer called Enyaz. “We help each other out with all different aspects of our business, there’s always someone here when you need them.

“We all work extremely hard, then every Friday we tap a fresh keg and have a beer together. It’s a great balance.”

The growth shows no signs of slowing down either – Putici has plans to expand their space even further in 2018.

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