Alex Putici is the founder and member of Work Nicer Coworking, which operates five shared workspace centres in Calgary and Edmonton. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.
Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
The pandemic certainly didn’t play nice with Work Nicer Coworking — Alberta’s leading provider of shared workspace.
But the firm, with five locations in Calgary and Edmonton, is proving it’s more than just a pretty space.
“The fact we’re still around today is testament that we’re about more than a provider of office space,” says Alex Putici, founder and member of Work Nicer.
“If we were just that, there would be no reason why any of our members, over the five-month span we were shut down, would have kept paying their fees.”
Indeed, the Calgary-headquartered company is going against the flow. It’s growing amid COVID-19’s challenging landscape, with more than 750 members and counting.
So what’s its secret to success?
“Yes, we provide all the workspace basics — except for landline phones and fax machines,” he says. “But, we’re really a hospitality-based business, and we work really hard to bring people together.”
In other words, Work Nicer offers all the amenities of a modern office: furniture, internet access, coffee, boardrooms, lockers and even craft beer.
But its true value is as a collaborative venue. Putici can offer endless examples of how this benefits its members, including one instance where two small entrepreneurs, who were competitors, realized they were better off joining forces.
“If you boil it down, Work Nicer fosters meaningful, organic networking,” he says. “It’s way more than just exchanging business cards.”
Work Nicer is succeeding because more and more people are starting businesses or working contract, freelance and consulting jobs.
“We get people out of the coffee shop or their basement and into a community that motivates them to do more.”
Not satisfied to rest on its laurels, Work Nicer is launching several new initiatives, including its Membership Growth Fund — a membership credit program valued at $300,000.
“It effectively covers 50 to 75 per cent of membership costs for three months, so existing members can hire more workers and grow.”
All its members then have to worry about is paying wages of new hires.
The program illustrates everything Work Nicer is about, Putici notes.
“When people are coming to a cool, professional space, surrounded and supported by like-minded, entrepreneurial people, it helps everyone do their best work.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.