Alex Putici

Two Years Of Work Nicer [4 min]

Exactly two years ago today three things happened.

  1. My younger brother, Mackenzie, turned 26 years old
  2. Britney Spears turned 34 years old
  3. Work Nicer was born

It’s absolutely crazy to me that that it’s already been two years since opening the doors. Ten of my friends that believed in the idea of Work Nicer agreed to move in on day one - December 2, 2015. My dear friend and Co-Founder, Dario, was there no matter what I asked - even though I don’t think he fully believed it would work at the beginning :-). We’d spend many late nights dragging furniture around trying to make it just right. Not a lot of people know this, but we were in a different space then.

No, like, physically, we were actually in a different location (our team calls it 1.0 - that’s why on our all our accounting stuff you’ll see “2.0” listed before the membership types). 1.0 was half the size of our current location (and felt even smaller). It had one meeting room, used furniture I bought for cheap from the oil & gas company that was in the space before, and was much more traditional office style. The boardroom only had a TV in it...funny story... I had to buy a second TV because the first one was stolen out of my garage the night I bought it - along with a dry cleaning bag full of my favourite clothes and a mini-fridge. The extent of our membership perks were that we had WiFi, furniture, and a Nespresso machine. The beer tap wasn’t even a dream yet, everyone understood that the real value was in the community we were building - the space didn’t seem to much matter.

Six months later, after several months of negotiations between our existing landlord, our existing sub-landlord, our new sub-landlord, our existing members, and our new members (what I’m trying to say is that it was really hard, and really scary), we moved into 2.0. We told Phoebe, our first addition to the team and community manager, that we were moving after working for us for only one week. Immediately, her job description changed quite significantly - and has changed even more since then. Work Nicer would be hooped without her.

One year ago, I realized there were really only two goals I had set for Work Nicer. The first was to get to break-even on a monthly cash-flow basis and we did that within the first 6 months (don’t let that fool you into thinking I take home a big paycheque, constant improvement to keep our members happy is expensive). The second was to have 100 members as a part of our community but looking back I didn’t know how that was supposed to be possible since 1.0 could only hold around 30 people. We ended up pulling it off in 13 months.

Fast forward to today, we’ve almost doubled to around 190 members making Work Nicer the largest coworking community in Alberta. Our team grew to 4 in February when our next team addition and self-proclaimed “most engaging community manager”, Jermaine, joined our team. The list of membership perks have exploded and we’re left trying to figure out how to facilitate future growth. But it goes without saying it’s our members that truly make Work Nicer special.

Shoulders have been cried on all the while hugs and high-fives have been rampant. Lives have been changed because of our members. I’m not kidding. Today, as I look back, I know the course of life looks very different for hundreds of people than it did before they came together as Work Nicer. They have built friendships, companies, partnerships and families. You know, I know, that we have all impacted each other.

I’m honoured to be a part of this inspiring community. It has absolutely changed my life. Guys...I even got a tattoo!! I anticipate an incredible 2018 (and beyond) for Work Nicer, our team, and myself. We are working on some ambitious ideas and can’t wait to have a beer at Drink Nicer and share with you all that’s in store.

So now, two years later:

  1. My brother is 28
  2. Britney is 36
  3. Work Nicer is 2

With much love and gratitude,

Alex