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Is this co-working space in Waterloo, Ont. the office of the future?

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A new space in Waterloo, Ont. is being described as the office of the future.

The doors at Den 1880, located at 14 Erb St. W., opened this spring though the building dates back to 1880.

It has housed regional police headquarters, the Communitech Data hub and several insurance companies.

“This space was originally a bond safe that we’ve turned into a podcast studio,” Jacklyn Warmington, Den 1880 operations manager, said during a tour with CTV News.

Jacklyn Warmington, Den 1880's operations manager, on June 24, 2024. (Spencer Turcotte/CTV News)

The building now houses one of Waterloo Region’s newest co-working spaces that’s looking to bridge the gap as businesses and people seek more face-to-face communication.

Other spots in the region, including Workhaus Coworking & Office and Catalyst Commons, have already seen success.

Den 1880 in Waterloo, Ont. (Submitted)

“A lot of the spaces here [locally] are already full. Many of them have waitlists. We’re trying to offer a very niche experience,” Warmington explained.

Jacklyn Warmington, Den 1880's operations manager, on June 24, 2024. (Spencer Turcotte/CTV News)

The opening of Den 1880 comes as more companies offer incentives to get employees back in the office.

“We have weekly yoga classes, we have monthly networking, happy hours for members. Tonight, we’re actually having a poker tournament for charity,” Warmington said. “We often play sports games on TV, we have movie nights.”

Den 1880 in Waterloo, Ont. (Submitted)

Club memberships start at $388/month, which gives individuals access to the space. They can also get a permanent desk to leave their belongings for $588/month, or corporate offices, which begin at $1,688.

“Our private office members have access on the second floor 24/7. We’re here staffed through the week for our club members Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” Warmington said.

Ryan Antooa at Den 1880 on June 24, 2024. (Spencer Turcotte/CTV News)

For members like Ryan Antooa, who runs his own agency out of the building, it’s a no-brainer given the collaborative opportunities.

“We’ve had people here that have become clients. We’ve had people here that have become partners that we work with,” he said.

Nabil Fahel at Den 1880 on June 24, 2024. (Spencer Turcotte/CTV News)

Fellow member, Nabil Fahel, lives just a few hundred metres away but agrees it’s worth it because he doesn’t have to worry about overhead costs, maintenance fees or even furniture.

“I really do like the ability to have a dedicated space for me to come, focus and bump into friends and share ideas,” he explained.

The corporate world continues to find its footing following the pandemic’s seismic shift, but it seems co-working spaces could be here to stay.
 

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