Have you seen our Reservation Portal?

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Here at the Rostie Group, we’re always looking to improve your experience. To that end, we have been working on something that is a long time coming.

A major updated to our reservation portal has made it better than ever before!

We have focused on eliminating the tiresome negotiation process of booking meeting rooms and streamlining the process to be as smooth as possible for our users.

If you’ve booked with us before, you can easily rebook meetings with a single click! This allows your layout, catering and other requests to remain the same as the last time you booked.

Whether you are using desktop, tablet or your phone we wanted you to have the best experience, so we redesigned the layout to be mobile ready no matter what screen you’re on.


If you are a new user, you’ll see how easy it is to view the catering menu and choose an option suited to your needs. Depending on the room size, you will also be able to view the meeting rooms various custom layouts and choose one that best fits your meeting requirements.

Delicious Catering

We understand that getting used to any new piece of software can be challenging. Not to worry, we will soon have an online tutorial added to our website to guide you through it and show just how easy it is!

Don’t forget- we don’t just offer Meeting Rooms! Check out our diversified Virtual Offices Packages and start your plan today.

What are you waiting for? Click here to go see the new Portal right now!

The Oxford Way

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Back in September 2017, Oxford Properties conducted a customer satisfaction and loyalty survey. Many clients took the time to let Oxford know whether they were meeting or exceeding service expectations. To celebrate the fantastic results Oxford have created a visual representation of this commitment via “The Oxford Way” video:

We love being part of WaterPark Place!

Here’s some events they’ve held in the building over the past year:

Click here for more information on how you can become part of the Oxford community.

The Staff Meeting.

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Shall we begin..

The secret to a growing company is ‘intellectual capital’. Seeking out, hiring and retaining the best in breed. These are your employees.  One person can come up with an innovative idea, patent it on your behalf and game on – let the salad days begin for your company.

If you don’t have a written and distributed agenda for the attendees, don’t have a meeting. If no action items come out of a meeting, you have wasted an hour (or more) of your valuable workday. Staff meetings are a wonderful and neutral environment to discuss items of mutual benefit for the attendees.

Finding the optimal work equilibrium for the employee is found in the 6 T model. Time, Training, Talent, Task, Tools and Technology. Think of the 6 T’s as a hexagon, each of the 6 sides proportional. If proportional the employee is most likely a key contributor to the company’s success. If one, or more, of the 6 T’s is either missing or excessive, the shape of the hexagon gets skewed.

This provides ‘a great disturbance in the Force.’

This is not a problem but merely an opportunity to expose gaps. Once identified, management should create a plan to provide solutions to these same gaps and bring the employees’ skills into equilibrium. It will also reduce the anxiety an employee might feel, particularly for those who want to out-perform, yet feel they are missing key criteria to succeed. Finding people, giving them an environment to thrive, the right tools to succeed and appropriate motivation and rewards. Studies have shown everyone has a different and unique reward system. Be it trophies or dinners or public recognition or time off or monetary gain. The list is beyond the scope of this article but it is long and varied.  Don’t forget, everybody needs a personal win now and then.

Always set aside some time for greenfield brainstorming. An open and hopefully energetic session to introduce new ideas and maybe even new problems. Don’t forget, in the sales world a problem is in truth an opportunity. Remember, a wonderful nugget can be gleaned from the unlikeliest of sources, or a simple comment can inspire others to add more. This is compound interest at its finest. A common ground where title and position on the organizational chart must have no importance. For managers, the art of listening, and not talking, is an acquired and vital skill. Some of the best speeches in the history of mankind were cleverly interrupted by the speaker with planned periods of silence. Your receptionists for example, are probably the most customer facing individuals in your employ.  They have the best seat in the house to observe positive and negative words and expressions of your customers. They have the unique position to make and take immediate action to quell any discontent, or hopefully broadcast good news.

‘A happy customer tells 2 to 3 people of their experience. An unhappy customer tells 10 people.’ Let the ideas continue. 

How to Run More Effective Meetings

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More that 10 million meetings occur every day in the United States alone, so there’s no denying that meetings are a very important part of the corporate world. But despite that, a lot of people do meetings wrong and end up losing money through lost productivity or even worse, unclear goals.

Be prepared

It’s always a good idea to let people know the overall details of the meeting but it’s also important to provide relevant documents or information that would help everyone come to your meeting prepared. Sometimes a meeting might require research and for your attendees to have some time to gather their thoughts and ideas. It also cuts down on time spent running people through information that everyone could already be aware of.

Know your objective

The biggest mistake people make when calling a meeting is having a poor agenda or not having one at all. Without a good agenda or a facilitator to keep things on track people can go off topic and not add anything of value to the meeting at all. This becomes one of the major reasons why people consider meetings a waste of time.

Make the objective of the meeting clear before you start. That way people are able to come prepared and know what’s necessary to make it successful. With the material you’ve given your attendees, having a clear objective will also allow them to come into the meeting with any concerns they may have going forward, which can be answered easier.

Invite the right people

Cramming the room with as many people as possible doesn’t always accomplish the best results. The more people you have, the more likely it is that people are going to take the meeting in the wrong direction, be afraid to contribute or feel like they can afford not to pay attention. You might also be keeping a lot of people from doing important work that will end up costing you time and money in lost productivity.

Instead it’s about getting the right people who can contribute the best to your objective. These are the people who are most relevant to the problem at hand, whether they’re working on the front lines or overseeing the team that will be solving a problem. Having the right parties present also lets you communicate more clearly with the right team and ensure that they’re on the right track.

Provide key takeaways

It’s all too easy for people to come out of a meeting and go about their day without actually putting anything they’ve learned to use. This comes down to the facilitators. At the end of the meeting, provide your attendees with some key takeaways and goals. Clear tasks help give a purpose to your meeting and people can leave it with something tangible to take back to their desks.

You can also have someone tasked with taking notes during the meeting and putting together a contact report to send out after. This way all attendees have a written record of what needs to get done. This can also be used to track progress for future meetings.

Ineffective meetings can kill productivity and be a waste of time. But with the tips listed above, you can make sure your team can make the most of their time and tackle goals with more direction.

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How to run more effective meetings

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How often do you run across a coworker, sighing as they go onto their way to a meeting? Or maybe you’ve read one of hundreds of articles that say meetings are a waste of time. It’s not surprising that many people react this way.

An unstructured meeting can be a waste of time, but at the end of the day these are still very important parts of running a successful business.

If done right, a meeting allows your team to get together to collaborate, solve problems and build stronger relationships.

Effective leadership and discipline is needed to get the most out of meetings. But how do you effectively lead one?

What’s the purpose?

Communication is the key to mastering meetings. A long meeting doesn’t always mean a successful one, but on that note, neither does a short one.

A successful meeting is one that addresses all the issues at hand so that everyone leaves it feeling sure about what they need to accomplish.

Come into it with a plan. Why have you brought everyone together? What is it you hope to achieve? Have you scheduled enough time to hit all your talking points?

There are many reasons to hold a meeting:

  • Problem solving
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Team or morale building
  • Training sessions

If you have a clear picture of what you’re holding a meeting for, it’s easier to build a plan.

Create an agenda

Agendas can give your meeting a solid outline. You may not end up hitting all the points on it, but referring to an agenda helps you keep things on track. Otherwise, unrelated topics may come up and waste everyone’s time. Remember, if it’s not worth creating an agenda for, it’s not worth meeting.

A good agenda should be concise and cover just a few major topics. This helps you leave enough time for discussion so that you can expand on those talking points.

By keeping it to just a few topics, it also helps focus your team on what they need to do. It’s easier to send an employee away with one or two major tasks rather than fifteen small ones. Too many tasks can easily lead to confusion and ultimately, procrastination.

Meetings start on time

There was a famous story of a meeting Steve Jobs ran while he was at Pixar. Jobs was to meet with Lucasfilm’s Chief Financial Officer, who decided that he could show he was in control of the meeting by getting there a few minutes late.

He eagerly walked into the room, expecting everyone to be waiting for him. Instead, Jobs had already started the meeting and was now in control of it.

Showing up early shows you’re serious about being productive and getting things done. It also shows that you value your team’s or your client’s time.

No phones under the table

Meetings require your full attention. If you’re staring down at your phone while someone is talking, it can come off the wrong way, especially if there are clients or bosses in the room.

It’s best practice to turn your phone on silent and place it face down on the table or tuck it away in your pocket. That way, you’re not distracted by flashing screens or the temptation to look at the time.

If you have a scheduled call to take, then plan to step out of the room beforehand so as not to distract anyone.

Meetings end on time

Just like starting your meeting on schedule, ending it on time shows you respect other people’s time. It keeps everyone on task and ensures that there’s no time being wasted.

Be sure to discuss the end time of the meeting before it starts and reinforce it again as you approach the time. With a ten-minute warning, you can then set a clear boundary and start wrapping up.

You can then take the final few minutes to summarize ideas and assign clear tasks.

There are exceptions to this. Sometimes, ideas might come up towards the end of a meeting and take everyone down a rabbit hole. If the ideas are flowing and you’re making breakthroughs, you don’t want to interrupt anyone.

Build contact reports

If agendas are important pre-meeting, contact reports are just as important post-meeting.

A contact report helps you follow up with everyone after you’re done. Not everyone will have taken notes so it’s a good idea to have one person dedicated towards it.

This person can then create a contact report, which will cover all the important talking points, key takeaways and tasks to be completed and by who.

Having a successful meeting can do many things for you as we’ve covered. It can build morale, help solve critical problems and more. But unfortunately, many meetings are run haphazardly which is why people remain cynical towards them. That doesn’t need to be the case.

Whether it’s a small or a big team, these tips will help you keep these meetings on track so that your company can communicate and solve problems more effectively.

 

8 Productivity Apps You Need to Use if You Work Remotely

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You could never have imagined working remotely just a few decades ago. It has become more common now and in the future we might even see half of many companies’ workforces working remotely. In fact, that process is well under way. Over 150 companies already use our virtual office plans and we expect to see this number rise over the next five years.

This shift towards working remotely has left the door open for countless apps to help improve people’s productivity and help teams work more effective regardless of where in the world they are. If you’re working virtually, consider these apps:

Slack: Slack has become the go-to app for connecting teams that work remotely. People like our very own client, Jim Latimer of servicePath, uses Slack to communicate with his team in London and Dubai. The app allows you to create different channels so you can have all your teams organized and the right people working on the right things.

Tasks can get easily lost in a string of emails which can also be distracting and time consuming. Slack allows you to connect other apps like Trello to ensure that you’re always sure of what your tasks for the day are and to keep your team up to date with your progress.

Trello:  Trello’s “boards” help you organize your projects and help visualize everything that needs to be done to more effectively track and finish tasks. You can assign team members to specific tasks and connect it to other apps like Slack and Google Drive to help keep all the content and information your team needs in one place. There are also alternative project management tools like Basecamp and Asana.

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Dropbox: Dropbox is one of the biggest cloud storage apps available today. They give you a lot of flexibility by allowing you to create a remote place to store your files and it provides a reliable alternative to backup your data. You and your team then have access to all the information you need, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

Google Drive: The G Suite of services helps boost collaboration by allowing team members to work together on a document, spreadsheet or presentation file at the same time and edit it live. The files are also constantly saved after each change, ensuring that there’s a reliable backup of everything you’re working on.

IDoneThis: When working remotely, it’s difficult to keep a track of when a person is working and what tasks they’ve completed. IDoneThis solves all those problems by giving you a platform that lets your team check in virtually and plan out their tasks for the day. IDoneThis also has other features, such as analytics reports and full integration with apps like Slack. Alternatives include Wunderlist and Todoist.

JoinMe: Meetings are an important part of running businesses. It can help get a team on the same page or help define new goals. JoinMe allows remote teams to still be able to conduct meetings without being in the same space via videoconferencing. While JoinMe is made specifically for these types of meetings, other programs such as Skype and Google Hangouts are also available.

RostieCRM

Rostie CRM: Sometimes virtual meetings aren’t enough. It helps to have a physical space to get together with your team or to host your clients in a professional setting. When that time comes, our proprietary CRM service helps you book one of our many, fully-staffed meeting rooms in Toronto’s Waterfront area.

Zapier: Even though most of these apps are able to integrate with one another, Zapier automates the process and connects even more apps together. Zapier picks up information from your different connected apps and then, based on your specifications, can compile the data in a single location. For example, it can automatically move your email attachments into Dropbox and share the link on Slack.

Working remotely means that you have to be a lot more organized and be able to coordinate with people all over the world. The apps in this list help you do just that by helping you track your projects and meet with your team whether virtually or face-to-face.

Meet You @ The Rostie Group – The 3 Meeting Room Styles

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Toronto Meeting Rooms

 

The Rostie Group is the perfect location to book your meetings and training rooms. We’re just a short walk from Union Station through the PATH so you won’t have to brave the elements any longer. Overlooking the lake on one side and Toronto’s Financial Core on the other, the view alone is enough to get your creative juices flowing. With over 7000 sq. ft. of meeting space, our variety of modern meeting rooms can host anywhere from 2 to 100 people.

On top of the great venue, our caring and dedicated team will give your events a personal touch, customizing any room to the specific needs of your event. We buy high q
uality local food, providing fully catered pre-fix menus and/or a breakfast meeting menu with freshly made and just out of the oven pastries, croissants and bagels. Our team also provides in-house technical support to help set up rooms for you’re A/V needs.
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Over the last 25 years, we’ve had the pleasure of overseeing a large variety of businesses using our space for events such as:

1. Training events and Town Hall meetings

Join the growing number of businesses conducting Town Hall meetings to engage with their employees in a more personal setting. Our larger rooms like Rainy Lake and Muskoka are perfect for hosting bigger, training sessions or conferences; these rooms can be customized to be open concept and promote collaboration and teamwork.

For the last 15 years we have also been host to several Canadian universities such as Concordia and Dalhousie. They employ this style of meeting to enrich their learning experiences while utilizing our video conferencing systems to best help their students succeed.

food-22. Formal meetings

Our Atlantic and Pacific rooms are perfect for formal meetings such as off-site arbitration, board meetings and client consultations. With modern design and video conferencing equipment, you will be more than ready to close your next deal. Our Toronto Bay room which looks out onto the Toronto Waterfront also has a comfortable seating area and has the amenities to conduct a more personal meeting if required.

3. Interviewing rooms

Get out of the loud and crowded coffee shop and into one of our conveniently-priced smaller rooms like Lake Joe, Baltic or Caspian. They provide the perfect intimate atmosphere to have one-on-one interviews. With soundproof walls, you will be sure to have the privacy you expect in your meeting. These rooms also come equipped with A/V hardware and can be used for video conferencing.

And much more

With fully customizable rooms, we are fully flexible and can adjust the space for any sort of meeting, event or training session required. You can easily book online at www.TorontoMeetings.com or call us toll-free at 1-800-648-1840 or 416-216-4622.

Social Fridays Are Going Local!

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The Rostie Group is proud of our collaborative and supportive Waterfront work community.

This fall we are starting a new initiative to feature local businesses at our Social Friday’s and special events! Everything from microbrewery beer, to wine and cheese! The possibilities and opportunities are endless.

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Creating long-lasting relationships between businesses is our business! Get your product featured within the Bay St. business community and the Waterfront work community.

Toronto thrives on entrepreneurship and The Rostie Group is a business centre focused on supporting and growing with your business.

Want to get in on the action? We would love to hear about your business!

Connect with us at info@rostiegroup.com and be sure to check out our Twitter and Facebook pages!i-support-local-658

The Scoop is out for September

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September means it’s time to go back to school.  The Rostie Group is very proud to celebrate their 15th year with Concordia University’s Goodman Institute.   Thank you so much for being a part of our work community!

The scoop is out for September and there is no sign of the city slowing down after such a fun summer.  Make sure to check out some of the awesome events happening on Toronto’s Waterfront.

With events such as Canada’s International Air Show, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Busker Fest and more, there will not be a dull moment this month.

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