Co Working Attracts Start-Ups & Investors



By now we have all heard some variation of the co working figures that point to the fact that the number of co working spaces has grown by 400% over the past two years. No matter how this is interpreted, one thing is certain: the trend is undeniable and isn’t losing steam. So what is the ‘big deal’ about co working anyway?


The co working culture and atmosphere is the most effective we have seen at fostering the building of business relationships and allowing ideas to flow freely. Just like the industrial revolution ushered in (or demanded) a new more effective way to produce large amounts of goods, co working represents the new work model for the optimal production of this era’s most valuable resource, knowledge capital. Through co working, this process occurs at a heady pace. Nothing remotely (no pun intended) similar happens under the traditional isolated, office cubicle silo model. The co working movement has gained an impressive following, not to mention funding, and now workspace providers such as The Rostie Group have no choice but to think long term. By looking to the future and the new beta reality of the workplace, we hope to continue to attract a multitude of freelancers, start-ups, satellite offices, mobile workers, entrepreneurs and of course, capital.


The notion of traditional “work” is shifting in its ideology from a ‘place’ to an ‘action’. Work is now what you do and not where you go each morning. As the culture changes and more people either work from home, coffee shops, Shared Workspaces and co working centres, larger tech companies and venture capitalists have been paying attention. They have recognized the potential for growth in a relatively new market and realized the enormous opportunity in offering technical services and products to these centres.

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Google UK aims to help improve the success of London’s start-up community in “TechCity” with their Google Campus. By working with partners such as Seedcamp, Tech Hub, Springboard and Central Working, the focus will be to provide space for startup companies. They will also host daily events, a technology speaker series, networking events and run a mentoring program.


Google also has a sponsorship arrangement with TechHub in London which Your Virtual Butler recently visited and saw first hand in all its co working, collaborative glory. The Rostie Group is the official lab site of Your Virtual Butler; software designed specifically for the Shared Workspace and co working industry. Other sponsors for TechHub include Pearson (which owns Penguin, the Financial Times and others), and BlueVia (a branch of the Spanish telephone company Telefonica). In return for financial support, they can use event space, network with coworkers, and stay up-to-date with technology developments in the start-up realm.


Cisco has ventured into the European co working arena with its collaboration with Amsterdam to launch its first Smart Work Center (SWC). It will set up in the community of Almere, an area which has an all-fibre broadband network. Cisco has taken the opportunity to introduce its conferencing and collaboration technologies within the SWC.


Co working centres attract a high number of start-up tech companies and entrepreneurs as space is affordably priced and they are given an opportunity to network with a variety of others in their industry. If a fledgling start-up is only beginning to turn a profit then spending a large sum on rent for a downtown office is not viable and the co working alternative begins to look very attractive. 


The paradigm is shifting and several companies are choosing the co working models, inspired by the examples of Microsoft, Cisco and Adobe, being themselves promoters of these new workspace notions. Companies are beginning to forego the idea of the fixed desk in favour of office-wide mobility.


Co working spaces are increasingly used by big companies using remote access technologies as workers are based in different locations. Mobile workers and satellite office workers now require and depend on a much greater level of individual technology than ever before in order to communicate and collaborate with fellow employees as well as customers and prospects. Items such as laptops, smart phones, online productivity tools, video conferencing equipment, virtual offices, and file sharing software are all critically necessary to work anywhere yet still be connected. 


Companies that facilitate the idea of mobile working, work shifting, and telework often supply video conferencing equipment, online solutions, file sharing, network capabilities, cloud storage, webinar equipment, and productivity apps. Companies such as Citrix Canada and Your Virtual Butler, both of which are housed in our centre allow this new co working movement to gain further momentum. We have been a proud incubator of small businesses and start-up companies since the early 90s and by focusing on technology we hope to attract an even higher number of early phase tech companies.


Recover from your next meeting with an Ostrich pillow

Important Fact: around 20 minutes is ideal for a power nap.

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Stop Losing Leads

On October 9 we will be hosting our second Lunch and Learn of the Fall, called Power up the Performance of your Company’s Sales Team, hosted by Lou Natale here at the Rostie Group. We are the lab for Your Virtual Butler, a CRM solution for workspace providers. A CRM system is instrumental for tracking and converting leads for any business. Here are few more ideas we put together for closing sales once you have your leads.

You will never convert 100% of your leads but how do you increase the percentage of potential leads that are converted? Take a closer look at how you handle the leads that you have generated through your marketing efforts and what you can do to improve your strategy with a few tips. Following up right away is key but there are a few steps before and after the follow-up that you might be overlooking.

  • If you’re not using a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM), put together a spreadsheet to track all of your warm prospects.
  • Put together a spreadsheet or invest in a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM to keep tabs on your leads.
  • At the very least, organise your leads by name, email, company name, referral source and status.
  • Keep a record of what was said between you and the lead, business and personal info.This will help you customise and maximize their experience.
  • Old means cold. Follow up leads asap but when you have time to give them your full attention.
  •  Use their energy. Reflect your prospects energy then try to raise their excitement by asking them engaging questions about something they value.
  • Introduce a time constraint. Communicate urgency to get leads to act. Your prospect is most likely busy and a call-to-action that does not have a time limit might be very attractive but can still be forgotten.
  • Teach your lead. Whether your product or service is well know sometimes prospects need to picture themselves using it or be educated on how important using your product will be to them.
  • Build rapport. If your lead becomes comfortable with you then you are more likely to close them. Reflect the tone of your lead, don’t push the sale your lead out the door.
  • Develop a follow-up strategy based on your lead generating efforts. This will help you classify your leads. Target your warm leads and watch your response-rate increase.

Register for our Lunch and Learn here.

The Telework Trend (Part 1/3)

Telework 101


Telework also sometimes referred to as telecommuting, involves the use of information technology which enables workers to work outside a traditional office environment.  Mobile workers enjoy a flexible schedule and can work either a normal forty hour week, or on an occasional basis.  Typically most telework occurs only a day or two a week.  Implementation of a telework program offers significant benefits to employees, employers and their surrounding communities.

The Canadian government has been less active in promoting telework than the United States.  However, several Canadian municipalities have supportive initiatives in place, with the City of Calgary leading the way. 

Private organizations are becoming more active in raising awareness of the benefits and best practices for telework in Canada.  Nortel Networks is a Canadian company that has become a world leader in the telework trend.  They have made flexible work arrangements a top priority, which has in turn yielded higher employee productivity.

Companies that engage in telework and telecommuting programs, allow employees to communicate through email and video conferencing.  The long term effects of this trend point to an increased need for improved mobile technology and a decrease in the amount of required office space as employees work remotely.  

  • Benefits: less commuting, saving time, better for the environment, less demand on infrastructure, increased productivity, less office politics, less overhead costs, less traditional office space needed, can work on off hours
  • Challenges: lack of direct communication, less access to management, data accessibility is hindered, poor visibility into colleagues activity, possibility of duplicating work

The Rostie Group is proud to be the lab for Your Virtual Butler


Web-based services team up: Your Virtual Butler keeps clients updated using ScreenScape

Web-based, shared work spaces and property marketing and management software, Your Virtual Butler will display automatically updated content on screens at various sites using ScreenScape.

The Rostie Group is proud to be the lab for Your Virtual Butler. 

Toronto, ON and Charlottetown, PE. September 11th, 2012 – Developers of Your Virtual Butler (YVB), a specialized e-commerce and work spaces marketing and management software have teamed up with ScreenScape to provide an additional service feature. YVB is a cloud-based solution for managing and marketing offices, co working spaces and meeting rooms to meeting room clients who can book these facilities and their complementary services online. With this new feature, clients’ meeting or event schedules and updates are easily ported to ScreenScape where they can be displayed on screens on location.

Read More…

Bad Office Posture Can Be a Pain in the Neck (Tips)


Good posture is important whether you’re sitting in a comfy office chair or at a workstation or standing by the water cooler. We spend countless hours sitting in front of the computer screen which can lead to back or neck pain. Fortunately all of this can be avoided by observing some thoughtful tips:

  • Sit right back in your chair
  • Use the chair’s lumbar support to keep your head and neck erect.
  • Take stretch breaks and walking breaks if sitting in an office chair for long periods of time.
  • Adjust the surface height of your desk and chair to suit the tasks you do and your own height
  • Make sure the work surface is elbow level.
  • Knees should be level with hips (use a couple of telephone books or adjust the height of your chair to fix this)
  • The backrest of your office chair should push the low back forward slightly.
  • Close both eyes, relax, now open them. Where your gaze finally focuses is where your computer screen should be.


About the Rostie Group: The Rostie Group is Toronto’s premier mid-sized meetings and conference centre and boutique provider of fully furnished personal and shared workspaces including virtual offices, team rooms, workstations, co working spaces and event spaces. Situated at Bay and Queen’s Quay in the city’s thriving south core, our experienced and professional staff are always on hand and dedicated to your business success.

Reasons to Co work You May or May not have Thought of


Routine of leaving the house can be just as important to the workaholic as it is to the easily distracted co worker.

Industry awareness.

Working alongside peers can put your career strategy and assumptions in sharper perspective.

Net-WORK in a new city.

If you have just moved to a new city you can work, network and learn all at the same time in the same place.

It’s green!





About the Rostie Group: The Rostie Group is Toronto’s premier mid-sized meetings and conference centre and boutique provider of fully furnished personal and shared workspaces including virtual offices, team rooms, workstations, co working spaces and event spaces. Situated at Bay and Queen’s Quay in the city’s thriving south core, our experienced and professional staff are always on hand and dedicated to your business success.

The Rostie Group’s First Meetup


The Rostie Group successfully hosted its first annual Summer Networking Meetup on Friday August 24th. Our tenants came out to join us in saying ‘Aloha’ to the summer season at the Miller Tavern, located just across from 20 Bay Street. As Hannah Tough prepared to go back to school, we were pleased to welcome Miriam Gaspar aboard. As well, we had another reason to celebrate as Lynda Pitchford officially joined our Rostie & Associates team! We sincerely hope to see you at our next dynamic meetup event!




David Rostie Speaks about the NHLPA Negotiations


The Rostie Group’s very own David Rostie caught some camera time recently when he was tracked down by Global News. David shared his views amidst the then ongoing NHL contract negotiations which were being held at 20 Bay Street. A die-hard hockey fan, David expressed his heartfelt desire that a settlement be reached as soon as possible so that fans just like him would be not be robbed of the sport they love.

The previous lockout in 2004–05 NHL was a lockout that resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of play of the National Hockey League (NHL). It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919, and the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labor dispute. The lockout lasted 10 months and 6 days starting September 16, 2004, the day after the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) that resolved the 1994–95 lockout expired. The negotiating teams reached an agreement on July 13, 2005, and the lockout officially ended a week and 2 days later on July 22, after both the NHL owners and players ratified the CBA.



The NHL Labour Talks, Hosted by The Rostie Group

umbrellas1-300x151The NHL labour talks may not have resolved the association’s problems, but at least the owners had some fashionable Rostie Group umbrellas to keep them dry as they left the building. The Rostie Group recently hosted the NHLPA in their newly built Rainy Lake conference room. Click here to see the Global News clip.

“The biggest issue holding up talks is finding agreement on how the league’s revenues should be split up. Players received 57 per cent under the expiring CBA and the league wants to see that number reduced considerably. The NHL’s initial offer involved cutting the amount to 43 per cent, although it has indicated a willingness to negotiate off that number.”

We wish the NHL’s players and owners the best and a speedy resolution going into their talks this week in New York.