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.

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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.


The Rise of the Remote Worker

Even with rising unemployment, the number of remote workers continues to climb according to the Dieringer Research Group Inc. 




What does the average teleworker look like? Would you have guessed, 40-years-old and at least a college grad? Half of the teleworkers out there have a college degree, on top of that 25% have a post-graduate degree in addition to college. Teleworkers are mostly knowledge workers. The option to telework is increasingly offered to salaried employees (97%); but is few and far between for workers earning an hourly wage (11%).

“Home” is less Popular

“Home” still tops the list of locations that teleworking occurs, but “satellite center” and “hotels” are on the rise. Unfortunately, teleworking while “on vacation” is on the rise too – a practice that lowers the resiliency of workers, and leaves them tired and less productive when back from their (theoretical) vacation. For the first time “co-working office” was given as an option to where teleworking occurs, 12% of teleworkers confirmed that they use a co-working space.

Teleworking is a Reward

Employers see telework as a benefit to employees, and employees are in agreement viewing the ability to work remotely as a reward. Few companies employ large numbers of full-time remote workers, with the biggest exception being the telemarketing industry. 75 percent of employers admit that these privileges have a positive effect on employee engagement, morale, retention and motivation.

*Read the entire report here


Everything You Need to Know before your Video Conference

Video conferencing is a good way to save on overhead costs and the cost of client meetings altogether by eliminating time and capital used in commuting.

Here are some essential tips to make sure your next video conference is a success.

Internet Connection

Make sure that you are using a hard-wired Ethernet connection, and not any kind of Wi-Fi, for video conferencing. Wi-Fi crashes much more often than Ethernet connections – the advantage is clear. Test the internet connection BEFORE the meeting, not during or (even worse) after the meeting has crashed.  It may even be wise to have an entire back-up computer ready to video-conference, in case your computer crashes mid-meeting. Or, ask if your meetings and conference centre carries out test calls prior to the video conference.

 Ensure your Webcam/Camera is Set-up Correctly

Make sure your webcam/camera is set up perfectly to include all your participants’ faces. One of the most important features in video is the lighting. The room should be well-lit so that the participants can see one another, and lighting should come from behind the webcam (in front of you) to avoid glare.

Maintain Proper Posture and Appearance

Be conscious of the body language that you are displaying to the other participants. Just because you are not in the same room with your colleagues and clients does not make it acceptable to slouch, relax or put your feet up. Fidgeting, paper-shuffling, leg-humping or pen-tapping are sources of distraction and can leave a bad impression with the other participants. Pen tapping and paper-shuffling sounds are amplified and can be very irritating to your audience.

Clear Communication

Speak clearly into the microphone and take proper care to enunciate every word – especially when conferencing with people who do not share your first language. Background noise should be kept to a minimum. To provide further clarity use the name of the person to whom you are addressing when speaking, as open discussions fast become confusing over teleconferencing mediums.

Decide on Meeting Dynamics

Elect a chairperson to Emcee the event – someone who can facilitate the meeting going forward, as well as trouble-shoot any technical problems that may arise. An agenda for the meeting, outlining all points of discussion, will help to keep things on track. Make sure that the participants follow the agenda. The agenda should include a period for introductions, outline who is to speak on each point, the order in which the points are to be covered, and as well as include time for Q&A.

Share Handouts

Share necessary files to all parties involved in the meeting, and ensure that all participants are literally on the same page. The most important documents should be shared via email well before the meeting date, to ensure that everyone has had adequate time to review these documents. Sharing the meeting’s agenda well in advance will prepare the participants and help to focus the meeting on the important issues.

Keep Focus and Avoid Inside Jokes

Side conversations and jokes distract others from the meeting. As a general rule of thumb  press the mute button while not speaking. Making a joke to lighten the mood can be beneficial to the meeting, but be sure to include everyone – don’t just whisper into a co-workers ear. Not only may this be seen as excluding the others, some may consider it very rude and may misunderstand a joke as being at their expense. It is best to not distract yourself with anything outside of the meeting. Always remember that you’re on camera!

Good Luck!


Increase Office Productivity with a Little Feng Shui

Think you’re maximizing your work space? Many believe that the way you arrange your office can combat low initiative, morale and focus or even draw in wealth and prosperity. Many Asian business-people consult with Feng Shui experts before moving an office or buying a property; and as well there are countless tales of organizations rescued from the brink of bankruptcy thanks to this ancient Chinese wisdom.

The following are some tips to bring Feng Shui into your office and start taking advantage of the benefits of this age-old knowledge:

1)      Understand the Ba-Gua. The Ba-Gua is an octagonal grid that arranges the symbols of the I Ching ; the I Ching being one of the oldest Chinese texts, that the principles of Feng Shui are derived from. Understanding the Ba-Gua will clarify the connection between the Feng Shui areas of the office and the Feng Shui areas of life. When the Ba-Gua is placed over the office floor-plan one can identify the areas that are influenced by each aspect.

2)      Exterior Considerations. The exterior aspects of your business play just as important a role as the interior. Firstly, choose an office that is in a prosperous neighborhood and make the main entrance as inviting as possible. Flowing water represents prosperity and wealth, making the entrance to your office the ideal place for a water fountain. If this is not a possibility, then pictures and art of flowing water and fish will help.


3)      Remove Clutter. Clutter stops the clean flow of chi and can leave one feeling stressed, confined, time-strapped and unable to cope in general. Clear out the clutter even from hidden areas like closets and cupboards. Arrange the layout of the furniture in a manner that flows; hide all loose cables etc.; and get rid of anything you don’t love. Respect your files and keep them in order, as they represent the past, present and future business inflows. The act of organizing serves as therapy to clear one’s mind while enhancing the flow of Chi throughout the office space. It is also the first step to bringing Feng Shui to the office.

4)      Arranging the Office. Sit in the corner of the room furthest from the entrance to assume a Command position, and sit with your back to a tall building to gain the support of a mountain. Never have a desk in-line with a door as this is in the direct path of negative Chi. Placing your computer in the North or West enhances creativity, whereas positioning the computer in the South or West enhances the generation of income. Lastly, balance the Yin and Yang when decorating the office – balance light & dark, rough & smooth, soft & hard textures when choosing paint, flooring and window treatments.

5)      Quality of Air and Light. High quality air and light are essential to allow Chi to flow through the office, so therefore the office should not be dimly lit, windowless, or stuffy. It is important to open the windows often to let in fresh air. If this isn’t possible, then use an air purifier as well as  air-purifying plants  (palms, ferns, lilies, ivies) throughout the office. Have as much natural light shining into the office as possible, and where this is not possible contemplate using full-spectrum light bulbs. Vitamin D deficiency is directly related to a number of ailments including depression, muscle weakness, asthma, diabetes and cancer.

6)      Symbols of Wealth. The South-East area of the office, according to the Ba-Gua, influences wealth; therefore symbols of wealth (such as diplomas, awards of achievement, a lotus flower, a lucky red envelope containing money, or anything red for that matter, etc, etc) should be placed there. Using Feng Shui crystals in this space will energize the area and draw in wealth Chi. Place a Feng Shui money tree (Crassula Ovata & Pachira  Aquatica are two examples) in this space, and be sure to take exceptional care of it. Also, this area is ideal to place a pond with flowing water, fish, or both. Keep this area particularly tidy, and always fix anything that is in disrepair. A leaky tap is symbolic of waste & wealth leaving the business, and will have especially negative effects in the wealth area. Any needed supplies should be kept well stocked and visible, as a further symbol of wealth and prosperity.



6 Telecommuter Tips

Develop a Pre-work ritual. Have one thing in the morning that indicates to you that it’s time to work. It could be something as simple as jumping into the shower at a certain time or flipping your laptop lid open at your desk.

Batch. Don’t make a list of a gazillion tasks to complete. simplify things by batching similar tasks and prioritizing. Differentiate the urgent from the important to make your days more productive.

Work in blocks. Set certain time blocks for completion of tasks, jobs, projects. This will ensure you do not end up working into the wee hours of the night and that you are structured, efficient and productive.

Structure your everday responsibilities. Don’t leave the structure just for your 9-5. The more organised you are across the board the more you and everyone around will benefit, not just colleagues, family and friend included.

Maximise your work area. develop a filing system that keeps you organized and will help you maintain your especially productive bursts.

Invest in communication. Take the time to learn new technology that keeps you in touch with colleagues and even friends and family. This will help you maximise your time and make better decisions more quickly and confidently.