Toronto is a Coworking City

While coworking is a worldwide phenomenon, some places are much bigger adopters than others. In recent years, Toronto has established itself as a coworking city. And now, the proof is in- according to a new study, Toronto is now the 3rd fastest growing city for coworking.

How Toronto Coworking Stacks Up Globally

Toronto is a fast adopter and is often a testing ground for new business practices and ideas. The city was quick to embrace coworking, even before it became an international trend. This was spurred on by the office space needs of Toronto’s thriving tech sector.

Now that coworking is a proven format that drives success and agility, it’s growth is expanding even faster. Today, Toronto’s coworking growth is outranked only by New York and London.

The growth rate is not steady across Canada. Vancouver is the only other Canadian city that even registers in the top 50 coworking markets. The popularity of shared office space centers largely around tech and business hubs with expensive or limited real estate.

Why Is Coworking So Big In Toronto?

While Toronto has the 3rd fastest coworking growth rate, Canada ranks 7th globally. So what is it that sets the city apart in this space?

Here are a few of the key factors that make coworking so attractive in the GTA:

Demand

In Toronto, coworking isn’t just good practice — it’s becoming a necessity. As one of the biggest business cities in North America, companies are looking for space. As a result, the demand for office space is outpacing availability.

This disparity between availability and demand is even greater in high-demand areas. Office space in Toronto’s Financial District, for instance, is notoriously difficult to obtain.

Currently, at 2.6%, Toronto has the lowest vacancy rate in North America. Despite a skyline filled with cranes, the city cannot build fast enough to match the demand with traditional offices.

Cost

With the low availability of office space, all the power is in the hands of building owners. They are able to charge a fortune on rents and can demand longterm lease agreements. On top of all this, the year-over-year costs continue to grow. As a result, rent becomes a significant factor in profitability.

With that in mind, it just makes sense to find a lower-cost solution. Shared office space means shared costs. This allows companies to find affordable office space in the most desirable locations.

Through coworking, businesses can get higher-quality offices in better locations at lower costs.

Need for Agility

Modern businesses need to be agile. But Toronto office rentals usually have 5 to 10-year leases. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for mobility. Even large companies may not have a clear business plan for that far in the future.

This makes these contracts impractical for companies that may have rapid growth or fluctuations. As a result, even enterprise companies are moving into Toronto coworking spaces.

Coworking offices offer short term or even month-to-month rental options. That allows companies to quickly increase or decrease their office space. In short, you can scale your space in real-time.

Toronto is a Major Test Market

Toronto is a great place to do business and an ideal place to test the waters. With the advantages of bringing a business to Toronto, if you can’t make it work here you’ll likely struggle in US markets.

Companies frequently take advantage of Toronto’s talent pool and tax advantages to test the market for new business ideas.

The agility of coworking makes it the ideal solution for these tests. The short-term rentals allow you to move quickly with minimal risk. And you can expand quickly, so you never miss out on an important opportunity.

Join a City of Fast-Adopters

For those who want to grow their business, it’s all about finding the right environment. Toronto is full of industry leaders, movers and shakers. They’re quick to jump on new ideas and double down on the practices that work. It’s a mindset that’s attractive to entrepreneurs and enterprises alike.

Book a tour today and discover how Toronto coworking fits your business.

How To Find Meeting Rooms On Demand

Scheduling meetings can be tough when meetings don’t happen according to schedule. Last-minute changes and new opportunities don’t always leave you with a lot of options. Even if your office has meeting rooms, they can fill up fast and last minute schedules can create conflict. 

So how can you find a meeting room on demand?

Option 1: Coffee Shops

Coffee shops are all over the place. The friendly atmosphere, promise of wifi, and ready availability made them a popular last-minute meeting spot.

Coffee shop meetings were in-vogue about a decade ago. Low-budget, and accessible, they remain a great place to catch up with a friend. But it’s not the best place to conduct a professional business meeting. 

While there is definitely some convenience and savings here, the cons outweigh the pros.

Pros:

  • Readily Available – In cities like Toronto, there’s a coffee shop on every corner.
  • Easy Access – Coffee shops offer long hours and street-level access. Since they are all over the place, you can pick a spot that everyone can access.

Cons:

  • Noisy – Coffee shops are loud. You can hear everyone, and everyone can hear you. That makes it a poor choice for discussing sensitive information. It’s also a distracting environment. It’s hard to focus on the topic at hand when it’s continually interrupted by people placing their orders.
  • No Guaranteed Space – There are no reservations at a coffee shop. There’s a reason that coffee shops keep popping up — they keep filling up. Depending on the location and time of day, you may have trouble finding a spot to sit.
  • Unprofessional – They aren’t laying out the red carpet at Tim Horton’s, no matter how many Timbits you buy. Meeting at a coffee shop is always going to feel more casual than professional. There’s certainly a place for these informal settings, but using them at the wrong time makes you look unprofessional.

 

Option 2: Hotels

Hotels have a long history of hosting meetings. Most 3+ star hotels have several meeting rooms available. These can serve a number of functions from out-of-town meetings to full-blown conferences.

Generally, hotel meeting rooms are geared towards large meetings. They want to use them to generate extra cash in the form of bedroom rentals, or food and beverage minimums. The rates are on the higher end up until you get a big enough group together.

These meeting rooms are typically geared towards groups of 50+ people. The larger your group, the more sense a hotel makes.

Pros:

  • Reservable – Unlike a coffee shop, you can reserve spots in a hotel. Bookings are available months in advance.
  • Can Host Large Groups – If you’re with a large group, especially if that group is staying at the hotel that night, hotel meeting rooms start to make a lot of sense. They have a lot of space, and the cost per person is lower the more people there are. Big corporations who are out of town for a convention will often opt for these locations.

Cons

  • Limited Sizes – If you’re hosting a group of 40 or less, you may be out of luck. The room sizes are a little too large to be comfortable and the per-person cost is a little too high. In some instances, they may not even rent a room to too small of a group, since they can make more money on catering with a large group.
  • Outdated – Booking a meeting at a hotel is even more outdated than a coffee shop. But it’s not just that it’s off-trend. Most of their rooms are out of date both aesthetically and technologically. They simply do not meet the needs of a modern business meeting.
  • Availability – Hotels and event centres may not have last-minute availability. These bookings often happen far in advance, so they are not always an option for on-demand meeting rentals.

 

Option 3: Coworking Space Meeting Room Rentals

Coworking spaces are the modern way of doing business. They’re also the new source for on-demand meeting room rentals. Top tier coworking offices offer a number of high-quality meeting room rentals.

These rooms offer the most convenience to companies working in the space. However, any company can benefit from renting meeting venues. With ready availability in the heart of the city, you can find meeting rooms on-demand that are available near you.

Convenient, versatile, and technologically up-to-date. Shared office meeting room rentals are the best option for small to medium-sized meetings.

Advantages:

  • Professional – With professional design and high-quality equipment, these meeting rooms offer a professional image. 
  • Versatility – Coworking meeting rooms allow you to fit your room according to the size of your meeting. A range of different rooms can accommodate 2 to 40 people. 
  • On-Demand Reservations – These rooms offer reservations to guarantee your spot. But you don’t need to book months in advance. Rooms are available when you need them most.
  • Technology – Coworking office meeting room rentals are equipped with all the tech a modern meeting demands. Conference calling, webcams, screens and more.

 

Book A Toronto Meeting Room Rental On-Demand

The Professional Centre is a coworking office in Toronto’s Financial District. We host a variety of professionally designed, high-quality meeting rooms that are suitable for any business. Our rooms are available per hour or per day.

Select your room and book a meeting today!

5 Tips for Staying Productive in a Shared Office Space

Shared office spaces have grown from a trend to changing the way companies do business. It increases collaboration and is a great source of creative ideation. But when it comes time for individual work, how do you optimize performance and reduce distractions?

Today, we’re giving out simple tips for staying productive in a shared office space.

#5.  Ergonomic Office Furnishings

In too many of Toronto’s shared office spaces, getting in late means getting stuck with the squeaky chair. You miss the update about the latest DVP closure and now you’re stuck in a day of discomfort and annoyance. It’s hard to focus and can affect your productivity.

In a truly productive shared office, the bad chair shouldn’t even be an issue. Ergonomic furniture and furnishings have a direct impact on productivity. They keep your employees comfortable, allowing them to focus on the task at hand. 

As well, they help to preserve their long-term health. They make it easier to maintain posture and keep away those nagging aches and pains.

While the best-shared office spaces in Toronto provide ergonomic furniture, there is still more employers can do. For instance, providing ergonomic mouse and keyboard pads can help prevent wrist pain. As well, making sure to set up computer screens properly can greatly reduce neck pain.

Minimizing discomfort and pain allows you to maintain focus.

#4. Alternate Workspaces

Coworking spaces are fantastic hubs for collaboration and teamwork. But sometimes, having all those people around can be distracting.

It is important to have access to alternate workspaces. Whether moving away from distractions for solo projects or simply changing up the scenery, it’s nice to have a secondary workspace.

An increasingly common solution is to allow employees to work from home. Flex options like having a couple of days a week as, “work from home” days are a great option. And they’re a nice incentive for new hires. 

To get the most out remote working, check out our tips on upgrading a home office for productivity.

Of course, you don’t want to have to head home every time you want a little privacy in the office. Most shared office spaces offer lounge areas. The spaces provide a comfortable workspace away from other distractions.

If you want even more privacy, you may want to consider the benefits of a private office. Private offices in coworking spaces let you benefit from the collaborative atmosphere while reducing potential distractions.

#3. Wellness Areas

Modern employers understand the benefits of hacking employee happiness. And those benefits are just as important whether you’re a solo freelancer or running a business. As such, there’s a growing demand for increasing wellness in the workplace.

Giving your employees a space to destress is good for their health and happiness, and ultimately, their productivity. It’s why The Professional Centre includes a wellness room in our premium amenities. 

Shared office wellness rooms help you refresh and reset your mind throughout the day. It’s a great way to get past that midafternoon daze. Refocus, reenergize, and reignite your mind.

#2. Declutter

Clutter is an underrated source of stress in the office place. It’s easy to let things pile up or fall into disarray. A disorganized workspace isn’t just a challenge to keep organized, it’s also a major source of mental strain. There’s a reason the minimalist lifestyle trend took off so fast.

According to Dr. Susan K. Whitborne, clutter can cause:

  • Low subjective well-being – making it hard to feel pride in your workplace
  • Unhealthy eating 
  • Poor mental health
  • Inefficient visual processing – the excess stimuli makes it hard to focus on what matters
  • Inefficient thinking

The mental impact of clutter has a direct impact on the productivity of your workplace. Some good tips for reducing clutter include proper file use, minimizing knickknacks, and choosing an office space with daily cleaners.

As well, it’s worth regularly scheduling some time to reorganize your desk. Throw out the things you don’t need anymore, and find more efficient places for growing stacks of items. Even cleaning up the folders on your computer’s desktop screen can be cathartic (and may help it run faster).

1. Lighting

A well-lit shared office makes a big difference in your work. Good office lighting goes well beyond letting you see what you’re doing. Big windows, with natural light coming through, helps to energize your mind. It helps you stay more alert, focused and creative.

When renting coworking space in Toronto, it’s worth looking at their lighting situation. Today’s workforce is looking away from flickering fluorescents. Their sights are set on the brighter, high-efficiency bulbs and as much natural light as possible.

Natural light releases endorphins, making for a more pleasant workday. As well, natural lighting improves:

  • Sleep Quality
  • Quality of Life
  • Workplace Activity

Poor lighting, on the other hand, has a negative, destimulating effect. It can reduce the quality of work, attentiveness, and cause eyestrain.

Proper lighting in your shared office makes for better work and a better office experience.

 

Find A Productive Shared Office Space in Toronto

The Professional Centre is dedicated to creating the best possible work environment. Our Toronto shared offices are found in the heart of the Financial District. We have premium amenities, ergonomics, and lighting in our coworking offices.

 

Book a private tour today and discover how TPC does coworking differently.

Three New Toronto Patios You Need to Try

Irrefutable Fact: Canadians love their summers! Undisputed Probability: Nowhere in the country is the season celebrated more passionately than it is in Toronto. Even while tending to business, the city serves as Canada’s leading hub for business, technology, medicine and the arts. Torontonians view the lazy days of summer as a non-negotiable mandate to get outside and make the most of the sizzling glory that is summer in the city.

And even now that July has faded into the rearview, a solid argument can be made that the best is yet to come! Dazzling August and brilliant September days, not to mention balmy nights, are ideal for kicking back and enjoying the respite that is time spent on one of Toronto’s flourishing outdoor patios. Be it extending a lunch-break or making an oh-so-pleasant night of it, busy Torontonians can be spotted living their best summertime life on the city’s lively patios! Here’s a trio of new(ish) outdoor patios, conveniently located in the heart of the city.

Assembly Chef’s Hall – Courtyard Patio

Assembly Chef’s Hall is a rambling food hall where a dozen and a half chefs hawk their incredible offerings. Also home to a new enormous outdoor patio with its own bar which, if the consistent crowds are any indicator, is a perfect spot to gather to pay homage to a summer afternoon or evening. Located right in the heart of the city and home to a smorgasbord of delectable gastronomic offerings, you’ll be impressed at how the Assembly Chef’s Hall’s massive courtyard patio effortlessly manages to strike just the right balance between a high-energy downtown haven and secluded getaway. With the multiple strands of hanging lights lending the nighttime stars a hand, join the multitudes relaxing in the soft glow while savouring tasty summer bites, live music and the impressive bar.

General hours (Patio Hours may vary) :
Monday to Wednesday | 7 am to 10 pm
Thursday to Friday | 7 am to 10 pm
Saturday | 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday | Coming soon!

Where:
111 Richmond St. W – Richmond-Adelaide Centre

Kelly’s Landing

Seamlessly blending the indoors with the outside, it doesn’t get much more summer-in-the-city than this bumping sidewalk patio overlooking busy Front Street! The roof retracts and the massive doors roll completely open so patrons can chill while watching the world go by at this Financial District favourite. Perched atop brilliant red metal high chairs, you can enjoy the boozy summer cocktails and the beats — there’s usually a DJ spinning from Wednesday to Saturday — while soaking up the sunshine or partying under the starry night sky. Sample time-honoured, flavourful dishes or get your summer on with a number of fresh new offerings.

Hours:
Sunday: 11 am to 12 am
Monday to Thursday: 11 am to 1 am
Friday to Saturday: 11 am to 2 am

Where:
123 Front St. W

The Gaarden

The Gaarden, Toronto’s newest rooftop patio brought to you by Ink Entertainment, is a welcome addition to the city’s thriving outdoor dining scene. This lush and green garden-themed space is proving to be one of the hottest spots of summer 2019. Make a new friend while seated at the communal high tops set among the verdant greenery. Soak up some Vitamin D while savouring impressive cityscape views. The Gaarden brings a whole new vibe to the already edgy Queen Street West. Finish up a day of shopping the funky neighbourhood with a Frosé at the 20 seater bar…or turn up the heat after a day working the phones over jalapeno margaritas in a private booth. Whatever your summertime pleasure, the city’s newest patio hideout has got you covered.

Hours:
Tuesday to Friday | 4 pm to late
Saturday | 1 pm to late

Where:
314 Queen St W

Toronto offers all manner of extraordinary opportunities to get outside and bask in the wonder that is this big Canadian city in the summer. Scattered throughout its interesting and diverse neighbourhoods, any of its many eclectic patios can serve as just the spot to revel in an authentic urban summertime immersion before or after an outing. And since most patios stay open for as long as the weather holds, a Toronto patio is a great way to squeeze the very last drop of summer magic from this coveted season.

 


Locating a business in Toronto? Need a private or coworking office, or virtual office for your business? 

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

 

14 Surprising Statistics on Generation Z

Generation Z kids on mobile devices

Move Over Millennials, the New Kids on the Block Have Arrived

While a lot of energy in recent years has been expended on understanding the talents and preferences of millennials, the time is such that we need to thoughtfully consider an entirely new generation.

Born after 1996 into an internet-connected world and raised to navigate that sphere with ease, these young digital natives now entering the workforce have an entirely unique set of goals and expectations.

Although still often referred to as “post-millennials” or “the next generation after millennials”, it’s a mistake to think of this new generation as merely an addendum to their predecessors. In fact, they are quite different! Forging a path that is quickly diverging from millennials, coupled with the changes they’ll usher in, this new generation is earning its own name.

Introducing Generation Z

Until recently, this new cohort was known by several names — iGen, NextGen, Post-Millenials, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Internet Generation, Homeland Generation and Generation Z. Recently however, Generation Z is shaping up to be the clear winner with Gen Z, a shorter, arguably easier take, is trailing closely behind.

As the volume of research on Gen Z’ers grows with each passing year, there have been some surprising revelations about their thought processes and motivations. This research may also help shed light on what this influential group may prioritize in the coming decades.

By 2020, Gen Z could represent 20% of the workforce which makes them the largest cohort set to take over. As such, Gen Z’ers will drive much of the change that will shape the next 100 years. So what do we need to know about Generation Z to prepare for these changes in the workplace?

“…the changes and trends we’re seeing (from new generations) are actually rippling up instead of down.” – Jason Dorsey

Generation Z and The Human Connection Paradox

Although completely immersed in technology, early studies show that Gen Z prefers more, not less, human interaction in the workplace.

43% of Gen Z’ers prefer in-person communication with leadership and team members. (Less than half of millennials need the same amount).

Two-thirds say they need feedback from their supervisor at least every few weeks in order to stay at their job.

One in five prefer feedback daily or several times each day which allows them to consistently deliver the most value.

Sources


Contrary to societal assumptions, Gen Z feels that frequent face-to-face interaction with team members and supervisors is important for optimum job performance and satisfaction. However, for Gen Z, not all feedback is created equal.

As a generation that’s immersed in YouTube and skills-sharing online, Gen Z prefers mentoring or coaching (versus managing) as this method feels more engaging and mirrors how they have consumed information and guidance since they were old enough to work a smartphone.

 

Generation Z and The Financial Security Paradox

Members of Gen Z were still children during the Great Recession. They observed their parents and their communities suffer financial setbacks and weather economic uncertainties for an extended period of time. Experts believe that this is why Gen Z’ers prioritize security, benefits and economic stability.

“This is a pragmatic generation — they care about making a difference, but are ultimately motivated by ensuring they have a secure life outside of work.” – Forbes

 

Overall, Gen Z’ers are smarter with money than millennials. In fact, 12% are already saving for retirement and a significant 21% had a savings account before the age of ten.

77% of Gen Z’ers currently earn their own spending money through freelance work, a part-time job, or an earned allowance. This bodes well for Gen Z’s future self-reliance and long-term contribution to the economy, as well as for employers.

And yet despite their penchant for security, new data reveals Gen Z is the most freelancing-inclined cohort yet. Gen Z is foregoing traditional, corporate roles and freelancing by choice more than any other generation.

46% of adult working Gen Z’ers freelanced last year. (This generation is more likely than any other to choose freelancing proactively).

73% saying they originally started by choice rather than necessity. (Versus 66% of baby boomers and 62% of millennials).

Sources


“As Gen Z enters the workforce, they’re increasingly choosing non-traditional ways of working that are better suited to their desired lifestyle than a traditional 9-to-5 job… More than any other generation, members of Gen Z are seeking work they’re passionate about that also affords them freedom and flexibility. It’s important that companies adjust their hiring strategies in order to work with the best young talent, which accounts for more people than Gen X and baby boomers and will be the majority of the workforce within the next five years.” – Stephane Kasriel, Upwork CEO

The latest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z is focused on finding meaning in their chosen careers. As such, they are more likely to be motivated by job satisfaction and working for social good than by money.

This parameter, coupled with the fact that they’re simply better at managing their pocketbooks than their immediate predecessors, is setting them up to become a profoundly influential generation when it comes to the world of work. Gen Z’ers will forge their own work path using their technical know-how to enable them to work wherever they want. However, they will be pragmatic, with security as a guiding force behind their career and life decisions.

Generation Z and The Technology Paradox

Technology’s influence — in particular how people communicate and interact — is a major generation-shaping factor. Being the first cohort of pure digital natives, technology is where Gen Z differs the most from other generations, including millennials. Millennials have certainly adapted to things that have come online but for Gen Z, technology is just part of their ecosystem.

Going forward, these young digital natives simply assume that technology will play a central role in their careers and life.

80% of Gen Z’ers aspire to work with cutting-edge technology.

91% say technology would influence job choice among similar employment offers.

80% believe technology and automation will create a more equitable work environment.

Sources


“Technology is less intentional and more intuitive for this generation, and their social skills are morphing into a hybrid of technology and face-to-face contact.” – John Richardson, University of Ottawa

Gen Z’ers familiarity with technology and how they experience the world through its use is unique to them. Technology is more about communication than convenience. It’s an extension of themselves and therefore (ironically) more personal.

95% of Gen Z’ers have a smartphone.

55% are on their phones 5+ hours a day.

26% are on their phones 10+ hours a day.

65% use their phones after midnight a few times a week.

29% use their phones after midnight every night.

Sources


Generation Z’ers have always had the internet at their fingertips. If they encounter a problem or something they don’t know the answer to, they seek out the website or technology that can help. They are adaptive and responsive to new apps and tools that can be roadblocks for older generations. Giving people who are used to finding workarounds to problems in their personal lives the space and encouragement to replicate that in the workplace will result in a team that’s intuitive, solutions-driven and independent. However, if they’re being micro-managed, that won’t happen, and they’re more likely to depend on and defer to managers to steer them.

The Generation Z and The Best of Both Worlds

This generation is on the rise and with it comes a host of changes and contradictions. What we know for certain is that Gen Z will lead the way in the digital-first economy for no other reason than the obvious. They are the first cohort of pure digital natives. They have a unique relationship with technology and that will surely impact the future of work and society as a whole.

However, this is also a generation that desires face-to-face human interaction and mentoring, leaving the door wide open for a cross-generational exchange of ideas and inter-disciplinary cooperation. Employers and service providers can accommodate this by providing collaborative work environments and an inspiring culture. For remote teams and freelancers, tools like AR, VR, Skype and flexible or coworking work environments can help workers connect and collaborate on an on-going basis.


Locating a business in Toronto? Need a private or coworking office, or virtual office for your business? 

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

 

Business in Toronto: A City That Works!

Are you thinking of locating a business in Toronto? Consider a few of the many reasons Toronto is seen as an innovative and engaging place to live and work…

Toronto is Ranked Among the Very Best

What makes a city great? Likely there are as many answers to that question as there are cities…so good to know Toronto is ranked among the very best of the world’s urban centres. It’s actually routinely cited as one of the most livable cities in the world. In fact, the highly regarded Economist’s Intelligence Unit’s 2018 Global Livability Report — which assesses cities on 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure — placed Toronto (tied with Tokyo) as the seventh most livable city on Earth.


Toronto ranks #7 in the world for livability

The Global Liveability score: 100 = Ideal

97.2

Overall Rating

100

Stability

100

Healthcare

100

Education

 

97.2

Culture & Environment

 

89.3

Infrastructure


While not without the stresses and strains that accompany big city life, in that same report Toronto nonetheless notched an impressive overall grade of 97.2 out of 100. Further, it scored a perfect 100 in the categories of stability, healthcare and education. But while these measures certainly offer an objective baseline against which to compare other urban centres, other less-tangible factors can elevate a city and get people buzzing…

Toronto is Diverse

With almost half of its population hailing from outside of Canada, Toronto serves as inclusive home to over 200 ethnic groups speaking in excess of 180 languages. As such, Toronto is regarded as the most ethnically diverse large city in North America and considered the most multicultural city in the world.

Toronto Raptor’s 2019 NBA Championship victory parade in the streets of Toronto. Photo by Joshua Chua, Unsplash.

The city’s genuine embrace of diversity was recently on full display when millions of enthusiastic fans flooded downtown Toronto for the Toronto Raptors 2019 NBA Championship victory parade. As Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe & Mail reported, “Every background, every language, every country was represented on those packed streets – and no one gave it a second thought.”

As the Raptor’s parade so effectively illustrated, Toronto’s multiculturalism is deeply woven into the city’s fibre. It’s fair to say it shapes the collective experience of the city having spurred the development of incredible neighbourhoods, inspired numerous ethnic festivals showcasing different cultural traditions and even enhanced the city’s dining scene to the degree that Vogue Magazine stated it’s a must-visit destination for foodies.

Toronto is Thriving

Along with its reputation as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Toronto has long been acknowledged as an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture. In tribute to the city’s forward-moving momentum, a report from analysts at U.S.-based Expert Market named Toronto among the top ten tech hubs in which to live and work. With a nod to the many incubators in town, Toronto is actually Canada’s no. 1 start-up hub with approximately 3,000 tech ventures. These operate alongside a number of Canada’s very own tech heavy hitters including Shopify, Hootsuite and Kik which all have a strong presence in the city.

It’s not surprising to find the city serving as home-base for an industry that demands an educated, skilled workforce. Canadians are typically better educated than they were a decade ago and have some of the highest rates of post-secondary attendance in the developed world. These findings were released in a recent report Education Indicators in Canada, from the Council of Education Ministers, which analyzed a wide-ranging collection of data and included comparisons between Canadian numbers and those of 30 other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. With the city’s ability to provide ready access to an eminently qualified workforce, North America’s fourth largest city has an incredible future as one of the world’s preeminent tech cities.

Toronto is Livable

Toronto is Canada’s biggest city and living and working in the country’s most populous centre does have its advantages. Looking beyond its celebrated multiculturalism and high-skilled workforce, Toronto boasts a great public transportation system, a thriving cultural scene that includes incredible museums, inspiring galleries, a world-class performing-arts scene along with a huge inventory of restaurants, clubs, cultural spaces, bars, breweries, bookstores and coffee shops that are hopping day and night!

As well, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2017 Safe Cities Index saw Toronto ranked at 4th out of 60 cities. The study scrutinized four categories including digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety. Beyond its overall position, Toronto ranked high in Personal Security and Digital Security, ranking #5 and #6 respectively.

Also pretty validating, according to the Nestpick’s 2018 Millennial Cities Ranking, Toronto ranks 5th of 110 cities for the best location for millennials to live and work. Toronto scored big marks in diverse categories such as the success of local start-ups, the food scene, attitudes toward immigration, personal freedom, and LGBT friendliness.

All in all, Toronto is an incredible environment offering a high-quality of life. With excellent employment opportunities, wonderful leisure and recreational options, a thriving cultural scene and public spaces that are accessible, safe and well-used, it’s a city that works!


Locating a business in Toronto? Need a private or coworking office, or virtual office for your business? 

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

Monetize your Knowledge as an Online Course Creator

Your Time is Money

When your small to medium-sized business is focused on the delivery of a service — be it financial, legal, engineering, consulting or physical therapy — you’re really selling a finite resource that is your time. Because there is a limited number of hours in a day, how can you add more revenue or scale your business without losing any sleep?

Typically you would hire more employees or outsource some activities. But labour, especially for service workers, is expensive. Fortunately, thanks to the internet’s long reach and an ever-growing demand for online learning, it’s never been easier to establish new sources of passive income by sharing what you already have in abundance — your knowledge.

The Case for Turning Your Expertise into an Online Course

As a service-based business, your knowledge or expertise is your single biggest asset. It can also be viewed as a commodity because it can be packaged and shared with others to generate revenue. In fact, monetizing your knowledge is an effective way to scale and create new streams of income without ever having to hire or outsource additional resources.

Enter Online Learning Platforms…

In that access to current information is one of the defining characteristics of our information economy, online learning, or E-learning, is expected to generate in excess of $325 billion by 2025. Now more than ever, people expect to find affordable and timely access to credible knowledge and training at their fingertips.

Choosing the Right Online Course Platform

Some of the most successful online courses are from people who have developed a unique set of skills that other people can benefit from. And with a plethora of readily-available online course creation tools, anyone can take their skills and expertise and turn them into revenue-generating online courses.

The obvious challenge facing you as a business owner — in that time is still your most precious resource — is to identify the most effective way to package and distribute your knowledge for market consumption. As such, there are a number of factors you have to weigh when deciding what platform would serve as the best creation tool and home for your courses:

  • Which learning platform best suits my subject matter and audience?
  • How difficult is the platform to use?
  • How long does it take to create a course on this platform?
  • Is there an opportunity for a good return?
  • How will I be compensated?
  • Can I host my course on my website?
  • How much control do I have over the look and format of my course?
  • Do I have access to my students?
  • How much marketing will I have to do?

The answers to these questions will help you determine which online learning platform is the best one for you.

The Three Types of Online Course Platforms

There are three main types of online learning platforms:

  1. Online Learning Marketplaces
  2. Learning Management Systems
  3. Self-hosted Plugins for your website

Starting with the simplest solution to the most sophisticated, let’s look at each type in detail:


1. Online Learning Marketplaces

PROS: 

  • Fast & easy setup 
  • All the tools you need in one place
  • Well-established platforms
  • No upfront costs
  • Access to a large existing student base

CONS: 

  • You do not own your customer database
  • Limited ability to customize your course format
  • May have course price limitations
  • You cannot host your course on your own website

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to create an online course, get it to market, get paid every month and have exposure to millions of students worldwide, then the online learning marketplace is for you.

Learning marketplaces are large e-commerce sites that typically sell thousands of courses from multiple course creators. These sites provide everything you need to create and sell your course.

The biggest downside of the online learning marketplace is that your students are really their customers. Think of the marketplace as a grocery store. Your “product” sits on their shelf. The marketplace owns your customers, including their email addresses, and therefore, the ongoing relationship with them. Plus, the marketplace, just like the grocery store, can dictate your product’s format, how it’s marketed and even how it’s priced.

Some might find this too restrictive. But for thousands of course creators, these are acceptable tradeoffs for the convenience and the potential exposure to an audience of millions.

Examples of popular learning marketplaces are:

  • Udemy is the world’s largest online learning marketplace 
  • You gain access to a 30+ million global student base
  • Teach anything, except a small list of restricted topics
  • Easy to use — ideal for creating your first online course
  • No fee to create and host a course on Udemy
  • You keep 97% of revenue unless Udemy promotes it 
  • Built-in marketing, payment system, 24/7 support, etc.

  • Simplilearn specializes in digital economy training
  • You gain access to 1 million+ students worldwide
  • Teach courses in big data, analytics, digital marketing, programming & development
  • Industry expertise with relevant certifications required
  • You have the opportunity to earn tens of thousands of dollars every month
  • Built-in marketing, payment system, 24/7 support, etc.

 

  • OpenSesame specializes in corporate learning programs
  • Upload your courses, write descriptions & set your prices
  • OpenSesame will publish your course to the marketplace
  • No upfront fees and you keep 50% of course revenue
  • OpenSesame connects your courses to buyers worldwide

  • The best online course marketplace for creatives
  • Skillshare operates on a membership model
  • Get access to over 7,000,0000 member students worldwide
  • Teach design, marketing, photography, web design, etc.
  • Course format includes video, a project & discussion
  • You earn monthly royalties based on minutes watched

2. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

PROS:

  • Feature rich, easy-to-use platform
  • Everything you need is on one dashboard
  • Your customers are yours to interact with
  • You can “host” your course on your website

CONS: 

  • The platform is not yours
  • You pay a subscription to use the platform
  • Templates are limited
  • You do your own marketing
  • Course payments are your responsibility

With an LMS platform, you have control of branding, pricing and promoting your courses to your audience while having access to all of the tools and support you need to create amazing learning experiences. Technically, your course is hosted on an LMS vendor’s website but as far as your students are concerned, everything will appear to be handled on your own website. Whether you want a stand-alone school or an education section on your existing website, an LMS gives you all the flexibility and tools you need.

The downside to LMS platforms is the work involved. You will have to account for more upfront time as you have to set up everything from the course itself to the payments to the marketing. Also, you’re merely renting the vendor’s real estate. This means that if their servers go down, so does your course. If their rules change, so do yours. The design of your course will also be limited by the templates provided by the platform. Plus, these platforms are sold as a subscription, which means a recurring monthly, quarterly, or annual cost. You have to keep paying if you want to keep using the platform. And some platforms even charge transaction fees on top of the subscription.

Examples of popular Learning Management Systems are:

  • 18 million students & 68,000 instructors worldwide
  • Simple yet powerful website customization
  • Effortless setup for learning management, payment gateways, and sales & marketing tools
  • You own your student data & pricing
  • Integrated payment processing, student management & multimedia lectures
  • Three subscription levels available 

  • Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for creating online courses, marketing campaigns, landing pages & even websites
  • Optimized templates for landing pages, sales pages, webinar pages & more
  • Powerful sales tools to generate more customers, boost revenue & repeat sales
  • Three subscription levels available 

  • Everything you need to run your education business
  • 36,000+ course creators 16 million+ students worldwide
  • Easy to use — ideal for building a course from scratch
  • Build courses, landing pages & website
  • Three subscription levels available

  • Everything you need to create, sell, & teach amazing courses
  • Create a step-by-step course with text, videos & PDFs in minutes
  • Very visual platform with an emphasis on design
  • Three subscription levels available

 


3.  Self-hosted platform plugins for your website

PROS:

  • Complete control over format & branding
  • Fully hosted on your own website
  • Scalable
  • Your clients are your own

CONS: 

  • You need an existing audience
  • Longer set-up
  • High level of technical skills required for set-up
  • You handle all marketing & payments

This is the most custom option — with the most possibility for personalization, scalability and control.  Host your online course(s) on your WordPress website by using either a membership site plugin or an online course plugin. You have complete control of the look and format of your course, plus you can add more features as you need them with additional plugins.

Some examples are:

  • Course creation WordPress plugin with drag and drop course builder
  • Restrict your course content to registered, enrolled, & logged in students
  • Drip your content to be released by date or at specific intervals from enrollment
  • Advanced quiz question types, timers, retake limits, reporting, and surveys
  • Configurable automated and manual course enrollment options to meet your needs

  • MemberPress is a WordPress Membership Plugin
  • Create, manage and track membership subscriptions
  • Sell digital download products
  • Grant & revoke access to posts, pages, videos, categories, tags, feeds, communities, digital files & more 

 


The Lesson…

At the end of the workday, small and medium-sized service businesses are especially vulnerable financially if they are dependent on a single revenue stream to drive profits. Likewise, they are also at risk if they are wholly dependent on highly-concentrated client base as if something negative happens to a critical client relationship, all may be lost.

Companies perform better, grow faster and scale successfully when they are more diversified. Hence, monetizing your expertise and knowledge is just good business!


Need a physical or virtual home for your business? 

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

Nonprofits and Coworking: A Dynamic Synergy

Coworking has definitely moved into the mainstream with outstanding locations found in many cities globally including Toronto. The now-broad appeal of coworking spaces goes well beyond merely serving as an option for individuals/organizations looking for an affordable place to work. In fact, coworking is actually shaping the way people conduct business and further, positively impacting the level of satisfaction they derive from their work.

The Harvard Business Review confirms coworking has much to offer and indicates that coworkers report levels of thriving that approach 6 on a 7-point scale, which is a full point higher than claimed by those working in traditional office settings. All of which begs the question, is there a lesson here for nonprofits?

The short answer… Whether newly-formed or an established fixture in the communities they serve, coworking offers nonprofits specific opportunities that a traditional office setting simply does not. Here’s an overview of some of the relevant features…

The Future is Now and it’s Coworking

Globally the number of coworking spaces has exploded in recent years and the sector’s growth shows no signs of slowing. Market researchers predict that there will be well over 21,00 coworking spaces worldwide by close of year 2019. The segment is projected to grow an additional 43 percent between now and 2022.

The massive expansion is expected to be driven in part by a global shift that has seen corporations forgoing traditional workplaces in favour of more agile workspaces with flexible lease terms.  As with these corporate entities, coworking is proving equally strategic for nonprofits. Workplace agility and the more affordable rental rates are the primary reasons routinely cited by nonprofits for choosing a coworking model.

Coworking Encourages Collaboration

Looking beyond the benefits of a fully-equipped and centrally-located physical workplace, coworking workspaces also deliver community and engagement. While the level of desired interaction ultimately rests with the individual tenant, relationship-building and networking is a natural offshoot of regularly interacting with discrete individuals and organizations in a coworking space. Be it the camaraderie inspired by working in close proximity to other professionals or the fellowship resulting from connecting in the shared public areas, these inter-organizational exchanges can prove hugely valuable.

These organic exchanges can also amplify a nonprofit’s impact in ways that extend beyond the obvious. A 2017 survey revealed in excess of 70 percent of respondents working in coworking spaces collaborated with other members in the past 12 months.  Given how the power of social media now augments the effectiveness of word-of-mouth, engagement with coworking peers can spark new ideas and even drive greater awareness of a nonprofit’s core mission. Collaboration that involves sharing concepts, and even resources, allows nonprofits to innovate and potentially accomplish more than they could on their own. 

The Bottom Line

By providing access to an engaging community along with necessary infrastructure — including premium and/or customized workspaces, central locations, state-of-the-art technology, administrative support — that is measurably more affordable as it is prorated among all tenants, coworking spaces have become a solid choice for nonprofits. Through the reduction of fixed costs and the elimination of distracting concerns about basic functions such as IT and office maintenance, nonprofits are left in a demonstrably better position to focus on their core mandate.

Additionally, ongoing research suggests that coworking’s marriage of a highly-functional work environment and a thoughtfully-curated work experience drives the higher levels of thriving that coworkers demonstrate when contrasted with their traditional office-based counterparts. Coworking also enables higher levels of worker autonomy, while still providing desirable structure, which in turn encourages greater productivity. As nonprofits often operate with tightly rationed resources, they are in a unique position to benefit exponentially from any improved efficiency.

Finally, given that a social mission is very often the foundation for many nonprofits, coworking spaces offer a natural synergy as in both cases, the emphasis is on building strong communities, cultivating collaborative opportunities and identifying the most efficient use of shared resources.

Top 10 Coworking Benefits for Nonprofits

1. FLEXIBLE SPACE SOLUTIONS

Coworking provides move-in-ready, agile workspace solutions for teams of any size.


2. COST-EFFECTIVE

With lower rents, no upfront costs and flexible lease terms, coworking is an affordable option.


line icon of location sign post3. PRIME LOCATIONS

With over 20,000 coworking spaces worldwide, there are many options available in every city.


line icon of community in circle4. COMMUNITY BUILDING

Relationship-building and networking are natural offshoots of the coworking experience.


Administrative support professional with headset icon5. SUPPORT SERVICES

Many coworking offices offer professional in-house administrative and technical support.


6. HAPPIER WORKERS

Access to collaborative spaces and community interactions are shown to improve well-being.


7. FULLY EQUIPPED

Coworking spaces come fully furnished and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.


8. ACCESSIBLE & SECURE

Most coworking spaces are fully secure and accessible 24/7 and 365 days a year. 


People in a meeting room at table9. MEETING SPACES

Coworking spaces typically provide dynamic meeting, conference and/or event spaces.


10. PREMIUM AMENITIES

Most coworking spaces offer access to a lounge and kitchen, coffee service and water.


 

Today’s ideal office space for the nonprofit organization is a flexible, cost-effective environment that is supported by the latest technology and allows workers to connect and collaborate in accommodating shared spaces.

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information on how our shared office space can work for your organization, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

How “Generation Flex” is Powering the Growth of Coworking

 

As the worldwide proliferation of coworking spaces continues apace, the key findings from International Workplace Group’s (IWG) 2019 Global Workplace Survey “Welcome to Generation Flex – The Employee Power Shift”, reveals some of the major trends driving growth in the sector.

In Toronto, as is being seen globally, coworking is definitely the new normal as flexible workers and more Canadian companies, large and small, recognize and appreciate how coworking’s agility and flexibility can benefit their employment or businesses.

The IWG survey — which canvassed over 15,000 business professionals in 80 countries — revealed that 62 percent of firms internationally indicated that they now have policies related to flexible work. These policies have been implemented as a result of worker demand as over 50 percent of those polled reported working outside of the company office for at least 2.5 days a week. The IWG survey found that “more than half of global business people place so much importance on location that they regard it as more important than working for a prestigious company, while almost a third think it is more important than a prestigious role.”

The Top Five Benefits of Coworking in 2019

1. Attracting and Retaining Talent

With the Canadian jobless rates hovering below 6 percent, and candidates essentially demanding flexible work arrangements, coworking has become an excellent strategy for both attracting and retaining highly-desirable talent. Significantly, coworking also facilitates a company’s ability to seamlessly hire top talent in different locations without securing dedicated office space, which drives company growth and profit.

83%

of the IWG survey respondents indicated that the ability to incorporate flexibility would positively inform their choice when choosing between similar job offers

70%

of IWG survey respondents reported that “choice of work environment plays a key role in evaluating work opportunities”


2. Increased Productivity

85%

believe that their business has become measurably more productive because of flexible working, according to IWG survey respondents

67%

of the IWG survey respondents believe that workplace flexibility can improve productivity levels by at least 20%

Extensive research supports the clear advantages of coworking as it relates to productivity over the use of a traditional office. According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted:

74%

of coworkers are more productive

86%

have a larger business network

93%

have a larger social network

33.3%

reported an increase in income


3. Greater Agility

Coworking enables companies to scale up quickly, especially in new markets, with minimal logistics. Companies can explore inroads into new regions without the incurring the risk associated with traditional leasing. One-off projects can be undertaken minus major overhead costs. Coworking workspaces allow companies to improve agility and scalability via the provision of shareable workspace, technology, and administrative support. Companies, regardless of size, recognize the agility that coworking allows.

Only 24%

of businesses reported that the rental costs for coworking spaces would be perceived as an issue when compared to the perceived benefits, according to IWG respondents


4. Improved Work-Life Balance

Coworking offers great opportunities for networking, idea exchange, business development, as well as socializing which leads to higher levels of job satisfaction. In turn, this manifests as an improved work-life balance. Additionally, when workers control where they work, they report combining their personal and professional lives is less challenging. As an example, coworking can often enhance work-life balance via a reduced commute.

Two out of Five

workers cited commuting as the “worst part of their day”, IWG found

75%

of companies surveyed reported that they are introducing flexible working in order to reduce staff commute times


5. Lower Overhead

Coworking definitely makes solid financial sense! By allowing individuals, including freelancers, contract employees, entrepreneurs, along with small businesses — especially when first starting out — to share the expenses associated with a workplace, coworking demands significantly less of a financial investment. While start-ups and flexible workers were once the typical coworking client, tellingly, larger businesses and established corporations seeking to cut costs and add agility, are increasingly signing on for the coworking immersion.

65%

of businesses say coworking workspaces reduced capital expenditures and/or operating expenses while improving risk management, according to the IWG survey results


 

Coworking in 2019: The Takeaway!

Beyond fulfilling workers’ demands, flexible working as enabled by coworking, is measurably good for the economy. A recent report estimated that by 2030, “the US could see an economic boost of as much as $4.5 trillion annually from flexible working, while China and India could gain respectively $1.4 trillion and $376 billion extra annually.” As coworking has grown from a small movement into a global phenomenon, so too has its potential to positively impact the lives of the workers it serves. 

 


You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information on how our shared office space can work for your business, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

Millennials and Work-Life Balance

In 2018, millennials became the largest generation in the Canadian workforce — comprising 35 percent of the total — thereby solidifying their influence on today’s workplace. As first-generation digital natives, this group came of age as technology transformed from something fixed to an entirely mobile tool.

Clearly, the most tech-savvy generation to date, this superior technological proficiency and the ease of connection it enables, saw the millennials’ concept of work fundamentally shift from a specific place to really any connected space. In turn, this development inspired millennials to dramatically reformulate how they define and measure job satisfaction as compared to their predecessors.

The Big Shift

The realigned attitudes embraced by millennials have already significantly shaped the current workplace as well as strongly impelling how it will look by 2025 — when millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. As these younger workers reject the once standard nine-to-five model in favour of non-traditional roles (i.e. contract, consultant, remote or freelance), the makeup of the workforce will, by necessity, continue to adapt to accommodate their vision and expectations.


What employers project the non-traditional share of the employment landscape will be in 2025

35%

Contingent, contract, consultant

32%

Virtual or remote worker

25%

Part-time consultant


Notably, millennials are particularly invested in the pursuit of work-life balance. As such, they highly value the flexibility to prioritize whatever aspect — be it work or life — that requires attention on a given day. Generally speaking, millennials seek to dispense with non-negotiable boundaries between work and life in the belief that a more holistic, fluid approach promotes greater productivity and less stress.

Core Factors Millennials Consider when Assessing Work-Life Balance

Office Flexibility That Works

Millennials have largely rejected the confines of the typical office environment. The traditional office, along with a physical commute and the expectation that one will be continually sitting at a desk for eight hours, has become a seriously outdated concept for most. An astounding 70 percent of millennial employees in Canada report that they would rather telecommute or otherwise work in non-traditional settings.

While this may be interpreted as millennials being eager to escape the office, it actually demonstrates their familiarity and comfort with the tools that allow them to do so without impacting their overall effectiveness. With cloud-based software enabling collaboration across multiple locations, removing the obligation to work in a single location actually improves productivity and allows for better work-life balance.

Redefining Success

As reported by the 2016 Millennial Survey by Deloitte, millennials are less-invested in working to simply acquire more and instead value experiences over possessions. Nearly 17 percent of millennials assess career opportunities to determine if the position allows good work-life balance eclipsing the 13.4 percent who specifically look for opportunities to progress. Millennials equate success with controlling how and when they work along with the ability to integrate various life experiences as this enables better work-life balance

Staying Connected

With access to technology that enables them to seamlessly work 24/7 remotely — which 75 percent of millennials want more opportunities to do — millennials are invested in exploiting their tech know-how and new technological capabilities to increase flexibility. This greater degree of flexibility translates to improved work-life balance.

Moving Up

According to EY’s Global Generation Research, almost a third of millennials report that juggling work, family, and personal responsibilities have become more challenging over the past five years. Nearly 50 percent of millennial managers around the globe reported spending more time working as many are transitioning into senior management roles but also starting families. As well, they are almost twice as likely to have a spouse or partner who works at full-time than baby boomers (78 percent versus 47 percent).

Non-conformists though they may be, millennials are nevertheless navigating the stage of life that sees them marrying, buying homes, and having children at the same time their careers are becoming more demanding. While they are equipped to work 24/7, and for many are required to do so, it’s no mystery why millennials value work-life balance higher than all other job characteristics including the opportunity for advancement, progression, available technology and even a sense of meaning at work.

Getting with the Millennial Program

Millennials have now inched past other generations to corner the largest share of the labour market. Add to that the fact that Canada’s workforce is shrinking overall, and you have a situation where the struggle to hire and retain good workers is only getting harder. Appealing to millennials will require adaptation, and that means embracing an employment model that is flexible and agile as well as it is meaningful.


 

 

At a time when work is done anywhere, anytime, 24/7 and even globally, today’s ideal office space is a flexible environment that is supported by the latest technology and allows workers to connect and collaborate with like-minded professionals in accommodating shared spaces. As the concept of work continues to evolve, coworking is a chance to be part of something significant.

You can discover an exceptional coworking office experience at The Professional Centre (TPC), the Toronto coworking space where more is standard. If you’d like more information on how our shared office space can work for your business, call The Professional Centre today at 416-367-1055 or contact us.

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