Coworking Office: Secret Weapon for Employee Retention

Coworking Office: Secret Weapon for Employee Retention

Here at ACE we are always amazed at how our members utilize our space and leverage our community to help them and their companies grow. Lately, we are hearing more and more of our members with staff tell us that ACE is one of the best employee-retention tools they have.

By now everyone has heard of the difficulty companies are having finding, hiring, and holding onto great employees. A good pay package, time off, and benefits isn’t enough to make a company stand out when they are looking to fill empty positions these days; there are just too many job vacancies and not enough workers. For small and medium-sized businesses, especially with limited resources, it can be difficult to offer those little extras to a potential hire.

Employee Perk

Our members report that being able to offer our great-looking space to their employees as a place to work from is a huge benefit to their businesses. “Not only have we successfully hired from within the ACE community, but I am 100% convinced that one of the reasons we’ve retained our people is thanks to the camaraderie and positive atmosphere around here,” says Karie Miller, Director of Client Success for Boutique Growth.  

Our offices are bright, modern, perfectly equipped with super-fast and reliable internet, offer free coffee, tea, and filtered water along with multiple places to sit at during the day: shared desks, lounges, standing desks, private phone booths, private meeting rooms and offices. We have that sought-after urban vibe, although we are conveniently located in the ‘burbs.

Coworking Culture

ACE takes care of holiday parties, professional development sessions, and details like that. It saves me a lot of time and effort, and my employees get a richer work environment” explains Jiwan Thapar, CEO of JTE Claims Consultants. We hear this a lot. Since ACE offers a full menu of curated monthly events (happy hours, learning workshops, networking events, book groups, and more) managers and employers don’t need to worry about creating those types of experiences themselves. 

Savvy business owners know that a strong company culture helps them attract, and hold onto, great talent. We know how to nurture that culture in our coworking spaces and our member companies get leverage it into their own businesses.

That Coworking Vibe

Smaller companies get a lot of the benefits of a corporate environment thanks to flex use of a shared space. Rutendo Chidovi, Senior Client Manager at Nacora Insurance Brokers explains it this way: “Working at an office within ACE gives that exciting feeling that you would get in a larger company where there are a lot of diverse people around to talk with and learn from, but at the same time I still get to work for the small boutique firm that I love.”

Rina Carlini, CEO of Optimal Innovation Group, who chose to relocate her team as soon as our new ACE Trafalgar location opened up, cites the atmosphere as something she knew her employees would appreciate. “No one on my team was truly happy working from home, because it felt like ‘living at work.’ ACE’s warm and welcoming community feel helps my team feel great as they go about their work in a beautiful environment.”

 

Whether you’re in start-up, scaling, or somewhere in between, ACE has a membership plan to suit just about any company and budget. A coworking office rental or membership may be just that little extra benefit you need to help find, and keep, your next hire.

 

Learn more about ACE membership plans here.

Want to check out our two locations in person? Book a tour here. 

Second Ace Location, Opens Doors March 1!

Second Ace Location, Opens Doors March 1!

ACE Trafalgar opening March 1, 2022. 23 Brand new bright and renovated private offices in a stylish downtown address.

Welcome to our second location!

We are so excited to be opening our doors to our second downtown Oakville location at 132 Trafalgar Road, just a few minutes walk from our flagship location on Robinson Street.

Our bright newly renovated furnished offices feature super-fast reliable WIFI, desks with ergonomic chairs, file cabinet, waste baskets and dedicated ethernet ports. We have also ensured that the offices are lit by natural white LED lighting and have excellent ventilation.

 Our second location features stylish common spaces, a huge boardroom and equipped breakout rooms and lots of flexible space for growing businesses. We haven’t compromised on any of our great office amenities including that special ACE community vibe.

Membership at either location allows access to all ACE perks and community events

Come and visit for a tour of our new digs!

ACE is setting the mood to become downtown Oakville’s most stylish, flexible and functional office space — for the second time!

ACE TRAFALGAR — OPENING SPRING 2022

A freshly renovated workspace with upscale design at the corner of Church St and Trafalgar Rd.

23 Bright and Spacious Private Offices!

Onsite Parking! – Limited Spots Available

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

ACE Is Growing! Brand New Downtown Private Offices

ACE Is Growing! Brand New Downtown Private Offices

New office spaces are availailable at ACE Coworking Trafalgar. Offices at ACE Trafalgar are turn-key and have sunny exterior-facing windows. The new location will be a sister space to the original ACE Coworking Robinson, just two blocks away. Members from both locations will join together to create one fluid community – with a members’ event calendar and multiple conference rooms accessible to everyone.

ACE is setting the mood to become downtown Oakville’s most stylish, flexible and functional office space — for the second time!

ACE TRAFALGAR — OPENING SPRING 2022

A freshly renovated workspace with upscale design at the corner of Church St and Trafalgar Rd.

23 Bright and Spacious Private Offices!

Onsite Parking! – Limited Spots Available

Our second location is coming this spring!

January is here and it’s a great time to think about fresh starts and the steps you might take to reach your goals for 2022. Here at ACE, we are well on our way to achieving one of our big goals: the launch of a second location!

ACE Coworking Trafalgar will be a sister space to the original ACE Coworking Robinson, just two blocks away. Members from both locations will join together to create one fluid community – with a members’ event calendar and multiple conference rooms accessible to everyone. Offices at ACE Trafalgar are turn-key and have sunny exterior-facing windows.

Our new property (132 Trafalgar Rd., former home to BMO-Nesbitt Burns) is undergoing an extensive renovation and will be ready for occupancy in early spring 2022. It’s comprised of 25 state-of-the-art private offices, meeting rooms, and a comfortable and stylish members lounge. There’s onsite parking for several of the units too. Hot desks, dedicated desks, and virtual plans will still be available at our original location.

Mood board created by Deb Richmond of Colourful Notions

If your 2022 goals include any of the following, then you’ll want to give us a call asap. Are you aiming to…

• gain increased productivity & focus?
• create better boundaries between work life & personal life?
• finally get your team back together in person?
• step up your networking game?
• gain a much-needed change of scenery after WFH?
• have more human-to-human connections?
• trade in a traditional long-term lease for a flexible modern solution?
• treat yourself to a well-deserved luxury?

An ACE Coworking office membership can offer you all of the above, plus much much more.

Three of our largest units have been snapped up already by the fabulous folks at Zirkova Vodka, Nacora Insurance Group, and MyCourier Inc. Don’t miss out on your chance to claim an office too!

Call 289-801-8731 for more info

 

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

Tech Entrepreneurs Compete at Hi5

Tech Entrepreneurs Compete at Hi5

ACE Coworking is excited to partner with HALTECH to support local tech innovators through the 5th Annual Hi5 pitch competition. Learn more here… 

ABOUT HALTECH

Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre, HALTECH, formed a close alliance with us at ACE Coworking ever since we first opened our doors in 2018. We’ve partnered with them to present several educational workshops and seminars at our own space. In addition, our members – especially those who work in tech – have benefitted from the many resources and events provided by Haltech at their Burlington-based HQ. It has been a great symbiotic friendship!

Never heard of HALTECH? If you live in Halton and work in technology, you must check them out!

Haltech’s staff and team of experienced advisors work hard to help advance local tech-based innovators in businesses of every size – from start-ups to global corporations. They offer free business advisory services, learning workshops on entrepreneurship and commercialization, assistance in forging strategic connections, and supports for corporate innovation programs.

Hi5’s PITCH COMPETITION

For the past five years, Haltech has hosted the Hi5 Pitch Competition – this year ACE is proud to partner with them to bring this exciting event to life! Hi5 features five of Haltech’s most promising clients: each is given five minutes to pitch for a winning prize of $5,000. In addition the winner will receive $1200-worth of access to ACE Coworking’s meeting space.

The competition is a valuable opportunity for local tech start-ups to generate awareness about their projects, while building the vital skills needed to present in front of an audience and investors.

HOW TO REGISTER

The pitch event takes place on Thursday, November 25 from 3–5pm, and will be held in a virtual format. More information and registration here. Plan to arrive early for open networking and a chance to meet the Hi5 contestants.

ICYMI: 10TH ANNIVERSARY

In July, Haltech celebrated their tenth anniversary! We were delighted to be part of the event which commemorated a decade of the organization’s commitment to local innovators. If you’d like to learn more about Haltech, this anniversary video gives an overview of how they’ve influenced and supported industry leaders across the local ecosystem. 

 

 

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

Announcing partnerships: Deskpass & Flexday

Announcing partnerships: Deskpass & Flexday

ACE Coworking is pleased to announce that we’ve recently partnered with two exciting companies that support the coworking industry…

DESKPASS

Firstly, we are pleased to announce that we’ve joined the Deskpass family. Deskpass, a digital platform from which thousands of coworking spaces can be accessed, has been around since 2017. They’ve recently expanded from the US into the Canadian market, and we are excited to be with them for their launch on the north side of the border!

ACE was recently featured in this Deskpass round-up of “the most collaborative and creative coworking spaces” the GTA has to offer: https://blog.deskpass.com/news/deskpass-comes-to-canada-12-toronto-workspaces-to-reserve-now/

FLEXDAY

In addition, we have re-activated our partnership with Flexday, after a hiatus due to the pandemic restrictions. Flexday is a Canadian-owned app that has been providing access to 90+ coworking spaces around Ontario since 2017. If you are a Flexday client, look for us on their app.

We look forward to welcoming both Flexday and Deskpass clients to our friendly Robinson Street location in the weeks ahead!

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

3rd Annual ACE Golf Tournament

3rd Annual ACE Golf Tournament

Oakville Small Business Award Winner

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 brought ACE Coworking members together for a day of outdoor recreation and bonding at Milton’s Wyldewood Golf & Country Club. Our annual best-ball tourney always results in new friendships being formed among our members, and this year was no exception. (Plus a few members brought along their kids, so we got to meet them too!)

Aside from the fun of golf and friendly competition, we are always impressed by the way events such as these give us a chance to flex our collaborative muscles: member Thom Leiper (Deluxe Canada) coordinates the event; member Peter Pereira (WHYDEA Inc.) procured the venue and printed the materials; Taylor Wade prepped our prizes; Charlene van Niekerk took photos; everyone pitched in to make it a fabulous day! Thanks to all.

After our rounds, we gathered on the Wyldewood patio to for some “cold ones” and to enjoy their delicious pizza. (Great food and service at Wyldewood, btw!) Prizes were distributed to the winners. Highlights: David Love (Nacora Insurance Group) took the prize for closest to the pin, Mike Rodger (Auberge Resorts) took longest drive for men, and our staffer Charlene had the longest drive for women. 

Here are just a few photos to give a taste of the day. (Are we creating FOMO for you ACE members who couldn’t make it out this year?) We’re looking forward to seeing even more of you for the 2022 event!

If you’d like to learn about more events run by ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the the amazing promotions we often offer!

International Coworking Day 2021 – Giveaway

International Coworking Day 2021 – Giveaway

by Nancy Fornasiero

Every year on August 9th, coworking space operators all around the world celebrate International Coworking Day. It’s a chance to appreciate our members, educate the public, and amplify our message about how great coworking is.

In the past here at ACE we’ve marked the occasion in several ways, most notably by opening up our doors to offer free Hot Desks all week long to anyone in the area who wanted to give coworking a try. We’ve also hosted an open house breakfast, a member appreciation lunch, and invited our community partners to come by to help us celebrate (see above). There was lots of great food, fun door prizes, and amazing in-person connecting. You can guess where this is going next….

Last year, sadly, all the above wasn’t possible with the COVID situation not yet under control. So in 2020 we hit pause for our Coworking Day activities and promised to be back in 2021, better than ever. Here we are, though: close to the pandemic finish line, but not quite all the way there. With our safety measures in place – capacity restrictions, screening protocols, physical distancing – our traditional Open House just isn’t possible. 

That said… we do love a good “pivot”!

So, this year we’re celebrating in a new way: by organizing an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!

Grand prize is ONE YEAR of Community Membership at ACE, value: $1200

This type of membership includes a year of discounted prices on our meeting rooms, access to our exclusive members’ online portal, mail handling, and entry into our amazing community of professionals and entrepreneurs. More details about the membership here.

PLUS, we have 4 other amazing prizes donated by our members and partners:

  • Printing Services: 500 premium stock business cards or postcards, Courtesy of  WHYDEA Inc.. Design service included. Value $400
  • Entrepreneur’s Bundle: Website Audit by Piece of Cake Digital Marketing + 2 ACE Hot Desk Day Passes + Office Supplies. Value $375
  • Floral Inspirations! Framed mixed media illustration by local artist and ACE Coworking member, Cleo Lant. Value $120
  • Oakville Gift Basket: Gourmet teas from Christa’s Tea ShopThe Treasure You Seek, by local author, Siobhan Kukolic + Oakville tote bag & mug. Value $70

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

If you’re already receiving our news and updates by email, then do this: invite a friend or colleague to sign up and let us know who you referred. (Text 289-801-8731) If they subscribe, you’ll both be entered to win. The more people you refer, the more times you get entered!

 

No purchase necessary. Items won are transferrable. Open to Ontario residents until August 12, 2021 at 11.59PM EST. Not open to current ACE Coworking members. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted by email by August 13, 2021 at 8PM EST.

 

We’re excited to be celebrating our industry’s 16th birthday along with our coworking friends around the world. Curious about how this holiday was born? It marks the anniversary of the day Brad Neuberg first brought modern-day coworking into the world. You can still see Brad’s original blog post announcing the first North American coworking space here. Coworking has come a long way since then, but the spirit of collaboration and connection is as strong as ever!

ACE Coworking Awarded Small Business of The Year 2021

ACE Coworking Awarded Small Business of The Year 2021

In a year in which remote work and hybrid work have been in the spotlight as new ways of working; it’s timely that ACE Coworking has been named Small Business of the Year for 2021.

Oakville Small Business Award Winner

ACE Coworking has been honoured with an OABE (Oakville Awards for Business Excellence) and named the Bell Small Business of the Year by the Oakville Chamber or Commerce and Rotary Club of Oakville West.

This recognition is especially significant for us in a year that has been extremely challenging for all small businesses. We’ve been inspired by the creativity and grit of so many other resilient local businesses! Morever, we are delighted that recognition has also been extended to another small business the ACE family: Piece of Cake Digital Marketing was also a worthy nominee in our category! 

Our founder, Nancy Fornasiero, expressed ACE’s special connection to small businesses last month at the Virtual Awards Ceremony.

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Oakville West  presented the 26th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence virtually on Thursday, June 17. The award celebration recognizes and honours the outstanding contributions made by local businesses.

If you’d like to get more inspiration and education from the staff and partners of ACE Coworking, sign up for our monthly newsletter. You’ll also stay up to date on the events we run and the amazing promotions we often offer!

5 Books for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

5 Books for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

by Mark Fornasiero

If you’re scrambling for a last-minute Christmas gift for a book-lover we have some great ideas for you! These five titles are not typical business books, nor are they from the expected self-improvement genre, but if you want to stretch yourself (or the gift-receiver in your life) a little, you can’t go wrong with any of these:

1. Our Great Purpose: Adam Smith on Living a Better Life, by Patrick Ryan

There is so much more to Adam Smith than “the invisible hand” and the other economic theories we know him for. A succinct essay that highlights his first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments”, published in 1759, Our Great Purpose presents some timeless, powerful philosophies on how to live a good life. Moral philosophy never felt so easy to understand!

2. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli

This international bestseller takes the usually dense topic of physics and presents it in poetic and charming prose – only 80 pages in length! Even if you are not curious about physics, reality, and beginning of time, you will be captivated by Rovelli’s writing style. His love for the topic is obvious and comes through in every word and line.

3. Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up, by Jerry Colonna

This one is a business book – well, sort of. Jerry Colonna has founded, run, and sold several Silicon-Valley-type companies. But where he has really found his place is as a coach and mentor to many high-flying tech entrepreneurs and founders. This isn’t a “how-to” book but, rather, a “how to be” book. Leave your preconceptions at the door before you crack the spine on this one. 

4. Hungry: Eating, Road-tripping, and Risking it All with the Greatest Chef in the World, by Jeff Gordinier

You are guaranteed to love this book. (Maybe just gift it to yourself.) Gordinier follows Rene Redzepi, the founder of Noma, the top restaurant in the world, as he reimagines his flagship location and then launches pop-up eateries all over the world. This story is not only inspiring but shines a bright light on what it means to be creative, a risk-taker, and following the road less travelled. My #1 gifted book this year.

5. Shoe Dog: A Memoir from the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight

Okay, if you absolutely have to buy a business book, then you might as well buy the best one. The story of Nike – its founding, growth and how it totally redefined the business of sports – is one you won’t be able to put down. I put this book on my list last year, and I will probably put it on my list next year. The writing is superb and the story is almost unbelievable given all the twists, turns and near-death experiences the company faces. As a gift for any aspiring or active entrepreneur, you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Mark Fornasiero is the co-founder of ACE Coworking and an independent consultant specializing in growth-and-exit strategies for privately-held enterprises. Mark also provides professional consulting to entrepreneurs looking to launch and operate their own independent coworking spaces. 

The Dave Grohl School of Leadership

The Dave Grohl School of Leadership

by Mark Fornasiero

Did any of you catch SNL last week? It was amazing to see Foo Fighters, looking as fresh, energetic and relevant as ever, decades after their breakout in 1994. This post was inspired by that performance…

The Dave Grohl School of Leadership – Biz 101 with the Foo Fighters

 

Let’s consider for a moment the commercial success of the band’s leader, drummer / guitarist / singer-songwriter Dave Grohl. Did you know that Nirvana and Foo Fighters have combined to sell over 85 million albums worldwide? To reach that level of success in an industry that has gone through the degree of gut-wrenching changes that the music business has been through is nothing short of remarkable. The fact that he has done it while maintaining a high degree of integrity and creativity means there are probably more than a few lessons the business world can take from Mr. Grohl.

 

In fact, I recall an interview he gave a few years ago in Rolling Stone that struck me at the time as being awash in leadership and business advice (though he probably didn’t see it that way). So, let’s go to business school with rocker Dave Grohl and his band, Foo Fighters. Here are some quotes from that article and the implications for leadership and business strategy:

 

1. Dave: “I might be an earnest and nerdy guy, but it’s worked for the past 20 years.”

Lesson: Being genuine and truthful in life, or business, leads to lasting success. People want to associate, align themselves, and do business with, the real deal.

2. Dave: “Just remember, all it f**king (he swears a lot, let’s give him the poetic license) takes is for you to turn someone else on to something that’ll change their f**king life. Imagine all the s**t you can turn your friends on to…”

Lesson: Look for ways to impact people’s lives. The journey you will take them on will have huge rewards for both of you.

3. Pat Smear (Foo Fighters’ guitarist): “Dave has a vision. Our job is to meet that vision, or do something that exceeds it.”

Lesson: You know what Pat is describing there? An aligned culture. The leader sets the vision. His team fully buys into it and wants not only to achieve it, but EXCEED IT! How many business leaders reading this have their employees/team members talk like that about where they want to take their business?

4. Butch Vig (legendary record producer): “People follow him because they believe Dave is sincere. He wants to make records that have relevance.”

Lesson: Integrity. Honesty. Vulnerability. Do people in your company talk like that about their boss in this way?

5. Dave: “I would walk into interviews (for the HBO documentary) with real questions I didn’t know the answers to. I looked at them as lessons.”

Lesson: The guy behind two of the biggest bands of the last generation is looking for lessons anywhere he can get them. Life-time learner. Endlessly curious. Sounds like he should be heading up your innovation program.

6. Dave: “…there is so much opportunity in America. Why not find the thing you don’t know how to do and do it yourself? The opportunity is there.”

Lesson: He doesn’t want to keep repeating himself. He wants to get good at things he doesn’t know how to do. Tell me this guy couldn’t run a wildly innovative, creative, ground-breaking company in any industry he chose.

7. Pat Smear: “Dave told someone in another band not long ago, ‘You need to get a band that makes you sound really good. That’s what I did.’”

Lesson: Surround yourself with great people. Hire people who are better than you and let them do their thing.

8. Dave: “The great thing about being surrounded by people you love is you can come to them and say, ‘I have an idea, ‘trust me’, and they say, ‘OK’….

Class dismissed.

 

Mark Fornasiero is the co-founder of ACE Coworking and an independent consultant specializing in growth-and-exit strategies for privately-held enterprises. Mark also provides professional consulting to entrepreneurs looking to launch and operate their own independent coworking spaces.