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Davinci Virtual Blog



8 Myths About Virtual Office Spaces & Why It’s Time to Put Them to Rest

Today, we debunk eight common myths about virtual offices and prove just how feasible they can be.

Myth #1: Virtual Offices Are Expensive

The truth is, businesses can often save thousands by setting up remote employees with a virtual office space and downsizing from their current space, while those that work from home can gain much from the services offered by virtual offices, many of which come complimentary, like onsite high speed internet, lobby greeter services, and use of the office kitchenette.

Myth #2: Virtual Offices Don’t Have What You Need

In reality, virtual offices represent the most flexible way to work while providing them with the services they need, when they need it. It’s just a matter of finding the best virtual office services for your specific business requirements.

Myth #3: Virtual Offices Are Security Risks

Virtual offices are as safe as any other option. Much like a traditional office, virtual offices these days use secure connections. Choose one that does. They’re doing everything they can do to keep your information safe. The rest is up to you, and how security-savvy you personally are. 

Myth #4: Arranging a Virtual Office Is a Hassle

Setting up a virtual office space, unlike signing a lease on a traditional office, is straightforward and simple. Most virtual offices are rented on an on-demand basis, meaning there’s no long-term contract. You use the office for what you need, and only pay for what you use, so signing up is easy.

Myth #5: Virtual Offices Disrupt Communication

Digital communication has made the world a lot smaller: 20 years ago, working from home would preclude most forms of collaboration—telephones and faxes constituted the best options that technology had to offer. The intervening decades have changed that with instant messaging services, live web chats, and documents that feature live updating, all of which enable real-time collaboration. Working from a virtual office can, in fact, provide an employee with a productive space to communicate and collaborate with the team. 

Myth #6: Virtual Office-Based Professionals Are Less Productive

Managers have been afraid for years that if an employee isn’t present and accounted for in the office, they aren’t doing their job. Much to the contrary, engagement rates in the office have been slipping, while those who work remotely have seen an increase in productivity, and employee satisfaction.

Myth #7: Companies Without a Physical Location Can’t Be Trusted by Customers

While it’s true that customers and clients can be suspicious of businesses whose primary address is residential, using a virtual office eliminates this shortcoming. Virtual office lobbies provide you with a professional mailing address, rentable meeting and office space, and even an area that provides professionalism and reputability. Meanwhile, you can work from home when you want, and only pay for the office time you use.

Myth #8: All Virtual Offices Are Alike

Like any other service, there is a spectrum of quality and level of service. Some provide you with only the bare minimum, while others offer a more comprehensive suite of amenities and features, to ensure you have everything you need. Do your research to determine what features and services you need, and then find something that fits in your price range. 

While there are many misconceptions, few hold any real weight. Virtual offices are a productive alternative both to working from home and working in the office, at a fraction of the cost of leasing your own office space.

Interested in learning more? Contact Davinci Virtual Office Solutions today and find out more about our locations and services.


Workplace of the Future: 10 Tips for Preparing Your Business for The Future

Today’s workplace looks much different than it did a few years ago. There are various factors driving this change. Demographics certainly are playing a role. Over 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is comprised of Millennials today, a number that will grow to approximately 75 percent in 2025. These workers look for employers that foster collaborative, inclusive workplaces. And while they value the time they spend with other workers when they are in the office, they also seek flexibility, with nearly 75 percent indicating they look for employers with work from home and work remote policies. 

These expectations are changing the dynamics of the workplace. Companies that remain tethered to the workplace of the past put their very businesses at risk. Unable to recruit and retain the best workers, improve productivity, and facilitate collaboration and ideation, they will slowly wither, struggling to compete in a business landscape that bypassed them. 

The good news for solopreneurs and small businesses is that the workplace of the future places them on even footing with much larger businesses. Yet, to prepare themselves, they need to understand the implications and what they must do to prepare for it. Following are 10 areas that organizations need to heed when embracing the workplace of the future: 

1. Where You Work

There is a “sheep” mentality among some leaders in the business space (one does it, generates publicity, and others follow suit), and numerous companies jumped on the bandwagon of prohibiting remote workers when Marisa Meyer banned remote workers at Yahoo after being hired as CEO. I even know of one well-known technology company that began taking “roll” at 9 AM and 5 PM each day to ensure their workers were at their desks at the beginning and end of the day. 

But the reality is that many companies concluded this policy simply wasn’t for them. Offering flexibility gives them the ability to recruit—and retain—workers who they simply couldn’t attract. Data also shows workers with flexibility and those that work remote perform better—from collaboration, to working more hours, to delivering better business outcomes.

2. When You Work

Before the arrival of the 20th century, the 40-hour work week was not the norm. Previously, companies often subjected their workers to 12-hour workdays and expected them to work six or seven days a week. Henry Ford was one of the first to introduce the 8-hour workday, a decision that proved successful in terms of both productivity and profitability. And the 40-hour work week largely remained the norm for the next century.

However, with the advent of technologies, a deconstruction between work and personal lives took place. Many workers can sit at their desks for eight-straight hours and accomplish very little. Measuring whether someone’s butt is in a seat is an arbitrary—and often inaccurate—measurement. Indeed, neurological analysis shows that the brain is capable of deep concentration and focus for only two hours. Further, peak productivity is different for everyone—some wake up at 5 a.m. and do their best work before 10 a.m., whereas others may do their best work in the evening hours. Requiring employees to be in the office and at their desks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is not only antiquated but counterproductive to the success of the business.

3. Expansion to New Locations

Organizations tied to the workplace of the past find it difficult to growing their businesses. This is particularly true for small businesses that lack the capital to acquire and maintain permanent offices in new locations. Instead, they can tap virtual office addresses and leverage coworking spaces, day offices, and rented meeting spaces that help them to expand quickly and cost-effectively. 

4. On-Demand Office and Meeting Space

While some solopreneurs and businesses require permanent office space, many do not. On-demand coworking space, day offices, and rented meeting rooms are a much better option—from cost, to the opportunity to collaborate and interact with other businesses, to professional environments with the latest technologies and top-notch business services. 

5. Network of Alternative Work Spaces

Sometimes, workers simply cannot come into the office—whether it is a permanent location or a coworking space or rented day office. Poor city planning and civic irresponsibility has led cities where work commutes take three or four hours a day. Making that commute five days each week simply isn’t feasible. Workers also have family and personal commitments, particularly when both spouses work, requiring them to take children to school or an elderly parent to the doctor.

And while some may simply work from the home office, this isn’t always possible. Here, businesses need a network of alternative work spaces. These may be coworking spaces or a rented day offices. 

6. A New Culture

Culture is a critical linchpin for any business. For businesses seeking to embrace a workplace of the future, they must redefine their company culture. “Where” and “when” work is performed is no longer connected with an actual physical location and a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Further, performance—and getting work done—becomes how workers are measured. Businesses also need to establish ground rules when to meeting attendance—when workers should attend in person versus virtually.

7. Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Workers find themselves struggling to maintain their personal lives as technology encroaches on their work-life balance. Eleven percent of workers in the U.S. say they work more than 50 hours a week. Thirty-three percent indicate they work on the weekends and holidays. Research shows there is a direct correlation between workers who lose a balance between work and life and their productivity and retention rates. In this case, businesses that embrace the workplace of the future need to ensure that their company culture and performance expectations account for worker work-life balance. 

8. Recruiting and Retaining Workers

The workplace of future enables businesses to attract higher quality talent and to retain them longer. Workers want to work for companies with cultures that promote collaboration and openness. It should come as no surprise that many businesses with permanent office space are re-architecting it to remove communication barriers and tear down hierarchical organizational structures. For businesses using on-demand offices, coworking space is an enabler of the new workplace. 

9. Partner-Customer Meetings

Small businesses with permanent offices often find their office location and space less than compelling. Their partners and customers concur when they attend on-site meetings. But for businesses relying on on-demand workspace, this is no longer a problem. Rented conference rooms come with the latest technologies as well as business services such as a lobby greeter, audio and video conferencing, and catering to add the professionalism every business needs. 

10. Technology as an Enabler

To take fully advantage of the new workplace, businesses must have the right complement of technology tools in place. I recently spelled out seven technological tool areas that businesses need to leverage to be success—from team chat and conferencing services to project management and productivity tools. The importance of these vary based on business requirements.

Just as many businesses refused to embrace the new work week during Henry Ford’s day, some businesses today will remain steadfast in adhering to past concepts of the workplace. They also will find themselves extinct unless they change. For solopreneurs and small businesses, the turn to the workplace of the future is much easier and faster than larger counterparts. The time to reap the advantages—including the competitive opportunities—is now.


How to Be More Productive with a Virtual Assistant

If your schedule is wall to wall with no end in sight, it may be time to consider a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants drive up your productivity and can make you look like a rock star with your clients or employers by removing the low-value tasks that drain your time and creativity.

Call them what you want—a virtual assistant, a virtual secretary, a virtual administrator, or a VA, these faithful workers work like a secret weapon in your business war chest. They can help you battle for your time, ward off productivity killers and otherwise guard your ability to press through to the end of time-sensitive projects.

Concerned about missing important calls while on the road? A virtual assistant can answer your calls for you when you are in a meeting or otherwise unavailable—and screen calls when you have your head down into a project. Virtual assistants can block and tackle distractions so you can keep your eyes on the prize. They can even schedule appointments with clients and answer questions while you may be occupied with othe clients.

The key to driving productivity with a virtual assistant is to let go—really let go. The temptation is to hold tight to tasks you’ve been performing for many years because it seems easier to do it yourself. If you are control freak, you need to change your mindset and consider your quality of life and your long-term success. Refusing to let go leads to burnout. 

The “it’s easier for me to do it myself” mindset hinders your productivity—and your virtual assistant’s efficacy. Sure, it may take more time in the beginning to train someone how you want tasks handled—but it’s worth it in the long-run—and it may be the only way you can dig out of the hole in which you find yourself. 

Realize no one you hire will do things exactly like you because they are not you. But consider this practical wisdom: Give your virtual assistant some flexibility to accomplish a task in a new way. Who knows? It may even be a more efficient way than you’ve done it.  

Write down everything you do in a day that someone else could do—then hand it off. That list may include business administration tasks, scheduling appointments, and even handling personal issues like booking your next vacation. 

It may take you a few weeks to truly let go, especially if you have been doing everything yourself for many years, but when your mind is freed up from the mundane, creativity—and productivity—abounds.

 Interested in learning more? Click here to contact us now! 


Virtual Office Solutions: The Advantages of a Virtual Office, & Why It Beats Plain Ol’ Home Offices

For many entrepreneurs and startups, working from your home office is just the way you get business done. But virtual offices are quickly becoming a viable alternative; with locations becoming more widespread, and offering many of the benefits of a physical office space without the high price tag, entrepreneurs are transitioning to them in droves. A virtual office may not be for everyone, however, so here are some of the the pros and cons of a virtual office vs. home office, and why a virtual office is usually the smarter choice.  

What is a Virtual Office?

With the rise of telecommuting and work-from-home jobs, practically everyone now is familiar with the home office. It’s a fairly simple concept: rather than driving into the office to work with the team, you dedicate a part of your home to your professional life, and you connect with your team via email, instant messaging, video calls, and so on. 

A virtual office is the best of both worlds. It offers you the freedom to use office space without being tethered to it. In a traditional office, you’re paying for everything—the lease, the power bill, the heating, the internet, the phone and fax lines, the furniture. Meanwhile, working in a home office lacks a certain feeling of legitimacy, and customers can’t visit you at your place of business, or send you mail very easily. 

With a virtual office, you get access to offices that are furnished with desks, chairs, internet, office equipment, or fully serviced meeting rooms and most importantly - a physical address that can receive mail and that you can use as your location of business. The space is rented out on an “as needed” basis—to small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants, and anyone else who don’t need a full-time, dedicated office space. 

Renters only pay for what they use; office space can often be rented in increments as small as an hour, and as large as a month. They rent conference rooms when they need a larger meeting space. They use the internet provided by the virtual office. They have a secure location for mail to be delivered, and a unique address they can put on business cards that helps them apply for professional licenses and get listed on business directories. Many virtual offices even have live receptionists (should be “lobby greeters” or “reception staff”) who can greet clients, take calls, and forward communications on to the renter’s cell phone. 

With a virtual office, you don’t have to use permanent office space if you don’t need to, and you don’t pay for what you don’t use. Work from home, or anywhere in the world, and only come to the office location when you really need to. Let the receptionist field calls for you, and either take messages or forward the calls on to you. For businesses or telecommuters who need a physical address, but don’t need to use it everyday, it can be the perfect solution.

In fact, people working remotely is on the rise, and they’re working from home for longer periods of time—a 2017 Gallup survey revealed that 31% of remote workers work out of the office for 3-4 days a week. The survey also found that this group of people (those who were only in the office 1 or 2 days out of the week, as opposed to in the office all week or working completely remotely) reported the highest rates of engagement with their jobs. According to Gallup, the “sweet spot” is when employees do most of their work remotely, and come into the office only once or twice a week. 

The Pros & Cons of Virtual Offices

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using a virtual office, then compare it to using a home office. 

Virtual Office Pros 

• Virtual business address: virtual offices offer you the physical address you need to legitimize your business, secure licenses and registration for professional organizations, and put yourself in business listings.

• Prestige: virtual offices are frequently located in upscale areas, meaning you don’t have to feel embarrassed about having a rundown office in a sketchy neighborhood, or about inviting clients to your home address.

• Virtual Mailing Address: virtual offices offer you a professional, safe location for mail and parcels to be dropped off and signed for; for forms and documents, mail can even be scanned and uploaded to the cloud by the live receptionist, making them accessible no matter where you are when it arrives.

• Office space on-demand: access to work and meeting space on-demand—fully equipped and serviced, professional workspace that you only pay for when you use it, not when you don’t.

• Virtual assistant: some virtual office services come with a virtual assistant; it’s like having a receptionist who works just for you, managing calls and day-to-day tasks, all without having to hire someone or provide them office space.

• Market presence: virtual offices can help you establish a foothold in new markets, giving you a local address and phone number, without having to buy or rent a physical location full-time.

• Use as much as you need: your needs for physical space may expand and contract over time, and a virtual office is perfect for that; use as much as you need, for as long as you need it, and scale up or down as the situation requires—all while only paying for what you use.

• Easy set-up: you don’t have to remodel a space, buy furniture, or set up utilities—all of that is taken care of for you.

• Less expensive: using a virtual office means no long-term lease, no expensive overhead, no oversized rent bill—you only pay a usage fee for the space you need.

Virtual Office Cons

• More expensive than a home office, but still much more affordable than leasing or buying office space.

• Some businesses have to have a dedicated space, like auto repair shops, medical clinics, and larger companies.

• Not every business needs office space outside the home; some are 100% virtual, and never deal with clients or customers directly.

The Pros & Cons of Home Offices

Working entirely from a home office has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few of the pros and cons of setting up shop in your living room or garage.

Home Office Pros

• Low cost: you’re already paying for the place.

• Schedule flexibility: you don’t have to compete with anyone for available space.

• No commute.

• No shirt, no shoes, no problem.

• The comforts of home.

• It’s your space, you can do what you want with it.

• Ability to collaborate virtually with partners, freelancers, clients, employees, etc.

Home Office Cons

• Can cause distractions (family, pets, TV, the list goes on).

• Unprofessional in many circumstances.

• No private life/professional life segregation.

• Unsafe—in some circumstances—to give out your office address.

• Harder to get business listings, licensing, etc.

• Limited space to grow.

Questions to Ask Yourself

As you consider the pros and cons of using virtual office space or sticking with a home office, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

• Is staying in your home office part of your long-term plan?

• Do you need to rent out office space to conduct business in any way? 

• How often do I need to have access to professional office space to entertain clients or present to investors? 

• Do I prefer to keep my professional life separate from my personal life?

• Is there enough room at your home office to facilitate growth?

• What are your competitors doing?

• Are the services you offer 100% “virtual?” Or do they require at least some use of office space? 

For most, the benefits of meeting and workspace on-demand that is equipped for the purpose and the amenities of a virtual office make it a clear choice—it’s time to grow out of your home office.  

If you think a virtual office might be a perfect fit for your business, and you want to learn more about how it works, visit Davinci Virtual Office Solutions. We have 1,500 virtual office locations and 5,000 on-demand meeting and workspaces around the globe, conveniently located to meet your needs. 

Contact us today, and start the process of advancing your business to the next level.


Live Virtual Receptionists: A Look At What They Do & The Benefits of Hiring A Receptionist

Being self-employed or running your own business isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes the workload can feel overwhelming, and you can’t always afford to pay for an extra set of helping hands. When there aren’t enough hours in the day for all the work, and not enough money in the budget for the help you need, what’s a hard-working entrepreneur to do?

Well, we have good news for all those fiscally conflicted independent businessmen and women out there. You can get the help you need for a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee. The key is knowing what level of help you need, whether you need someone to answer phone calls and set appointments, or you need something a little more involved. 

To help with that, this post will discuss your two main options, how they differ, and how to know which one you need. 

Live Virtual Receptionists

Virtual receptionists (sometimes called “live receptionists,” or “live virtual receptionists”) are like regular receptionists. They answer, screen, and forward phone calls, take messages, set appointments, send out appointment reminders, and occasionally supply customer service to limited degrees. In other words, they fill all the functions of your average receptionist. They just do it via telecommuting.

Working remotely, the live receptionist takes your calls and forwards them to whatever number you’d like. They provide a professional face (or voice) for your company and help ensure that you never miss a call, or a customer. They’re trained to answer questions regarding your industry, and you only pay for time they actually spend on the phone. That way, you keep your costs minimal, while maximizing your business’s professionalism.

Premium Services

Premium live receptionists services (sometimes called virtual assistants) take things a step further. Still working remotely, they offer a more comprehensive suite of administrative services and tend to be dedicated to a particular company, rather than serving a dozen at the same time. Among the benefits of premium live virtual receptionist services are:

• Answer calls and take messages

• Make outbound cold calls

• Manage your schedule

• Order processing

• Answer emails

• Manage social media accounts

• Make purchases and pay bills

• Bookkeeping

• Data management

• Customer care

• Make lodging and transportation arrangements for travel

And more

Because it’s an increased level of service, you usually have to pay extra for premium live virtual receptionists. For many businesses, though, the help with the workload, the increased efficiency, and the peace of mind is worth that cost.

Choosing One for Your Business

Knowing which service to use for your business depends on understanding your needs. If you’re a freelancer who has most of the paperwork in hand but struggles to make sure to catch calls as they come in, then basic virtual receptionist services would probably be a good fit. If, however, you tend to get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, and need someone to go behind you and cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s, then you may be better served by opting in on a premium plan.

What Davinci Offers

At Davinci Virtual Office, we offer both basic and premium services as part of the virtual office package. If you’re looking for a straightforward live virtual receptionist, our business plans will cover that service, and provide you with a qualified virtual employee to help you handle inbound calls.

If you need some more involved assistance, our premium plans offer coverage of a wider set of functions, and will help you stay organized and productive. If you’re having a hard time deciding, we can help you determine what your needs are, and help you pick a plan that works for you. If you have any questions about what services a live virtual receptionist can provide, contact Davinci Virtual Office Solutions today.

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