How a Virtual Office Makes Your Summer Vacations Better
I read an interesting study from Robert Half Management Resources. The gist of it was that financial executives can’t resist calling into work when they are on summer vacation. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of CFOs in the survey said they check in with the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation.
“While it is impossible for most CFOs to disconnect entirely, having a strong team in place makes it more manageable to get away,” says Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Disconnecting from the office also sets an example for employees, encouraging them to take needed breaks.”
Whether you are the CFO of a large company, or the CFO of your own company, taking downtime is important. Any good success coach will tell you that you need to recharge your batteries and sharpen your saw for continued success. A virtual office system can help before during and after your vacation.
McDonald offers five tips to help managers ensure their time away truly feels like a vacation:
Schedule ahead. If possible, aim to leave the office during a light period or when key staff members aren’t on vacation. Those in the office won’t be stretched too thin by your absence or feel the need to be in constant contact with you.
Decide on a point person early. A few weeks in advance, designate a senior person you trust to manage day-to-day responsibilities during your absence.
Notify contacts and clients. Before you leave, make certain clients and other business contacts are aware when you’ll be gone. On your out-of-office e-mail response and voice mail, include the name of your colleague handling your responsibilities.
Divide assignments. Unless the project requires the focus of your most senior person, you may want to distribute tasks to multiple senior staff members to ensure that work gets completed and to avoid overburdening any single employee. Also consider bringing in project professionals to cover large projects.
Determine your check-in time. If you must check in, try to establish “office hours” prior to your departure. Provide your staff with specific dates and times you will be checking messages. Resist the temptation to always have your mobile device in hand while on vacation.
Don’t forget about the benefits of virtual office technologies…
I think all that is good advice. But there is one more tip that could make your vacation more relaxing, even if you do have to take some calls during your getaway: virtual office technologies. Virtual office technologies can streamline communications during your time away from the office.
Here’s how: A virtual office phone system offers live answering and call forwarding services. So if a client really needs to reach you, your live receptionist can look at the list of people you are willing to take calls from and let the others know you are on vacation. The virtual receptionist can forward the appropriate calls to you and shield you from the rest.
Virtual office providers also give you access to fully equipped conference rooms and web conferencing technologies. So just about wherever you are, from Miami to Los Angeles to Seattle to New York and beyond, you can drop into a Davinci Virtual and rent a conference room with video conferencing or web conferencing capabilities.
On top of all this, a virtual office can make you more productive year-round, so when it’s time to take a vacation you are already ahead of the game. How many entrepreneurs never take a vacation—or even weekends off—because of the workload. With a virtual office system that includes virtual assistants, virtual receptionists and technologies, you can set the stage for a great vacation before you ever step foot out of your virtual office.
Be sure to take a real vacation. There are studies that give you a justification!