NEW YORK—If you want to make the most of a virtual office set up, you need the right virtual office technologies. That was one of the lessons O2 learned in its flexible working experiment in February. O2 sent  12,000 workers home to get their jobs done from virtual offices in what is to date the biggest-ever flexible working experiment.

O2 had to make sure its network was able to support a huge increase in the number of virtual office workers. O2 upgraded its Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology ahead of time, as well, as its network infrastructure.

O2 reports instant messaging usage was up 40.8 percent over a normal working day. A total of 146,876 IMs were sent over the course of  the day, peaking  at 17,843 IMs an hour at 3 p.m. Hosted online meetings increased by 29 percent, with 406 meetings organized compared to 313 on a normal day. What’s more, web-based meeting attendance increased by 25 percent, with 1,356 meeting participants compared to 1,077 on a normal day.

Flexible working has become an increasingly important aspect of British business culture, with a growing number of organizations and employees adopting a more flexible approach to working life as new technologies make it increasingly easy to conduct business from beyond the confines of the office.

The technology investment into virtual offices doesn’t always mean VPNs. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offers plenty of technological bells and whistles for virtual office users that aim to increase productivity, including unified messaging, voicemail-to-email, fax-to-email, electronic fax, digital voicemail, web conferencing and more.