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Would You Sacrifice to Work From a Virtual Office?

SANTA CLARA, CA—For the last few days, we’ve been exploring the findings of the Wakefield Research Study commissioned by Citrix. It offers insights on the top frustrations of modern work life, which include annoying coworkers and bad bosses. Today, we’ll look at what it’s worth to employees to tap into flexible work arrangements, like virtual office space.

A majority of workers who have never worked remotely (64 percent) identify at least one extremely popular perk or pleasure they'd be willing to give up in order to work from home (essentially working from a virtual office) just one day a week:

32% would give up lunch breaks
25% would give up alcohol
20% would give up coffee

How about the home office fashion front? If you work from a virtual office, you can work in your pajamas all day. But, according to the Citrix study, most people don’t. They just dress down.

49% say they're most likely to wear jeans and T-shirts when on the job
25% are most likely to work in their PJs
7% keep it simple—real simple—working from home in their underwear or birthday suit

What about the reply versus ignore question? Say you're finally on vacation and everything is perfect—until that urgent work e-mail arrives. Surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of office workers (72 percent) say they would be more likely to respond immediately to the urgent work e-mail than they would be to pretend they didn't see it.

"These findings show what all of us who work in offices know—life at the office can often be challenging. This survey shows that companies will benefit by being more flexible in allowing employees to work from anywhere,” says Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix.

“Enabling people to blend their professional and personal lives can boost morale as well as productivity. And there are plenty of tools and technologies today that empower people to do their jobs from any location. That's a win-win for companies and employees alike."

Virtual offices are also a win-win for companies and employees alike. That doesn’t mean letting all employees work from virtual offices all the time, but employers can be flexible and allow for virtual office use at pre-defined intervals, or during specific seasons in an employee’s career.
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Virtual Offices Help Keep You Honest About ‘Sick Days’

SANTA CLARA, CA—Yesterday, we looked at how virtual offices could help you avoid bad bosses. Now, we’ll dive deeper into that topic and also explore the most common excuses worker offer for not going to work.

A new Wakefield Research Study commissioned by Citrix offers up insights on the top frustrations of modern work life, which include annoying coworkers and bad bosses. The survey also shows just how creative workers are getting to avoid both. Could virtual offices set you free from the dishonesty and creativity?

Many people are getting more creative at avoiding their bosses. Thirty percent of office workers say they've scheduled time off around their bosses' vacation in order to maximize the time they won't have to spend together. This isn't just a junior-level ploy: 39 percent of executive and manager-level workers admit to this move compared to 27 percent of mid- and junior-level workers.

Of course, all bosses aren’t bad bosses. Many of us daydream about working for someone we've watched on television. Office workers would most like to work for Gibbs from "NCIS" (20 percent), Miranda Bailey from "Grey's Anatomy" (15 percent) and Buddy from "Cake Boss" (14 percent).

What do workers say when they are out? According to the survey, "I'm sick" continues to be a common excuse but office workers are getting especially creative about finding a way to avoid going in to the office. Here are just a few excuses according to survey respondents:

My bicycle ran out of gas
Gas is too expensive
I'm dieting
I drank too much Sunkist and was too tired to come in
I'm having toenail issues
My numerologist told me not to come in
It's Elvis' birthday
Dog sprayed by a skunk
All my clothes are in the washer right now, I have nothing to wear
I had to see where my gardener was really planting everything that I wanted and paid for
Stumbled on the love of my life

The point is, there’s no need to rearrange your vacation schedule or find other creative ways to avoid your bad boss. Why not, instead, use those energies to get your boss to see the value of letting you work from a virtual office one day a week?
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Virtual Offices Help You Steer Clear of Bad Bosses

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Virtual Offices Help You Avoid Annoying Bonding Events

SANTA CLARA, CA—Office life can be downright annoying, stressful and even counter-productive. (That’s why I like working from a virtual office instead—you skirt most of those unpleasant realities.)

A new Wakefield Research Study commissioned by Citrix offers up insights on the top frustrations of modern work life, like working with a “know-it-all,” going to company events when we’d rather stay at home and rest, or dealing with a supervisor who consistently takes credit for all your great ideas.

The Citrix study also reveals some of the creative—and downright wacky—measures people are taking to avoid going into the office. (Again, some of this could be avoided in a virtual office setting.) Finally, the study highlights what these frustrated employees are willing to sacrifice to tap flexible work opportunities, like working from a virtual office, even one day a week.

Today, let’s take a look at what Citrix calls “workplace bonding bombs.” According to the study:

  • Nearly 75% of office workers have at least one company event they secretly dislike

  • 42% of males dislike office baby showers

  • 34% of office workers secretly dislike participating in costume contests

  • 31% say they dislike team-building activities

  • 31% of females hate staff photos


Working from a virtual office is not a panacea to workplace bonding bombs, but virtual offices can certainly help free you up from some of the annoying office events—events that steal your productivity. In part two of this series, we’ll look at how virtual offices can help you deal some other office stressors, including bad bosses.

Check out this video on dealing with difficult coworkers:

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Japan Workers Reporting Benefits of Virtual Offices

TOKYO, JAPAN—Global businesses and modern technology are fueling an increase in telecommuting and remote working across Japan—and that is leading to greater employee satisfaction and lower operating costs. So says Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan KK. Virtual offices fit right into Japan’s telecommuting mix.

According to the latest Hays Journal, more organizations than ever are encouraging employees to work remotely. Why? It’s all about increasing productivity, cutting costs and improving employee motivation by helping workers achieve better work-life balance. And that’s part and parcel of the benefits of virtual offices.

"Rapid advances in technology such as video and teleconferencing, smartphones and tablets are taking people out of the office and allowing them to work almost anywhere, anytime,” says Christine Wright, Japan-based Hays Operations Director.

As a result, she says, the nature of employment is evolving fast, changing how jobs are structured and executed. As she sees it, modern technology allows employees to liaise with colleagues and clients from home, at client offices or further afield in business centers or Internet cafes, using the latest mobile tools. And virtual offices play a strategic role in the technological solutions.

"Many Japanese companies embraced telecommuting and remote working last summer to help address the power shortages across the Tokyo area,” Wright says. “And looking at the shrinking and aging population here, when you take location out of the equation, you widen the pool of potential candidates.”

Wright says remote working is also more environmentally friendly and time-efficient than traditional commuting, and it of course reduces overall office costs. So how do you balance the need for employee work-life balance and productivity in a virtual office setting? Wright says the key is to set clear guidelines to ensure the change in working patterns suits both parties.

“Employees working remotely must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe,” Wright says. “It is also important to hold periodic face-to-face and virtual meetings to prevent staff becoming disconnected or less engaged in the company culture. HR directors must also consider how central office workers will respond to teleworking colleagues and bear in mind that some function better than others in working remotely, and policies should be crafted to deal with this."
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