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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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Virtual Offices Offer Stay-cation Freedom

CHICAGO—On Friday, we looked at how many Americans are giving up their vacations for financial reasons—and how allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office a few days over the summer might help reduce burnout.

The article was based on a CareerBuilder survey, which found that 19 percent of workers said they can't afford to go on vacation, which is down from 24 percent in 2011. The CareerBuilder survey also offered other vacation trend insights.

1. The duration of vacations is shrinking post-recession.
This year, 17 percent of workers took or planned to take a vacation for 10 days or more. That's down from 24 percent in 2007.

2. Many workers contact work while on vacation. Three in ten workers contact work during their vacation, on par with last year. Thirty-seven percent of managers say they expect their employees to check with work while on vacation, although most say only if the employee is involved in a big project or major issue going on with the company. This is where virtual office technologies can really streamline operations. You don’t want employees to have to work during vacation, but if they have to join a conference call you want to make it as simple as possible.

3. Employees are letting paid time off go to waste. Fifteen percent of workers reported they gave up vacation days last year because they didn't have time to use them, down slightly from 16 percent who gave up days in 2010.

4. "Stay-cations" are a popular option. Thirty-eight percent of workers stayed home or are planning to stay home this year. This is another place where virtual offices can help employees take some downtime without totally abandoning the team during a major project.

5. Working while the family vacations is fairly common. Twenty-three percent of workers say they once had to work while the family went on vacation without them, consistent with last year (24 percent). Again, virtual offices should free employees, not tie them down. Whether employees choose to take vacations, stay-cations, or no down time at all, virtual offices can give employees more freedom.
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Virtual Offices, Vacations and Burnout