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Are Mobile Workers Using Virtual Office Space?

NEW YORK-At some level, mobile working and virtual office space have a connection. Although not all mobile workers use virtual office space and not all virtual office space users fully embrace mobility, there is some definite cross over.

That’s why I looked twice when I saw the latest iPass Mobile Workforce Report. According to the study, 60 percent of mobile employees reported 50 to 60 hour-plus work weeks that also include weekend days as the most popular time to work remotely.

"Connectivity is like oxygen for today's mobile workers. The improved ability to work anywhere as long as they are connected appears to be driving higher productivity,” says Evan Kaplan, CEO at iPass. "While having control over when, where and how one works is a significant benefit in terms of well-being, mobile workers themselves need to take care to manage the unique stressors that an always connected work-life brings."

Speaking of work-life balance, the percentage of mobile workers sleeping with their smartphone has risen slightly since 2011. Seventy-one percent of Asian mobile workers report they sleep with their smartphones in the bedroom, followed by 58 percent of North Americans and 55 percent of Europeans.

Mobile usage is also causing more friction in mobile workers' personal lives with their partners, family and friends. The highest amount of friction was reported in Europe at 38 percent, followed by 33 percent of North Americans and 30 percent of Asian respondents.

Mobile workers may be able to achieve greater work-life balance and reduce friction—maybe even stop sleeping with their smartphones—if they work from a virtual office. Setting up a virtual office on the home front can serve as a stationary oasis from the demands of the mobile working lifestyle.

You can get a lot more done on a large screen than you can on a smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop—especially from a quiet place. So if you are a mobile worker who can’t seem to unplug, test out virtual office technologies that help you drive more productivity so you can get your work wrapped up faster and balance your life better.
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New Ways of Working Includes Virtual Offices, Telecommuting

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Virtual Offices Can Help You Juggle Work and Personal Demands

MENLO PARK, CA—What's stressing out everyone at the office? What else? Work. According to a new Accountemps survey, 41 percent of CFOs are trying to balance work and personal responsibilities—and they cite that as the greatest source of workplace stress for accounting and finance pros. Office politics came in a close second with a 28 percent vote.

"Work/life balance may seem like an issue for individuals, but it also should be a concern for businesses," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies 2nd edition. “Whether it's through flexible work schedules, telecommuting arrangements or other options, companies can benefit from helping their teams balance professional and personal objectives. Organizations that commit to these efforts enhance morale and productivity and make their businesses more appealing places to work."

As usual, Messmer hit the nails on the head. Virtual offices can help financial professionals solve both these issues, as well as a third challenge identified in the survey: the challenging commute. Virtual office technologies enable flexible work schedules, telecommuting and other alternative workplace strategies.

Messmer also offers some additional practical advice that’s worth noting. Beyond understanding the benefits of working from a virtual office, here are five things every employee should know. (My comments are in parentheses.)

1. Your employer's priorities: Knowing which initiatives are most critical to the firm's success will help you prioritize your responsibilities. Proper workload management will increase your productivity and make it easier to accommodate personal demands as they arise. (Working from a virtual office can also drive up your productivity by helping you stay focused and even avoid much of the office politics.)

2. What your company offers: Familiarize yourself with alternate work arrangements or other benefits your employer may provide. For example, can you telecommute or adopt a more flexible schedule? When approaching your manager about adding these offerings, present a business case that also details how the firm will benefit from giving employees more flexibility in when and how work gets done. (There are many studies on how virtual offices and flexible work benefit employers and employees. Go in armed with that information. You can find a lot of it on this blog!)

3. How to say no: Realize that no one can accomplish everything. If you can't take on a new project, let your manager know. Explain the situation, and, if needed, offer to shift some of your responsibilities to accommodate the new request. Your boss would rather know up front than see a project fall through the cracks. (Suggest that you may be more productive working at home one day a week from a virtual office.)

4. Your calendar: It may not work every time, but try to block out your schedule when you need to attend to personal activities or errands, and let your manager know in advance. That way, you'll have the time already built into your day.

5. How to unplug: As much as possible, set aside times when you can cut the tether with the office. Try to avoid checking work email and list an alternate contact in your out-of-office message.
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Davinci Virtual Gets Its Virtual Office Video Mojo Working

SALT LAKE CITY—Yes, we’ve got our YouTube mojo working. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions just rolled out a series of interactive online videos that do a fine job of educating mobile workers and entrepreneurs on the benefits of virtual office solutions.

Hint: It took a series of videos because the benefits of virtual offices are so vast!

Here’s what you can expect: our latest YouTube virtual office videos come in the form of “how it works” product feature clips. You can also find the videos on our brand spanking new, easy-to-navigate Web site where you can choose from more than 1,000 virtual office locations worldwide and business communication services to boot.

"Thousands of entrepreneurs and professionals already succeed every single day by using our business address, meeting space and live receptionist services,” said Bill Grodnik, CEO of Davinci Virtual. “We have made it our mission to educate the market place on the advantages of virtual offices. Our new video content represents just another timely tool to create awareness—especially when you consider that YouTube is now the world's second largest search engine.”

I’ll be highlighting individual videos in upcoming virtual office blog posts. Until then, let me leave you with a factoid: Davinci Virtual provides virtual office solutions to over 10,000 companies and entrepreneurs in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Central America, Asia and Australia.

Here’s one more virtual office factoid for the road: The company offers over 850 virtual office locations including suites in NYC, LA, Chicago, San Francisco and any other metropolitan area throughout the world. Clients can choose from live receptionist services, virtual assistance, virtual phone service, live web chat services, prime business addresses and flexible meeting spaces.
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Keep Your Tattoo Work From a Virtual Office

IRVINE, CA—Is your tattoo keeping you from finding a suitable job? You are not alone, but a virtual office could help.

The Patient’s Guide study reports that tattoo removal demand is up over the last two years. The latest tattoo removal procedures climbed 32 percent from 2011 to 2012. The leading factor: employment reasons, accounting for 40 percent of all answers.

"There's been a significant increase in the number of patients who desire tattoo removal for career advancement or for employment reasons," says Dr. Eric Bernstein, renowned laser expert and associate clinical professor at University of Pennsylvania.

"I think this is as wrong as any other kind of discrimination, but patients tell me that their tattoos are affecting their professional lives,” he continues. “Many feel that their body could be holding them back and this has resulted in more folks seeking tattoo removal."

What’s more, Jasson W. Gilmore, CEO and cofounder of The Patient's Guide, says employment reasons for tattoo removal is up 25 percent from a similar study done last year. As he sees it, “the economy is driving patients to seek laser treatment that may have otherwise not been interested in doing so."

OK, so what if you don’t want to have your tattoo removed? Why not try a virtual office job? Virtual office job listing Web sites abound and there are plenty of opportunities for professionals who just happen to have a few tattoos they don’t want to remove.

Virtual office jobs are available from Los Angeles to New York and beyond. Sites like FlexJobs list tens of thousands of them every day. So if you are bent on keeping your tattoo—and keeping food on the table—check out a virtual office job.
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