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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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Dublin Virtual Offices Just a Short Drive to San Francisco

DUBLIN, CA—When I think of Dublin, I think of Ireland. But there’s another Dublin a little closer to home—in California. And there’s a prime virtual office location there just waiting for you to call it home.

Dublin was incorporated in 1982, and it’s population has progressively increased as both residents and businesses are discovering Dublin’s benefits. For example, Dublin is about 350 miles north of Los Angeles and about 35 miles east of San Francisco. It’s bounded by San Ramon on the north, Castro Valley to the west, Pleasanton to the south and Livermore on the east.

“Dublin has long been known as the crossroads of the Bay Area. Dublin now sits at the crossroads of two major highways: Interstate 580 and Interstate 680. However, the significance of the crossroads dates back more than 200 years when Dublin served as the crossroads of two important stage routes—one from the Bay Area to Stockton and the other from Martinez to San Jose,” the City of Dublin’s Web site says. “The Alamilla Spring, located in the Dublin area, provided a place for travelers to change horses and freshen up before continuing their journey.”

Davinci Virtual Office Suites offers virtual offices in Dublin starting at just $65 a month. Located at 11501 Dublin Blvd., our Dublin virtual offices offer you a prime business address, client drop off and pick up, a lobby greeter, mail receipt, mail forwarding and more. And if you want your name listed on the lobby directory, you can add that on for $25 a month.

Need more than a virtual office? How about a day office in Dublin? You can rent on demand office space for $10 to $35 an hour. You can also rent a Cupertino conference room for $25 to $40 an hour. If you are a heavy Dublin meeting room user you can opt for an add on of 16 hours of additional meeting room space for just $135 a month.

Check out this video to learn more about Dublin:

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Convincing Your Manager to Let You Work From a Virtual Office

NEW YORK—Eighty two percent of people in the 2011 Work+Life Fit Realty Check survey of full-time employees said they had some sort of flexible work option.

Nevertheless, not all workplaces are equally embracing the notion of virtual offices, telecommuting, workshifting and the like.

That’s why Forbes contributor Cali Williams Yost recently penned the article, “How to Get Past Your Manager’s Flexible Work Floodgates Fear.” In the article, Yost outlines several tips to help your manager move beyond the fear that the flexible work floodgates will open.

Click here to read the entire article, but here’s a summary of Yost’s tips with my commentary in brackets:

1. Don’t take their reaction personally. Realize this fear is so common amongst managers that it has its own name, the Floodgates Fear.
(You can’t blame your boss for not wanting to give you carte blanche access to a virtual office. After all, for all the media attention and for all the benefits, it’s still a relatively nascent concept compared to brick-and-mortar office space.)

2. Agree to keep the lines of communication open with your manager.
(When you set out to talk to your manager about working from a virtual office, suggest IM technologies like Skype and even video conferencing. Offer to give progress reports twice a day or copy him on various e-mails to staff or vendors so he can see you are working.)

3. Reassure your manager that if there is “too much” flexibility, then you will sit down with him/her and the rest of the team to come up with a solution.  The responsibility for fixing the problem isn’t theirs alone. (In some companies, you can’t have everyone working from a virtual office all the time. Flexible work might be on a rotating schedule. The idea is to introduce virtual office work to the corporate culture—because that’s the way the world is headed.)

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