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Davinci Virtual Offices COO Talks Workspace Trends
Indeed, Senn authored an insightful blog post on the Global Workspace Association’s (GWA) blog. The title: “Virtual Offices – Away We Work … Anytime, Anywhere, Everyone!”
“Today’s businesses and entrepreneurs are finding quickly that a virtual office is the best solution for the new work day of the 21st century. Companies of all sizes are discovering that a virtual office setup offers low entry costs, minimal overhead, valuable on-demand services and great flexibility,” Senn writes.
“All that without sacrificing the corporate image and professionalism! A large number of business analysts agree that the virtual office trend is worldwide, here to stay, and that adoption and usage will grow rapidly over the next years.”
Senn notes that the workspace-as-a-service Industry is perfectly positioned to deliver an array of virtual office products. Many operators, he explains, have focused on the virtual office market for several years and they are driving significant revenues, but even more importantly—significant margins to their bottom lines. What’s more, he says, specialized global virtual office providers have established themselves as viable turn-key sales channels for all involved.
Next, Senn points to some recent revelatory statistics from the 2011 GWA Financial Study: virtual office revenues represented almost 9 percent of total revenues for office business centers in the US. The study also showed an almost 14 percent increase in virtual revenues in 2010 compared to 2009 overall and identified virtual office revenues and meeting room revenues as one of the main factors that generate net profits for OBCs. Senn’s conclusion: statistically speaking, virtually every workspace operator should embrace the virtual office business!
“As the landscape for virtual office service providers becomes more competitive, operators will have a unique opportunity to generate additional virtual revenues by working closely with national and global wholesale channels that will function like Expedia and Travelocity in the travel industry for virtual office services and meeting space in the workspace industry,” Senn wrote.
“Based on statistical data, business centers will also attract more virtual office clients by offering easy access, cutting edge technologies and flexible workspace configurations. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, a leading virtual office provider is now servicing over 10,000 active clients that are using a variety of virtual office products. The new way to work seems to take hold nicely!”
FlexJobs Highlights Virtual Office Job Availability With Key Milestone
Probably too many to count, but FlexJobs is offering some indication of how big the trend is actually getting. For the first time, FlexbJobs has surpassed 10,000 job openings on its Web site. All of the jobs offer some sort of flexibility, including part-time, telecommute, freelance, virtual office positions, and more.
“This is an exciting milestone,” says Sara Sutton, CEO of FlexJobs, noting that the company’s job research team has hand-screened and verified every virtual office, telecommuting or other flex-time job before posting it to the site. “Hopefully it’s indicative that the economy is turning around as well as more companies are jumping on board to offer work-life balance.”
FlexJobs also posted the data from its April 2012 Flexible Index Report. The career fields with the most openings, in order, are medical and health, administrative, education and training, customer service and sales.
“It’s great to see increases in a variety of fields," says Fell. “We continue to see jobs for all levels of professional experience as well, from entry level through executive. It’s a great time to be looking for a flexible position.”
FlexJobs’ success is more proof that virtual office jobs are gaining momentum. Ten thousand job openings with some form of flexibility is more than a little significant. For every virtual office, telecommuting or part-time position that’s listed on the site there are probably dozens or scores more that are not.
Virtual office jobs are good for both employees and employers. Employers don’t have to pay overhead costs to keep employees in a traditional office and employees, of course, tap into the ultimate flexibility, cut commute costs and time, and set the stage for greater productivity.
Virtual Offices Fueling Flex Work Movement
Published jointly by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resources (SHRM), the survey shows that significantly more employers are allowing at least some employees to get flexible. Virtual offices are finding their place in the flex time work trend.
"It seems that employers are dealing with the lingering economic instability by trying to accomplish more with fewer people,” says Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of FWI and an author of the study. “Most of the gains allow employees to work longer hours or adjust those hours to care for their personal and family responsibilities while getting their work done. Although some may have expected employers to cut back on flexibility entirely during this economic downturn, we are seeing employers leverage flexibility as they look toward the future."
- 77% use flex time and periodically change starting and quitting times within some range of hours
- 87% take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay
- 63% work some of their regular paid hours at home on an occasional basis
- 44% have control over their paid and unpaid overtime hours
"Employers continue to find ways to offer flexibility to their employees, despite economic challenges they may face," says Henry Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM. "As we look ahead, it is clear that in order to remain competitive, employers must find ways to offer flexible work options if they want to attract and retain top talent.”
Virtual offices are helping to forward the flextime work trend in several ways. Virtual offices allow for workshifting, making room for those 77 percent of workers to "use flex time and periodically change starting and quitting times within some range of hours." Virtual offices also make it possible for those 63 percent to "work some of their regular paid hours at home on an occasional basis." Flexible work and virtual offices aren’t always paired, but they are often a good match, especially for companies exploring cost-effective alternative workplace strategies.
Flexible Work, Virtual Offices, Workshifting and Employee Retention
"Flexibility that enhances an employee's ability to decide when and where they accomplish their work tasks is on the rise with increases in the proportion of employers allowing at least some employees access to flex time and place and choices in managing time since 2005," the researchers wrote.
Virtual offices play a key role in the flexible work trend. Virtual offices allow employees to workshift without compromising the integrity of job projects. Virtual offices, flex time and workshifting run in the same vein—and more companies are allowing these concepts to take hold in their cultures.
Here’s some data from the 2012 report:
- 77% employers offered flextime in 2012
- 63% offer flexplace offerings
- 93% allow employees to manage how they spend their work time
“As flexible scheduling and workplaces become more common, organizations that fail to adopt these options run the risk of being out performed by competitors who benefit from lower operating costs and better adaptation to a global knowledge- and service-based economy,” the report warns.
Does your company offer employees to pursue flex time via virtual office space, mobile technology or some other remote working arrangement? If not, it’s time to consider how this trend may fit into your corporate culture. Virtual offices are not going away. And companies who don’t understand that may lose some of the best and brightest talent in the generation ahead.
How Do Virtual Offices Fit Into Flexible Working Trends?
Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute, said emphatically that flexibility is not on a fast track, but it's on a steady track to becoming the new normal. That ties right in with the adoption of virtual offices.
"This is all about, in a tough economy, keeping and having the people who are there doing the best they possibly can, both to make work work for themselves and for their employer,” Galinksy said. Virtual offices can make work work for everyone.
Although virtual offices aren’t quite yet mainstream in every company, that day may soon be coming. Galinksy said we're not at a saturation point in providing flexibility, but we're moving in that direction.
"We have a stereotype that larger companies are more family friendly. But smaller companies have the edge,” she said. “Smaller companies are leading the way in this."
Ken Matos, senior director of employment research and practice, noted that forms of flexibility that allow employees to work longer hours, and adjust those hours on a daily basis, seem to be on the rise. That’s a concept called workshifting and it works well in a virtual office setting.
"The types of flexibility that pull employees away from work for an extended period of time seem to be offered less often,” Matos says. “Those are the moments when a lot of employees can do professional development, it's when they deal with recovery from work and burnout and when they deal with longer-term family issues."
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