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Do Women Use Virtual Office Space More Than Men?

BOSTON—Women work longer days and report working more often on vacation than their male counterparts. Yet, women also report greater perceived satisfaction with their compensation. So says the FIT’s first Report on Workplace Culture.

Let’s drill into the numbers and look at how virtual office space might ultimately help the cause. Although the majority of respondents (91%) confine their working hours to five days each week, almost half (47%) claim to work more than eight hours each day.

Although it’s not clear how many of those women, if any, use virtual offices, I am confident that those women who work more than eight hours a day are doing at least some workshifting—working remotely from a virtual office on the home front in the early morning or after business hours as they strive to keep pace in a competitive business world.

Fifty-four percent of women report working nine or more hours a day, compared to 41 percent of men. And women (67%) are slightly more willing to work on their vacations than men (60%). Again, women who are working this many hours or working during vacation are almost assuredly tapping into virtual office technologies of some sort. Virtual office technologies help employees maintain some degree productivity regardless of the setting—even poolside on vacation.

A very strong majority (84%) of all employees report that they were "actually sick or caring for a sick child" the last time they called in sick. Roughly 1 in 5 men and 1 in 7 women are lying when it comes to their most recent sick day. Instead, they revealed that they were playing hooky, taking mental health days, suffering from hangovers or interviewing for another job.

With virtual office technologies, women—and men alike—can continue working from a virtual office on the home front while they care for their sick child or even while they are battling a cold. Although employees may not work a full eight-hour day, even the ability to take an important call, answer e-mails in a timely fashion, join a web conference or work on a PPT presentation can keep the engines of productivity revving.
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Virtual Offices Solve Multiple Problems in Evolving Workforce

LOS ANGELES— Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans are re-evaluating their occupations. So says a study from Bellevue University. One in four Americans say they are re-thinking their occupation because few jobs exist in their declining industry.

The survey also revealed that, with money tight, Americans who have been out of the workforce for several years have decided to go back to work to supplement the family income. Women are leading this charge. One in 10 women report returning to the workforce to help make ends meet.

Also, according to the Bellevue University study released today, nearly one-quarter of working adults simply don't like their jobs. They want a career transition because they want to find jobs they actually enjoy. In some cases, that means inventing a job for themselves, which is why 12 percent of survey respondents have decided to start their own businesses.

Regardless of the reason people are shifting careers, virtual offices can help. Virtual offices jobs abound and you can find them online, meaning older Americans who are going back to work to supplement their incomes can do so from home. Virtual office jobs may also be a good fit for people rethinking their occupation, at least temporarily until they land in a permanent setting.

Then there’s the entrepreneur. Virtual office space is the ideal solution for boot-strapping entrepreneurs who are looking to launch a business without the high overhead traditional office space demands. Virtual office solutions, ranging from virtual offices to virtual assistants and virtual receptionists, are a boon for entrepreneurs determined to establish a professional business image at pennies on the dollar and drive up productivity with affordable technology tools.
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Workplace Stress Hinders Productivity, But Virtual Offices Can Help

CHICAGO—More than half of employees say workplace stress makes it difficult to focus on tasks. So says a survey by ComPsych Corporation. Could a virtual office space help? I strongly believe so, but let’s first dive in to the rest of the study.

Beyond the 56 percent who report difficulty focusing on tasks, another 21 percent say stress causes them to commit errors or miss deadlines. What’s more, 15-plus percent say stress causes conflict with coworkers and superiors. These are all serious issues.

“Unchecked stress can result in a number of productivity-sapping outcomes, from diminished work quality to absenteeism to coworker clashes,” says Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych.

Another 15 percent say stress causes missed days at work. More than 14 percent say stress causes them to be late. And 28 percent checked the “other” box to describe how stress impacts their work, leaving the issues to our imagination.

“Organizations looking to compete in a volatile marketplace are proactively addressing stress—this can enhance employee well-being and therefore engagement. Leveraging the employee assistance program is an important step in dealing with workplace stress," Chaifetz says. "A comprehensive EAP not only provides individual counseling, but organizational consulting on change management, team building and interpersonal skill development.”

A virtual office can help stem the tide of the productivity-sapping outcomes of stress. Although a virtual office is not a panacea for stress, you can cut back on the sick days and late days by the sheer fact that virtual office workers are usually working from home. That means less opportunity to spread around the office cold and the ability work half days instead of taking off full sick days if you do catch one. Since virtual offices eliminate commuting, it can also drive down lateness and reduce the stress of traffic.

Check out this post on workplace stress for some additional tips:

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How to Engage Virtual Office Employees

NEW YORK--Do you have virtual office employees? Are you a virtual office employee? Either way, listen up. There are some interesting insights from a new study about engaging virtual office employees that you don’t want to miss.

The Forum: Business Results Through People just released a study called “Engaging Virtual Employees—Innovative Approaches to Fostering Community.” The study categorizes current patterns in virtual office employees, assesses some of the tools and technologies virtual office employees use, and identifies strategies that contribute to successfully engaging virtual office employees.

"With off-site workers now representing up to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce in companies with 5,000 or more employees and 43 percent of recently surveyed companies anticipating growth in their virtual work forces, we felt it was important to examine current methods that are helping employers better engage their remote employees," says The Forum President Patty Saari, who is also vice president, product and strategy, business loyalty at Aimia, incorporating Carlson Marketing.

Here are some of the most interesting findings from the virtual office employee study:

  • Engaging remote employees must be part of a bigger virtual office employee management strategy supported by top management.

  • Engaging virtual office employees requires technology platforms that enable people-oriented aspects of work.

  • Some face-to-face contact with virtual office employees is necessary.

  • The quality of talent supersedes virtual office employee location.

  • Smaller companies struggle more with engaging virtual office employees than larger ones.

  • Virtual office employee engagement should be integrated with internal branding and organizational culture.


"In the end, we found that the boom in virtual employment that is taking place due to advances in technology and other economic factors puts many organizations in the difficult situation of trying to manage and engage employees in ways with which they have little expertise because their legacy has routinely been to manage workers at a given location," said Saari. "We hope The Forum's findings provide leaders with tangible ideas to better engage an increasingly virtual workforce and maximize the success of this growing reality."

Check out this YouTube video for some general tips on employee engagement:

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Time Magazine Talks About Rise of Remote Worker

NEW YORK-Time magazine is talking about the rise of the remote worker. Guest columnist Dan Schwabel's article, in fact is entitled, “The Rise of the Remote Worker, or How to Work from Home Without Getting Fired.” You gotta love that!

Schwabel points to a Cisco study that reveals 70 percent of college students and young professionals don’t find it necessary to head into the office anymore. That suggests that a new age is dawning in the world of work.

“Telecommuting, working from home, working remotely: they all essentially mean the same thing (working somewhere other than in an office). And this form of work is growing,” he writes. “The Atlantic reported that there are now more than 34 million people who work from home occasionally. A new study by the software company Wrike, meanwhile, shows that 83% of employees work remotely at least part of the day. Presumably, reading and answering e-mails while commuting, or perhaps just before bedtime, counts, as it should.”

So how do you work from a virtual office without getting fired? Schwabel has some suggestions for virtual office workers:

  1. Get organized

  2. Check in with your manager frequently

  3. Push yourself to network

  4. Take breaks and get fresh air

  5. Work in productive space

  6. Use collaboration tools

  7. Respond to e-mails quickly


All good tips for the virtual office worker. The truth is, you can be more productive from a virtual office. That doesn’t necessary do away with in-person meetings from time to time. And working from a virtual office doesn’t mean being an island unto yourself.

The key is to show your productivity to coworkers and managers. You can do that through tools like WorkSimple’s Social Goals Personal Edition. (It's a great tool for career management.) There are lots of collaboration and productivity and networking tools on the market that aim at virtual office users. A word to the wise: Use them.
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