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Avoiding Virtual Office Space Pitfalls, Part 1

LOS ANGELES—I often talk about the benefits of virtual office space. But there are certain pitfalls associated with telecommuting. The good news is, you don’t have to fall into them if you know what they are.

I was reading an article on the Mother Nature Network that does a fine job of laying out the telecommuting pitfalls to avoid as you work from the quiet serenity of your virtual office space. I’m going to outline them here, and then offer my comments as one who also works from a virtual office.

Distractions: I limit distractions in my virtual office by shutting off the phone while I am heads down on a serious project, closing my door so others in the house are signaled that I am working, and otherwise refraining from mindless Internet surfing during office hours.

Lack of a routine: Just because you work from a virtual office doesn’t mean you have to lack a routine. My day starts at 5 a.m. and I workshift, answering some emails and writing few blog posts from the quiet of my virtual office before taking my daughter to school, then leaving my virtual office later in the afternoon to pick her up and make her a snack.

Increased workload: OK, so I haven’t quite figured out how to combat this one yet, but this pitfall is not due to virtual offices. In other words, you can hardly blame your virtual office set up for the increased workload. If anything, virtual offices help you work more productively by cutting out all the commute time.

Isolation: Some say telecommuting can lead to isolation. I suppose that’s true. But I have plenty of socialization in my virtual office through Skype, e-mail, telephone calls and the occasional lunch meeting.

Out of sight, out of mind: This point suggests that if you are no longer interacting with your higher-ups on a regular basis, you may be overlooked. I avoid this virtual office pitfall by staying in regular communication with people. It’s just that easy.

Stay tuned for part two in tomorrow’s blog.
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Virtual Office Options Considered Top Perk

NEW YORK—I saw a pretty snappy infographic on the rise of telecommuting from Wrike, which makes project management software that enables, among others, virtual office users.

Wrike contends that today, people don’t have to clock in at the office every weekday—jobs go where the talents are. It seems Wrike isn't just whistling dixie. Wrike surveyed 1,074 people. Eighty-three percent said they work remotely at least part of the day.

Wrike also took a look at the past and future of remote collaboration (which would include some number of virtual office users). Wrike found that 43 percent of respondents worked remotely less often two to three years ago than they do today. And 66 percent believe their office might go fully virtual in one to five years.

Wow! What a testament to the virtual office. Wrike also found that the higher the position in the company, the more time the person spends working outside the office. Managers spend 10 hours working remotely compared to executives who spend 20 hours and business owners who spend 30 hours working remotely in setups such as virtual offices.

How much are people ready to “pay” for the opportunity to work from a virtual office or some other remote location?

  • 78% would forgo free meals

  • 54% would forgo employer-paid cellphone plans

  • 31% would accept reduction in paid vacation

  • 25% would accept reduction in salary


What’s more, 89 percent of respondents consider the opportunity to work remotely, say from a virtual office, as one of three main perks: remote work, salary and reputation. When asked about the benefits of remote work, 41 percent cited saving time, 29 percent cited increased productivity and 10 percent said they could focus on work, not office policies.

Finally, and this is the payoff for Wrike, 90 percent of respondents consider collaboration software mission critical or important to virtual teams. So whether you work in a virtual office now or you are heading in that direction in the future, Wrike wants you to consider how its software can help. (I checked it out, btw, and it’s top notch!)

Check out this video on what Wrike can do for your firm:

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Virtual Office Users: Enter to Win an iPad 2

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH--Every quarter Davinci Virtual Office Solutions gives away the hottest tablet device--and the device that every virtual office worker has on their wish list--the iPad. In our March iPad sweepstakes, the lucky winner was Zachery Levine with Wolk, Levine and Trotter. Levine's brand new iPad 2 is the perfect complement to his virtual office space.

The third generation iPad just hit store shelves on Friday and AT&T is reporting record-breaking sales. But you don't necessary have to pay $499--or more--for an iPad. Davinci Virtual is giving another lucky person the chance to win one of the tablet devices for free in its next iPad sweepstakes. The company is giving away another iPad and the drawing is July 1, 2012.

With the mobile worker revolution gaining momentum, virtual offices and the iPad are helping support the trend. Mobile workers can rely on the iPad to check e-mail, do VoIP calling, log onto conference calls, surf the web, and much more with the 500,000 apps available in the App Store.

The iPad’s Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the Web an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. You can read and send e-mail on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard or import photos from a Mac, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. iPad makes it easy to watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD, or flip through the pages of an ebook you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.

Normally, the iPad costs $499 for the entry-level model. Davinci Virtual is giving you a chance to get your hands on one for free. There’s no catch. You don’t have to be a virtual office customer to win the iPad, but current virtual office customers are eligible to enter. Click here to enter the sweepstakes.

Although there's tons of buzz around the third generation iPad right now, the iPad 2 is still an awesome tablet that can help you workshift from your virtual office. Check out this YouTube review:

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Virtual Office Users Eying Latest Generation iPad

BETHESDA, MD–The new iPad just hit store shelves on Friday and virtual office users are probably among those standing in long lines hoping to get their hands on one of the iconic tablets before they sell out.

The new iPad features a stunning new Retina display, Apple’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera with advanced optics for capturing amazing photos and 1080p HD video. That makes a perfect set up for virtual office users who want to do web conferencing from the iPad.

The iPad still delivers the same all-day 10-hour battery life while remaining amazingly thin and light. That means virtual office users can take their iPad to long out-of-office meetings with clients without having to worry about the battery dying during the presentation.

The new iPad is already having a powerful impact on the corporate tablet market. From virtual office users to road warriors to traditional office inhabitants, the iPad is seeing rapid adoption in the enterprise, according to ChangeWave Research.

Going forward, 22 percent of companies say they’ll be purchasing tablets for their employees during the second quarter of 2012. And most of them are buying iPads. Specifically, 84 percent of companies planning to buy tablets next quarter say they are buying an iPad.

The iPad is a virtual office user’s dream, which is one of the reasons why Davinci Virtual Office Solutions continues to hold its iPad sweepstakes every quarter. The next drawing is July 1. So be sure to sign up today to win an iPad, whether you are a virtual office user or are considering using Davinci Virtual’s virtual office solutions.

Check out this video review of the third-generation iPad:

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Is There March Madness in Your Virtual Office Space?

MENLO PARK, CA—Nearly one-third of managers interviewed felt NCAA basketball tournament activities shouldn't be allowed in the workplace, according to an OfficeTeam survey. How does that play out in the virtual office world?

First, the overall view. The majority of bosses are willing to play ball: Fifty-seven percent said group events tied to the playoffs are OK in moderation, and another 11 percent welcome them. Only 20 percent of employees polled said they are distracted at work by the excitement surrounding major sports competitions.

"As long as they don't interfere with work, activities tied to sporting events can be great for morale," says OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "Watching a game together or holding friendly contests provides opportunities for employees to build team spirit."

Whether you’ve got March Madness in your virtual office or you work flex-time in a traditional office space—or you have some other alternative workplace strategy—here are five tips to help you stay focused on work during the game season:

1. Don't get benched. Before checking scores online or participating in game-related activities at work, review company policies so you know what's acceptable and what's not. If you are working from a virtual office, just check the scores during your break or normal lunch hour.

2. Take the occasional time out. If your firm allows it, enjoy quick breaks to discuss tournament highlights with coworkers, but don't let these talks sideline you from other responsibilities. If you're a die-hard fan, consider requesting time off to watch the playoffs. If you are a virtual office user, you can IM about it.

3. Set up a game plan. If you want to take a day off to enjoy a sporting event, ask your supervisor as far in advance as possible so workloads can be managed. There may be many others with the same idea. Or you can workshift from your virtual office with a commitment to getting the work done by the next morning.

4. Don't step out of bounds. Review your company's policy and find out ahead of time if your employer is OK with decorating your workspaces to support your favorite colleges. If you work from a virtual office, you have no restrictions!

5. Be a good sport. Regardless of team allegiances, show proper sportsmanship in the office. Leave your overly competitive streak at home. Then again, if you are in a virtual office you can jump, shout and dance all you want when your team wins the game.
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