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Wine Rack Store Taps Into Virtual Office Trend to Save Gas

SEATTLE—I love to hear stories of real businesses finding success with virtual offices. Whine Rack Store has a good one to tell.

The story begins as it does with many companies that turn to telecommuting and virtual offices—high gas prices. The surge in gas prices hit many commuters hard and caused some to re-prioritize their days. Employees of the wine rack retailer were among them.

Wine Rack Store is known in the Seattle area for its environmentally friendly practices. For example, the office has a recycling policy and the company uses water-based stains for their wine racks and cellars. Telecommuting is now the company’s latest green move. Wine Rack Store now lets employees work from virtual offices—and the company is finding that it benefits all involved.

"Everyone always comes into the office in high spirits, and I enjoy having them around," says Win Rack Store President Michael Kitson. "But I also understand how much of a challenge it can be sometimes to commute into the office when everyone can be just as productive at home."

Wine Rack Store is an online retailer, which makes telecommuting from a virtual office a viable option. Heather Hoskins, director of communications for the firm, says her commute isn’t so bad, but working from home from a virtual office is still a boon.

"The benefit of being able to work from home, even just a few days a week, helps offset the cost of my husbands drive in a huge way,” she says, noting that her husband makes a 60 mile two-way commute.

Wine Rack Store employees tap into virtual office technologies like messaging and webinar services to stay on top of the day-to-day businesses and keep connected with coworkers who may also be working from virtual offices. Says Kitson, "Modern technology makes running a business easy from anywhere.”

Davinci Virtual Offices has virtual office space across Washington state, including virtual offices in Bellevue, virtual offices in Bothell, virtual offices in Seattle, virtual offices in Vancouver and virtual offices in Issaquah.
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Looking for a Virtual Office Job? Try VirtualVocations

CHICAGO—Always wanted to work from home? All the articles in your local newspaper about workshifting, flextime, virtual office space and the like getting your attention? To be sure, telecommuting from a virtual office is a trend that’s gaining momentum with employees and employers alike. Virtual offices save companies money and offer employees convenience.

Enter VirtualVocations. Virtual vocations is a telecommuting jobs site that helps you find work-at-home jobs suitable for a virtual office. VirtualVocations joins the hundreds of similar sites online, but it’s one of the few that hand-screens all its posts to ensure every job is a bona fide employment opportunity.

"We recognized that most of the major job sites on the Internet have been overrun by scammers, making it difficult to distinguish what positions are legitimate,” says Laura Spawn, who started VirtualVocations five years ago after noticing the need for more credible virtual office job sites. "Our desire was to create a site that would be able to offer all kinds of legitimate virtual positions to those who are interested in working from home."

VirtualVocations just joined the International Association of Employment Web Sites, or IAEWS. IAWES holds its members to high standards and a strong code of ethics. The code of ethics includes values such as honesty, fairness, and self regulation.

This is a refreshing addition to the virtual office job world. Spawn is right. There are a lot of scammer Web sites out there promising virtual office jobs. Some of them have hidden fees or just poor listings. Finding virtual office jobs in Chicago, New York, Tampa, Boston and beyond doesn’t have to be difficult—or scary—when you go to sites like VirtualVocations. And, of course, Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has the virtual office technologies to help you get up and running quickly.
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El Dorado Hills Virtual Offices Make Cali Expansion Easy

EL DORADO HILLS, CA—El Dorado Hills is just 25 miles south of Downtown Sacramento and 90 minutes from Lake Tahoe. That makes it a strategic place from which to do business, especially from a virtual office.

El Dorado Hills offers a high quality of life and plenty of business opportunity. The El Dorado County Office of Economic Development provides assistance services directed toward encouraging the startup, retention and expansion of El Dorado County businesses and jobs, particularly with small businesses; creation of new jobs and employment opportunities; and diversification of economic activity and strengthening the County's tax base, according to its Web site.

But you don’t have to take the plunge in El Dorado Hills until you are ready—if you opt for an El Dorado Hills virtual office space. Virtual offices allow companies to expand into new territories and test the waters without the high overhead associated with traditional satellite office expansion.

The El Dorado Hills Executive Center offers virtual offices that guarantee you a prime business address in El Dorado Hills. Located at 51170 Gold Foothill Parkway, this El Dorado Hills virtual office space is available for just $89 a month.

For that price, you get an impressive business address, mail and package receipt, access to a business support center, a lobby greeter to handle client drop offs and pick ups, as well as greet guests when you hold meetings at the virtual office center in one of the conference rooms.

You can rent conference rooms at this El Dorado Hills virtual office for $25 to $40 an hour, or rent a day office in El Dorado Hills for an average price of $10 to $35 an hour. You can also opt for mail forwarding services for a small fee if you can’t drop by frequently to get the mail.
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Virtual Offices Support Ambitious Working Moms

BOSTON—Most working moms are empowered as role models for their children. Most working moms have professional ambitions. And most working moms feel like they are receiving support from their spouses and families. So says a new survey from Care.com.

Still, working moms aren’t completely satisfied. Specifically, working mothers aren’t content with feeling what they call “mommy tracked” in the office. Fifty-eight percent of working moms aspire to move higher in the professional ranks. But 73 percent of companies where working moms are employed don’t offer childcare benefits, and only 18 percent offer flex-spending accounts.

There’s even less opportunity for on-site childcare, emergency back up care and subsidized childcare. And 39 percent had to miss work during the last year because of a childcare issue. Virtual offices could be part of the solution for these ambitious working moms.

"This survey makes it clear that much still needs to be done in the workplace to support them in motherhood,” says Katie Bugbee, Managing Editor of Care.com. “Women now hold more than half of the entry-level jobs at American blue-chip companies. According to the 2011 White House Report on Women, women will account for nearly 60 percent of total undergraduate enrollment by 2019. When nearly 40 percent of the female workforce has to miss work because of a childcare issue, the productivity loss is felt on the bottom line."

What would it be like if working moms were able to tap into virtual office technologies, at least part time, when childcare issues arise? Virtual offices would empower working mothers to deal with childcare emergencies, like kids with the chickenpox or the flu that need supervision, without completely missing work. Virtual offices would allow working moms to stay plugged in, still attend important meetings virtually, and otherwise stay productive even if they have to leave early to pick up a sick child from school.

Check out this video on the mommy wars debate:

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Hate Office Politics? Try a Virtual Office Space

MENLO PARK, CA—It’s an election year, and that means there’s plenty of talk about politics in the office. On the other hand, there’s also plenty of office politics in most workplaces.

According to a new survey from Robert Half, more than 56 percent of workers say getting involved in office politics is at least somewhat necessary to get ahead. But 42 percent don’t feel office politics are necessary to get ahead. I wonder how many of among those 42 percent work in a virtual office.

"There is some degree of politics at play in virtually every organization," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. "The savviest professionals practice workplace diplomacy. They remain attuned to political undercurrents but don't allow themselves to get pulled into situations that could compromise their working relationships or reputation."

You may not have a much office politics going on if you work from a virtual office, but the truth is there is still some office politics to deal with. Here are Robert Half’s six tips for navigating office politics—even from a virtual office.

  1. Lobby for the respect and trust of all your colleagues. Forge strong alliances by sharing credit for successes and delivering on your promises.

  2. Avoid smear campaigns. Gossiping or outright mudslinging is only guaranteed to damage one person's credibility: yours. When you're upset or frustrated, wait until after you've calmed down to express your concerns.

  3. Stay true to your values. It's an unfortunate truth that there are those who'll do anything to "win," but character and credibility count.

  4. Smart candidates tailor their message and approach to the audience. Apply the same tactic to your coworkers; observe their unique work styles, priorities and communication preferences—and be willing to adapt your approach.

  5. Play by the rules. Avoid sticky situations by paying close attention to office protocol at your firm. If you take a misstep, make amends quickly.

  6. Dodge controversy. Getting into heated debates about non-work issues can generate unnecessary ill will.


With so many virtual office technologies, you are still connected to your coworkers in the office. So these tips come in handy. The good news is you can avoid a lot of the office politics because you won’t be in the fray of the daily grind on the job site.

Check out this video for dealing with office politics:

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