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Are You Making A Difference In Your Career?
During the course of their careers, many people wait for things to happen. They wait for a raise, promotion, or ideal assignment. They wait to be called back on an interview or to hear about a job they've applied to. A lot of waiting. Not always a lot of doing.
People also wait for permission. Many people tell me they want to do more, but no one "told" them they could do more. Maybe they want to mentor someone at work. Or, volunteer to train a new co-worker. But they don't, and they wait some more. Why do you need permission to help someone out?
Making a difference is not a "sit back and wait" endeavor. It's not usually something that will be given to you to do; it's something you go after. The good news about choosing to make a difference is you go from re-active to pro-active and dissatisfied to fulfilled in your career. The scary (and exciting) news is you may have to create an idea or come up with it yourself.
So How Do You Make A Difference In Your Career? Follow These 3 Steps Below.
1. Decide To Make Difference
Without a decision, you will never begin. You can't make a difference until you decide you want to make a difference; that you are tired of being unfulfilled and wondering what is missing. Once you make your decision, you will no longer think only about yourself, and will begin to think about others. You will not wait for someone to tell you what to do; you will give yourself that information. You will be deciding to have more say about where your career is headed. Deciding is powerful. It gives you strength and purpose. Now, you need your plan.
2. Identify How &Whom You'll Impact
Many people I speak with tell me about their ideas. Some have just one, and others have many. Rarely, does someone not have any idea circling around in their head. People tell me the big impact they want to make, or the smaller impact that will affect only a few people. What they all have in common is a desire to make a difference. You have ideas too. Write them down. Now, ask yourself, "who will I impact?" Write their names down, so you can see them clearly. Once you can see, then you can do. You also want to write down the steps you will take to make your impact. List the steps, then prioritize them. This is your plan.
3. Make a Difference
No more waiting; it's time to start doing. You know what you need to do, so get out there and do it. Start with the people on your list, those in your plan. Begin with the first person, then the second, etc. People believe that they can't focus on anyone else when they are worried about themselves. It's actually the opposite; you feel better when you take the focus off yourself. That's when opportunities appear; when your career is not so much about you. If your career is not where you want it to be, and you've wanted to shake it up, this will be your opportunity to do some shaking.
So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!
Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, is the President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. a successful career, life, and mentor coaching company that works with Senior Executives, Vice Presidents, and Managers who are looking for new career opportunities or seek to become more productive in their current role. She is the author of "Coach Yourself To A New Career", "Don't Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job" and "How To Feel Great At Work Everyday."
Managers See Benefits From Virtual Office Work
According to Vodafone’s “Exploring the shift in employee expectations” report, half of all managers surveyed feel that offering flexible working options makes them a more attractive prospect as a potential employer. What’s more, 85 percent of managers believe that employees now expect greater flexibility from the companies they work for.
This is good news for employees who are hoping to work from a virtual office space—and UK businesses seem to be rising to the demand. According to Vodafone, three-fifths of organizations surveyed now equip most employees with technology to work from anywhere—that includes a virtual office.
Why are managers in the UK so accommodating, at least in theory, to virtual office workers? In a word: results. UK managers understand the positive impact new ways of working make on both organizational performance and the bottom line.
- Nearly 60% cite productivity as a top five benefit
- 50% say flex-work enables a more flexible workforce
- 54% say flex-work saves costs by reducing office space requirements
“Giving people the ability to work effectively wherever they are is a key element of building a better business,” says Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK. “This not only has a positive effect on the bottom line, but also employees’ job satisfaction. Companies with the most satisfied workforces have been successful in embracing flexible working and creating an environment where their employees have a better work-life balance.”
So there you have it: At least in the UK, both employee and employers see the value in virtual offices. Davinci Virtual has dozens of virtual office locations across the UK, as well as virtual office technologies to help employees and enterprises tap into the benefits of flexible working.
Virtual Offices Empowers All-Important Flexible Working
According to Vodafone, UK companies are sharpening their focus on softer workplace benefits to attract and keep the best talent. That is one of the key takeaways in the report, entitled, “Exploring the shift in employee expectations.”
The report shows that flexible working is having a major impact on job satisfaction in today’s job market. In fact, employees now consider flexible working more important than financial benefits, such as a stake in the business, perks, bonus schemes and pensions.
The study also reveals that work-life balance is nearly as important today as basic salary. As employers battle to hire the best, the study shows that flexible working is emerging as one of the most valuable weapons an employer can have.
“Flexible working has gone from being a nice-to-have perk to now being at the heart of employees’ expectations,” says Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK. “British business clearly understands that motivation and job satisfaction are more than about money: work-life balance and feeling supported at work are also vitally important. Finding better ways of working will strengthen an employer’s offer to potential new talent but will also enable current employees to find a work-life balance that suits them."
Virtual offices and flexible working are synergistic. Although you don’t need a virtual office to employ flexible working, you can be much more productive and present a more professional business image if you tap into virtual communications solutions. Chances are the productivity and freedom virtual offices offer will lead you to arrange your work schedule with enough flexibility to encourage greater work-life balance.
Thinking About Transitioning to Virtual Offices?
“More and more companies are realizing the benefits of transitioning to a virtual model and in a few years virtual work environments will be the norm," Shepherd says. Shepherd isn’t just whistling virtual office Dixie. Decision Toolbox has been a 100 percent virtual workplace since 2003.
“Being pioneers in this space, we have learned firsthand that there is much more to a virtual workplace than having employees work from home offices,” Shepherd says. “Thus, we've adopted the term ‘cloud culture' to describe our own unique virtual environment."
Shepherd outlines the top business reasons why more companies are transitioning to virtual office space.
1. Cost savings: Rather than paying for sticks and bricks, "cloud culture" companies can invest in the best people, tools and technology for business success.
2. Quality: In a cloud culture company, there is nowhere for under-performers to hide and there are no appearances to create distraction. It's all about the numbers.
3. Scalability: “Cloud culture" organizations can grow quickly and turn on a dim —as more talent is added, there is no need for more office space, furniture, etc.
"Remember, to be successful in the cloud, you must act as though you have bricks and mortar and maintain the same cornerstones that are essential for success in a traditional workplace—culture, performance, appreciation, continuous improvement—and more," concludes Shepherd.
Decision Toolbox can help on the recruiting side, but Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offers virtual office space, virtual office technologies, virtual assistants and virtual receptionist that will help you transition your company to a virtual workforce.
Check out this video on managing a virtual workforce:
Virtual Offices Help Employers Battle Chronic Workers Stress
“The evidence overwhelmingly shows that effective health and productivity programs can make a real difference to an organization’s bottom line,” says Wendy Poirier, Health and Group Benefits Leader for Towers Watson in Canada. “There are unrelenting pressures on employers and employees today, but improving employee health is an opportunity for a true win-win.”
One way you can ease the unrelenting pressure on workers is by allowing them to work from a virtual office in a flextime telecommuting arrangement. Virtual office technologies make it possible for employees to stay connected to the corporate network and communications systems, yet get a reprieve, of sorts, from the daily grind. Study after study shows that employees are actually more productive from a virtual office. So allowing virtual office use can kill two birds with one stone.
So, to review, allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office drives up productivity and reduces stress, i.e. the stress of fighting traffic to get to work on time, the stress of dealing with office politics, the stress of distractions while you are on deadline and so on.
Alternative workplace strategies have been heralded as a means to reduce corporate real estate costs, but these tactics can also be used to reduce stress, which can have a ripple effect on the productivity of an organization. Virtual offices and other virtual technologies can also allow employees who are out of the office long-term continue contributing to the team effort, even if it is only part time.
Check out this video on dealing with job-related stress:
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