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Workshifting From a Virtual Office Benefits Small Businesses
“While any employee appreciates the benefits of more flexible work arrangements, such as the ability to work at home part or all of the time, the payoff for the business is also considerable. A workshifting policy can aid recruiting, employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention, and support diversity by making it possible to recruit the best talent in all corners of the world. It can also help business reduce capital and operating costs, especially in organizations that use virtual desktops to enable employees to bring their own device to work, and to use that device interchangeably and securely for work and personal tasks.
“Virtual meetings are already a well-established practice for business. Last year, more than 100 million people experienced a virtual meeting or support session powered by Citrix. By moving meetings from the conference room to the web, organizations can support real-time collaboration between dispersed co-workers and keep in close touch with customers and partners. Culturally, organizations benefit from a sense of cohesion and unity, while saving time and travel costs
“On an organizational level, workshifting accelerates business velocity by moving a process from one location to another—for example; having a sales rep process leads and orders directly from a trade show or placing a dedicated employee on-site at a customer location. At times of peak demand, the ability to share work across additional workers—or move it offshore for round-the-clock productivity—can provide crucial added capacity. Shifting lower-value tasks from highly skilled employees to hourly workers can reduce costs and improve efficiency.
“Just as virtualization technology enables workshifting for individuals, it also plays a key role in shifting workloads and processes to more optimal people or locations. Since computing resources are run, managed and secured centrally; data, applications, and complete virtual desktops can be made available instantly to any number of users in any location with no need for physical shipments or specialized local IT resources.”
Once again, I agree with Woodward. Virtual office space and virtual office technologies make alternative workplace strategies and workshifting a reality. And it’s a reality whose time has come. Round-the-clock productivity is the Holy Grail for American businesses. With workshifting, virtual assistants, virtual receptionists, and other virtual office technologies, the reality is, well, a reality.
Check out how workshifting works in real life:
Workshifting From Virtual Offices Makes ‘Everywhere Employees’ Possible
“The idea of being dependent on a single computer or location for work is becoming as outdated as needing a payphone to make a call when you’re away from home. Increasingly workers are using remote access tools and cloud services to tap into their business applications and data from any location using an ever-widening array of business laptops, personal smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
“This anytime, anywhere, any device capability is made possible by the delivery of on-demand desktops. Using desktop virtualization, organizations can instantly and securely deliver an individual’s complete desktop, including data, applications, and personalizations—even their familiar wallpaper—to any device. To the user, this ‘virtual desktop’ looks, feels, and acts like the traditional desktop on their PC —whether they’re accessing it on an iPad at a public hotspot, a laptop over a hotel network, or an outdated computer in a friend’s guest room. Their virtual desktop is provisioned centrally from their company’s datacenter, simplifying management and ensuring security.
“The ability to work from anywhere can make a huge difference to individual and organizational productivity and to work-life balance. An attorney can research and respond to a client query using her iPhone without leaving her son’s soccer game. A former employee’s complete workload can be moved to a new employee in less time than it takes to clean his vacated office. A sales rep can access complete customer files at a moment’s notice, even if he left his laptop in the back of a cab. While unfortunate, his lost laptop does not create a security risk since his virtual desktop with its associated data and applications is stored centrally in the datacenter and not on the laptop.”
I agree with Woodward. She has a strong handle on the concept of virtual offices. Virtual office space and virtual office technologies empower workshifting and all its benefits. The core concept is clear: although technologies allow workers to work in more places more of the time, there is still a need for a meeting space, or a temporary office, or even high-tech equipment like video conferencing. Virtual office space solutions answer this call. Virtual offices set the stage for the freedom—and the productivity—that comes with workshifting and alternative workplace strategies.
Check out this YouTube video about one worker's experience workshifting:
Seven Reasons Why Virtual Offices Are Right For Your Small Business
You can read the entire piece here, but I’ve summarized his key points below:
1. Your workers are more productive.
2. You can reach team members wherever they are, regardless of location.
3. You conserve office space and save money.
4. You reduce IT management time and equipment costs.
5. You can take advantage of distributed, cloud-based IT functions.
6. Your organization can become more agile.
7. Your workers cost less.
“Telecommuting can save your company substantial sums with little in the way of real downsides, as long as you manage security carefully,” Harbaugh writes. “The perception of difficulty in supervising remote workers often seems to be the biggest bar to implementing telecommuting, but you can overcome this resistance by looking at the bottom line.”
Telecommuting from a virtual office indeed offers all of these benefits. Workers are more productive because there are not as many in-office distractions to deal with. You can reach team members wherever they are when they are in virtual office mode thanks to mobile technologies. Virtual offices conserve office space and save money because physical office space requirements are shed.
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions understands how to help companies deploy alternative workplace strategies that include virtual offices, virtual receptionists, virtual assistants and various virtual office technologies. Whether you need virtual offices in New York, virtual offices in Los Angeles, virtual offices in Miami or some other city, we can help your workers get up and running with the tools they need quickly.
Virtual Offices Help Virginia Small Businesses Win Tax Incentives
It’s called the Telework!VA program. It’s designed to help your company offset the cost of starting up or expanding a telework program. If your business qualifies, you could get up to $50,000 in tax credits.
Telework!VA cites statistics that show telework programs help businesses reduce overhead expenses, prepare for business continuity, help their employees become more productive, and decrease their impact on air pollution and traffic congestion.
Virginia defines telework as working at any alternative location other than at your central worksite. A telework program gives selected employees and managers the option of working off-site on a full-time, part-time, or even temporary basis.
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has plenty of virtual office locations in Virginia for companies looking to take advantage of the tax incentives. Our 19 virtual offices in Virginia include:
- Glen Allen
- Virginia Beach
I’ll choose just one to highlight: Virginia Beach. Davinci Virtual offers virtual office space at the Virginia Beach Business Center, which is located at 4445 Corporation Lane in Virginia Beach. You can rent virtual office space at this location, which is near the Northwest and Central Business District, for just $95 a month.
Check out this video on Virginia Beach:
Workshifting Fuels Virtual Office Space Trend
“Workshifting has now become the expectation of nearly all enterprise employees,” Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass, says in its blog. “In our latest iPass Mobile Workforce Report we found that although 95 percent stated their employers encouraged or tolerated workshifting—40 percent would like to have an even more flexible work environment.”
If they aren’t getting enough flexibility at work, 33 percent would seek employment elsewhere, 57 percent would be less satisfied with their job, and 45 percent would feel less productive, Kaplan continues. He doesn’t specifically mention virtual offices in his blog, but clearly virtual office space is part and parcel of the workshifting strategy for many people.
“We should take note—if we don’t provide the flexibility today’s mobile employees feel entitled to—they will seek out those companies who do allow them the freedom to work when and where they choose,” Kaplan notes.
Kaplan offers more evidence for workshifting:
- Mobile employees work more hours. In fact 75 percent of those surveyed claim to work more hours due to workshifting—more than half work at least 10 or more additional hours each week, and 12 percent work 20 or more additional hours.
- Mobile employees are on demand. They work around the clock, 38 percent work before their commute, 25 percent work during their commute, 37 percent work during lunch, and 37 percent work at night — each and every day. Even on vacation, 97 percent stay connected to technology and nearly all did so at least partly for work.
- Mobile employees feel more productive and efficient. 79 percent reported increased productivity and 78 percent reported increased efficiency.
- Employees who workshift report improved work/life balance and more than half feel more relaxed because of the flexibility.
Kaplan would be the first to admit that he likes seeing folks in the office. Many companies that deploy alternative workplace strategies do. But virtual office technologies allow the distributed workforce to be more productive. Kaplan knows it is a win-win for his employees to spend less time commuting and more time focusing on work. And I bet he’d tell you that virtual offices play a role in making workshifting possible for many.
Check out this video with the story of one workshifter. It will inspire you!
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