Davinci Virtual Blog



Staying Connected In Far Away Virtual Offices

The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Max penned a thoughtful article on how virtual workers can collaborate and stay connected. She featured CUNA Mutual Group as an example. As the story goes, no one actually meets in person—even at their annual meeting. The company relies on virtual office technologies like WebEx to stay connected.

“As more employees work remotely, companies must devise ways for isolated workers to feel like part of a group. Teleworkers are still in the minority, representing about 2% of the U.S. workforce according to the Telework Research Network, a consulting and research firm specializing in telework and workplace flexibility, but experts believe virtual teaming will become more common,” Max writes.

“Moving workers out of cubicles can represent meaningful cost savings for companies, but management needs to keep these isolated employees working well together, collaborating and communicating effectively. After years of a culture where face time is the norm, that is no easy feat.”

With that in mind, I started scouting around for tips on how virtual workers can succeed in communicating and collaborating even from virtual offices—and even when they never actually meet each other in living color. I found a good blog post from Affinity, and I’ll offer the summary here.

“The biggest disadvantage of not communicating face-to-face is that you lose out on the non-verbal cues in a conversation,” Unmana Data writes. “The same statement, without the context of tone or body language can be interpreted as an earnest suggestion or sarcasm, an honest apology or a defensive excuse.”

Here are some tips:

  1. Pay attention to language.

  2. Initiate communication.

  3. Communicate regularly and frequently.

  4. Prevent and resolve misunderstandings.

  5. Use technology effectively.

  6. Connect outside of work.

All good tips. He bottom line: virtual offices can be a cost and time saver. And working virtually doesn’t have to hamper collaboration or communication if you make minor adjustments and tap into virtual office technologies that help you take virtual communication to the next level.

Virtual Office Helps Engineer Live Abroad and Keep His Job

TAMPA, FL-You don't have to tell Barry Frangipane that the Internet has made the world a little smaller. The software engineer and author has telecommuted from a virtual office in Tampa for years. But he didn’t realize how far telecommuting could reach until he read Under the Tuscan Sun, a book about an American who chucked it all to live in Italy.

"The key about Under the Tuscan Sun was that they had a ton of money," says Frangipane, author of The Venice Experiment, a memoir that chronicles his year living in Europe while he telecommuted to his software job in the states. "Anyone could move to a foreign country with a ton of money. We wanted to see if a typical middle-class couple could do it, with a job."

Barry and his wife settled on Venice and devised the following tips on how others could make an American living while living abroad. Although housing, cars and a cook played into his moves, telecommuting was atop his list.

As Barry sees it, the changes over the past 10 years for telecommuters have been subtle, but together they have produced a tipping point making the idea of extreme telecommuting a reality. Advances in the quality of videoconferencing make meetings as effective as they would be in person. Barry says he was gone for 13 months, and most of his clients never even knew he had left.

Whether you want to telecommute from Tampa or some city in Italy—or somewhere in between—Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has you covered. Davinci Virtual has five virtual office locations in Tampa  and two in Italy: one in Milan and one in Rome. Let’s look at a virtual office in each location so you can get a flavor of what to expect.

Davinci offers a virtual office in Rome at Executive S.P.S. at Via Sovoia 78. That’s a prime business address there. Starting at $105 a month, you get mail and package receipt, access to a business support center, lobby greeter, client drop off/pick-up point, and mail forwarding and shipping services. You can also rent a conference room or day office on demand by the hour. In Tampa, you can tap into all the same benefits starting at $79 a month in some locations.

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions Named Sixth Fastest-Growing Company in Utah

Want to Work From a Virtual Office? Try One of These Career Fields

ATLANTA-If you want to work from home in a virtual office, there are some career fields that are more obliged than others to let you do so. FlexJobs Flexible Job Index for September reveals what those career fields are—and there have been big changes in the top 25 fields hiring for telecommuting, part-time, freelance, and flexible employment.

"In our recent data, we've continued to see strong growth in professional fields that people might not typically associate with telecommuting and flexible jobs," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. "But the truth is that telecommuting and flexible jobs are much, much more widespread than they're given credit for."

The top five career fields for virtual office users are:

  1. Medical & Health

  2. Education

  3. Sales

  4. Computer & IT

  5. Administrative

Some of the most notable changes in the FlexJobs Flexible Job Index for September include an 87 percent increase in data entry jobs and a 32 percent decrease in available writing jobs. Web design and graphic design saw dips, with 23 percent and 22 percent drops, respectively. On the upside, accounting and finance telecommuting jobs rose 28.4 percent, consulting is up 27.8 percent, business development is up by 20 percent, and customer service is up by 15 percent. The increases reflect growth in the number of available jobs in these fields.

All of these career fields have a history of allowing telecommuters to work from a virtual office space. But FlexJobs is noting some surprising fields among the possibilities for virtual office users, including Marine Species Observer, CEO, State Director of Nursing, and a History & Ethnic Studies Instructor.

The September report shows how virtual offices and telecommuting, as well as flexible work schedules, continues to gain momentum—even finding its way into non-traditional career fields. What profession will go virtual next?

Reduce Stress and Long-Term Absences With a Virtual Office

Are you stressed out? Stress seems to be a common denominator in today’s world. Whether you work in an office or out in the field, stress seems to follow people around in the world of work.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when I saw the latest Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey. The survey reveals that stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for employees. Virtual offices may be able to help solve the problem.

Think about it for a minute. There are many types of sicknesses people get that might keep them out of the office for the long-term, such chronic fatigue syndrome or tuberculosis. But stress tops the list, and the side effects are troublesome.

“Stress can often have a negative effect on the workplace, which can result in loss of productivity and disengaged employees,” says Gill Phipps, HR spokesperson for Simplyhealth. “With many organizations looking for ways to save money, employee health and wellbeing shouldn’t be over looked and should remain at the heart of the company.”

Beyond these findings, another survey from Aviva UK Health revealed that long-term sick leave causes low morale in the office. Twenty-two percent of employees feel annoyed and overworked when colleagues are absent and 71 percent said they’d be concerned about returning to work if they were off sick for a prolonged period of time.

“Our research shows that it is not unusual for an employee to be off sick for a prolonged period of time at some point during their working life,” said Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva UK Health. “If this happens, both the emotional and financial strains on the absent employee and remaining team members can be huge.”

So not only is the cause of the long-term absenteeism most often stress, the fact that an employee is absent for a long period of time leads to more stress. It’s sort of a double-edged sword—it cuts both ways. A virtual office may help solve the problem.

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 stress in the workplace: