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Virtual Office Users Escape New York Blizzard

Thousands of travelers are snowed in during a Northeast blizzard that has dumped more than two feet of snow on New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and other states in the region.

Flights have been grounded. Bus lines have stopped. So have trains and taxis. Even the subway system in Manhattan came to a halt at some points. With winds up to 80 mph, many are stuck at home for a white post-Christmas.

But business doesn’t have to come to a standstill for entrepreneurs, road warriors and companies that have employed virtual office technologies. Although face-to-face meetings are stymied, virtual office technologies like web conferencing can keep business moving along.

With a virtual office, you are practically immune to blizzards that hit cities like New York and Chicago. You can sit inside your home office with a hot cup of coffee, a laptop and virtual office technologies like instant messaging and web conferencing still accomplish plenty.

What about incoming calls to the office? The virtual receptionist has those covered. When you rely on a virtual receptionist for your inbound calls, a trained professional can answer the line in your company name and can reroute your calls to wherever you happen to be stuck, whether that’s Newark Liberty International Airport, a hotel room in Philadelphia or your home in Manhattan.

So if you are stuck right now checking your corporate voicemail every 15 minutes so you don’t miss a call, consider calling Davinci Virtual Office Solutions. It’s also quick and easy to get set up with a virtual assistant who can ease some of the stress of doing business in a blizzard. Davinci also offers web conferencing and other virtual office technologies that pave the way to clear skies for your company.
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Do Your 2011 Career Goals Include a Virtual Office Space?

Heading into 2011, workers everywhere may be setting and re-evaluating their career goals. But how many of these resolutions will survive past February?

“New Year’s resolutions frequently include setting and re-evaluating career goals,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. “Goals that are broken down into smaller action items have a greater chance of success.”

Accountemps highlights six common career-related resolutions and offers tips for making them stick in 2011:

‘I want a new job.’ Schedule time each week to revise your resume, build your LinkedIn profile, research new job opportunities and set up meetings with business contacts, including recruiters who specializes in your field. Reassess these goals monthly, and reward yourself when you meet key milestones.

Davinci Virtual’s Note: If you want a new job because you are seeking flex-time, be sure to ask about the possibility of telecommuting from a virtual office.

‘I want to build my network.’ Join at least one professional association, and attend meetings regularly. At work, foster your internal network by joining cross-departmental teams and participating in companywide activities.

Davinci Virtual’s Note: You can amp up your productivity and have more time for networking if you work from a virtual office space at least once a week.

‘I want to enhance my marketability.’ Pursue a certification, learn a new software application or take a course to develop your skill set. Consider pursuing a leadership role with an industry or professional association or volunteering with a nonprofit group whose cause you are passionate about.

Davinci Virtual’s Note: Once again, you can spend more time marketing yourself if you accomplish more in less time. Virtual office technologies set the stage for greater productivity.

‘I want to improve my work performance.’ Meet with your boss to identify areas for improvement and establish career objectives. Offer to take on a project outside your job description, and look for opportunities to help colleagues who are carrying a heavy workload.

Davinci Virtual’s Note: Try employing virtual office technologies like web conferencing to save time on travel.

‘I want a promotion.’ Set up a meeting with your manager to discuss your career objectives and the ways in which you can bring more value to your firm in an advanced position. If a promotion isn’t in the immediate offing, work with your boss to identify the steps necessary to achieve one.

Davinci Virtual’s Note: Maybe even suggest an alternative workplace strategy that can save your company money on overhead expenses. Get creative and show your worth!

‘I want a raise.’ Research salary trends. For example, consult industry resources such as the annual Salary Guide from Robert Half to determine average pay rates for someone in your position. Then, present a business case to your supervisor for why you deserve a boost in pay. While many companies still may not be in a position to give raises, you may be able to negotiate other perks, such as a flexible schedule, in the interim.

As you consider your 2011 career goals, continue to consider how a virtual office space can help you work smarter, faster and more efficiently.
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Avoid Workplace Injustice with Virtual Office Space

Tired of office politics? So are a lot of other people. In fact, psychological distress in the workplace costs American businesses about $193 billion annually, according to the National Mental Health Association.

“Psychological distress is often caused by an injustice, either real or perceived, which can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, exhaustion and disengagement from fellow workers,” says Chester Spell, associate professor of management at Rutgers University. “Obviously none of these are beneficial to an organization.”

Spell and co-researchers Katerina Bezrukova of Santa Clara University and Jamie L. Perry, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, undertook a study to determine if the composition of work groups could play a role in reducing psychological distress arising from injustice.

“Unfairness in the workplace affecting job performance, satisfaction and other attitudes and behaviors has been the subject of considerable research but we looked at psychological distress as an outcome of injustice,” he says.

Although the Rutgers study focused on demographics, there are other ways to alleviate office politics and feelings of injustice: virtual office space. When employees work remotely, even in flex time situations, they get at least a temporary reprieve from office politics. Virtual offices also allow employees to be more productive and can help companies reduce traditional office expenses.

Virtual offices studies show a positive impact on job performance, satisfaction and other attitudes and behaviors—the exact opposite of feelings of injustice. Sure, a virtual office won’t solve all your problems, but it can cut down on office politics that breed an unpleasant corporate culture.
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Study: Managing the Mobile Workforce

Are your employees working from a virtual office? Then listen up.

According to a new survey from Runzheimer International, 54 percent of companies cite effective management of remote employees  as the biggest concern for executives in managing a mobile workforce. Despite this concern, employee satisfaction (26 percent) and competitive advantage (25 percent were also ranked as the top benefits gained with a mobile workforce as well as cost savings.  The Runzheimer survey polled close to 100 executives – director-level and above – from a range of businesses across the U.S.

The survey also offers interesting contradictions that could indicate companies need to tighten management of mobile workforce programs.  For example, most survey respondents (60 percent) believe their companies are effectively managing mobile workforce programs, but do not necessarily have measurement mechanisms in place. Thirty-three percent (33 percent) of these same respondents said they have not yet implemented formal, centralized processes that can be tracked or benchmarked over time.

Other Key Survey Findings:
•    Only 27 percent of businesses report having centralized management of mobile workforce programs in one department
•    Respondents characterized the growth of their mobile workforce programs as follows:
?    Mobile device use and business travel as the fastest growing programs.
?    Virtual office, telecommuting and automobile programs/driving for work as steady/slow growth.

"The issues raised in the survey results highlight key considerations for companies as they contemplate future plans," said Greg Harper, president of Runzheimer International.  "Corporations need to look more deeply at the infrastructure supporting their mobile workforce and truly assess if perceptions match the actual processes and metrics that are in place.  The biggest opportunities for improvement can be identified by asking employees and managers what is needed as well as using industry data to compare policies and costs."

Considerations for 2011 Planning
As organizations develop their corporate strategies for the coming year, a detailed review of their mobile workforce programs should be on the agenda, including a close look at employee satisfaction, manager challenges, and cost/return-on-investment.

Opening lines of communication by asking questions related to what employees and managers like or dislike about current programs and what would increase productivity can go a long way toward increasing employee retention and promoting higher levels of customer service. Formalizing this process through an annual survey and employee reviews offers critical insight.

Third party data that offers industry benchmarks on policy, costs and staff needed to support programs can offer valuable information.  An organization may discover that the number of employees supporting a travel program is above a typical organization by 30% and steps should be taken to tighten policy and automate to reduce administration time.  A comparison of business driver direct spend might reveal a spend 20% higher than the typical benchmark, which means an organization should revisit reimbursement policy.

The need to take steps to improve mobile workforce organizational planning remain an important corporate issue in light of IDC's projection of over 1 billion virtual workers worldwide by 2011.

Consider Davinci Virtual Office Solutions your partner in managing a mobile workforce.
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Davinci Virtual Office Solutions' Customers Talk Back

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions prides itself on offering virtual office solutions that drive productivity cost-effectively. But we also pride ourselves on excellent customer service. So what are our customers saying about us? As we close out this year, we’ll be taking a look at some of the feedback we’ve received from our satisfied virtual office clients.

“Davinci is awesome! Davinci has been one of the best investments since starting my business,” says Dr. Ehrenhaus. “You guys make me look and sound professional to other colleagues. My colleagues are amazed at how nice my receptionists are! I am looking forward to a long relationship. It’s a good marriage. I think you guys are fantastic.”

Bryan Huddleston from Short Sale Systems says the Davinci Virtual Office Solutions team’s professionalism is “outstanding.” “I've worked in several Fortune 500 companies, including Nordstrom’s and Microsoft , in various industries and sectors. I've been responsible for leadership and training on service, and on delivery of a range of products and services,” Huddleston says. “Your commitment to professional and excellent service is truly extraordinary.”

Reid Thornley, CEO Aquatell, offered a report after looking at some metrics from the past quarter. He discovered something interesting—since singing on with Davinci Virtual Office Solutions he has seen 14 percent increase in business.

“I attribute this to a couple of things. First, your receptionists are answering the phone for me between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.  Since my office is only open from 9 to 5 that represents four extra hours in the day when a live person is answering a customer inquiry,” Thornley says. “Secondly, having a receptionist has created the impression of a larger organization.  I believe my customers feel more comfortable buying from a company that is bigger. Thank you Davinci!”
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