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Should Snowy Weather Dictate Virtual Office Use?

I saw an Associated Press article that asked a provoking question in its headline: “Winter’s coming – time to let workers telecommute?”

That’s a good question, considering the blizzards in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and other parts of the Midwest. The article offers a thought provoking look at the pros and cons of telecommuting.

“With these early signs of winter, small business owners may want to think about letting workers telecommute rather than contend with snow, sleet and ice. And maybe think about allowing them to telecommute long-term,” writes Joyce M. Rosenberg of the Associated Press.

“Telecommuting employees fall into two categories. Many do it periodically, during an emergency such as bad weather or because they have to care for sick children. But workers at many companies have been telecommuting full-time or almost full-time for years.”

The article goes on to discuss the management issues involved in telecommuting, when employees should put in a “guest appearance,” and dealing with technical issues. Many of the technical glitches can be avoided from the start by using a reputable virtual office provider with state-of-the-art technology.

Virtual office technologies like Cisco’s WebEx are proven reliable, and they are even more affordable as part of a total virtual office package Davinci Virtual has put together. You can create an end-to-end virtual office solution for your company that includes virtual office space, a virtual receptionist, virtual assistants, Live Web Chat, web conferencing and more.

So as the weather chills, consider if you want your business to be considered for one of those ‘best places to work’ lists. Many of those companies, large and small, have a common trait: telecommuting and virtual offices. If you aren’t ready to buy into a virtual office solution for telecommuting on a regular basis, wisdom dictates at least putting a plan in place for snowy days when it’s not safe to get to the office.
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Get Closer to Manhattan with a White Plains Virtual Office

White Plains is more than a strategic location for your business—it’s a cost-effective one.

Think about it. White Plains is just 25 miles north of Manhattan. This and other features makes White Plains one of the top suburban office markets in the nation. When you set up shop in White Plaines, you’re in a gateway city to both New York and New England, as well as other northeastern cities. And you are less than one hour away from four major airports: JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, and Westchester County Airport.

The population of White Plains is only about 56,000, but the daytime population exceeds 250,000 because workers, shoppers and visitors flood the city. There are three major malls there that help drive traffic on the consumer side. On the business side, Downtown White Plains is a bona fide corporate hub with high-tech firms, major corporations, and three colleges and universities.

If you live in White Plains, setting up a virtual office space in Manhattan or White Plains is a strategic way to do business more cost-effectively. Davinci Virtual has numerous virtual office space locations in Manhattan, but you may also need a more local conference room, meeting room or day office in White Plains to impress local clients.

You can rent a virtual office space at 75 South Broadway, between Maple Avenue and East Post Road in White Plains. This is a prime business address in a Manhattan suburb. From just $75 a month you’ll get mail and package receipt, access to a business support center, a lobby greeter, a client drop off and pick up point, and more. You can rent a conference room, a day office space and even hang your license there.
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Does Your Virtual Office Provider Keep Your Information Secure?

Did you know that about one in five (19 percent) employees globally said they have noticed strangers looking at their computer screens in public, while an additional 19 percent admitted that they never think to check their surroundings?

So says Cisco. Those are some of the findings in its Cisco Connected World Report. What’s more, nearly one in five (17 percent) employees admitted leaving devices unattended in public. And almost three of every five employees globally (58 percent) admitted that they have allowed non-employees to use their corporate devices unsupervised.

As workforces become more distributed, the potential for data loss increases. One of four IT respondents (26 percent) said one-fourth of the devices issued to employees in the past 12 months had already been lost or stolen. In addition, security and risk management concerns inevitably grow.

Cisco’s findings indicate the real need for better corporate policies, end-user education, and stronger, trusted relationships between employees and IT departments. How well IT brokers these relationships impacts a company's growth, productivity, competitive advantage, as well as its risk management.

Davinci Virtual fully supports corporations that are exploring alternative workplace strategies. Virtual offices are the product, but Davinci goes deeper with services like virtual receptionists, Cisco WebEx web conferencing, virtual assistants and Live Chat. Together, these tools enable a secure virtual office. And our corporate policies ensure your company’s information is held in confidence.

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Will Businesses Turn to Virtual Office Space?

As we continue to explore the Cisco Connected World Report and how virtual offices fit into alternative workplace strategies in corporate America, consider these additional findings. When  you do, you’ll begin to see the value of a secure, trusted virtual office provider.

For example, the survey shows that almost half of the IT respondents (45 percent) said they are not prepared policy- and technology-wise to support a more borderless, mobile workforce. Not surprisingly, security is the top concern. Davinci Virtual helps ensure security of its virtual office solutions.

The study also reveals that although many of the IT respondents felt security (57 percent), budget (34 percent), and staff expertise (17 percent) were the biggest barriers to enabling a more distributed workforce, employees often felt IT and corporate policies were the obstacles. This perception among employees was extremely prevalent in India, where more than half (58 percent) felt IT was the obstacle to a more flexible work style.

"Employee mobility is a fact of life, and the  business advantages are clear across many industries. While The Cisco Connected World Report does identify real challenges for businesses, it also spotlights an opportunity for IT to enhance its relationship with employees and its role as an adviser and educator,” says Dave Evans, Futurist and Chief Technologist of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group.

“Simply put, this report serves as a call-to-action for IT organizations. Work is not a place anymore. It's a lifestyle, and the IT profession's role is only going to get more strategic as it tries to help businesses stay agile and increase productivity."

Large corporations can depend on Davinci Virtual to provide the framework for a secure virtual office environment. Davinci Virtual offers virtual office technologies like Cisco's WebEx platform, as well as virtual receptionists and virtual assistants who work under confidentiality agreements. When it comes to security, both IT and personnel, Davinci's virtual offices are leading the charge.
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Will the Office Become Extinct? Long Live Virtual Offices.

Is the office going the way of the dinosaur?

According to the Cisco Connected World Report, traditional office space seems to be making room to alternative workplace strategies. The survey reveals plenty about the state of officing today. The results lead me to consider how virtual office space fits into alternative workplace strategies in corporate America.

“The Cisco Connected World Report gives further insight into the future of the workplace and it is clear from the research findings that the desire among employees to be more mobile and flexible in their work lifestyles is extremely strong throughout the world—as strong as salary,” says Marie Hattar, vice president of Borderless Networks at Cisco.

For employees who can access corporate networks, applications, and information outside of the office, about half of the respondents (45 percent) admitted working between two to three extra hours a day, and a quarter were putting in four hours or more. However, extra hours do not translate to always-on, on-demand employees. They simply want the flexibility to manage their work-life balance throughout their waking hours.

Employees also feel strongly about having the flexibility to work anywhere that it would dictate their company loyalty (13 percent), choice of jobs (12 percent), and morale (9 percent). For example, two of three employees worldwide (66 percent) said they would take a job with less pay and more flexibility in device usage, access to social media, and mobility than a higher-paying job without such flexibility. This percentage was higher in some countries, such as Spain (78 percent), despite economic woes the past couple years.



“It is also evident that organizations need to embrace a borderless IT infrastructure to capture competitive advantage and increase employee satisfaction. The employee desire to be productive anytime, anywhere, using any device provides an opportunity to embrace the agility and flexibility provided through a Borderless Network Architecture," Hattar says.

The virtual office fits directly in this business trend, which is hardly new. Cisco has been tracking this for years and is itself an early adopter of telecommuting and other alternative workforce trends. That's one reason why Davinci Virtual has partnered with Cisco on the virtual office front to delivery WebEx. These and other virtual office technologies enable alternative workplace strategies.
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