Davinci Virtual Blog



The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

I was reading an article by Kelly Eggers called, “The Five Best and Worst Things About Telecommuting: The Finance Edition.” This is a great account of the history of telecommuting and its benefits. I’d highly suggest giving it a read.

One of the most intriguing parts about Eggers’ article on telecommuting was the list of pros and cons. Both should be considered when considering whether to work from home using a virtual office or whether to rent traditional office space. Although this article deals specifically with finance professionals, there are some lessons in it for other industries.

Again, I’d suggest reading Eggers’ entire article, but I’ll outline her pros and cons here for a quick discussion of telecommuting and I'll relate it to virtual offices.

The “pros” she listed are:

  • You can sleep later and still get more done.

  • You’ll save money—both for you and your boss.

  • You could live somewhere you’ve always wanted to, and keep your job.

  • You’ll have fewer coworker interruptions.

  • You can help your firm go nationwide and global.

The “cons” she listed are:

  • Confidentiality and security can be an issue.

  • Jurisdiction can come into play.

  • “Flexible” can become too flexible.

  • Face-to-face interaction is highly limited.

  • It could totally backfire.

I don’t know whether or not Eggers works from a virtual office—but I do. (I am based near Ft. Lauderdale.) So I can vouch for the “pros” of telecommuting she lists. But I don’t totally agree with the “cons.” (Granted, these are specific to the financial services industry.)

She cites a risk with wireless networks, but I’m not using a wireless networks—not do you have to use a wireless network to work from a virtual office. From her perspective of the financial services industry, yes, this may make sense. But for most of us it’s irrelevant. She also cites jurisdiction in the financial services industry. This is another “con” that doesn’t apply to most of us.

Eggers says “flexible” can become too flexible. I suppose it could for some, but if you are an entrepreneur determined to build your business, you won’t slack off. And if you are a company employee who is ambitious, you won’t either. Recent studies show that telecommuting doesn’t engender laziness, but greater productivity. Virtual offices breed productivity.

Eggers says face-to-face interaction is highly limited. To me, this is not a disadvantage. I work on very tight deadlines. I spend most of my day on the phone or writing. Face-to-face interaction is overrated. If I want to interact personally, I can go out to lunch. Ultimately, I’m more productive without co-workers sitting next to me.

Sleep Easy with a Virtual Office Space

Scientists seem to be fascinated by the topic of sleep—and you can get more of it when you rent a virtual office space.

But how important is it to get a good night’s sleep? A team of British and Italian researchers will tell you that it impacts your health and the length of your life.

In fact, according to the study, people who sleep less than six hours a night are 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those sleeping between six and eight hours a night. How much sleep should you get? The general consensus across sleep studies is between six and eight hours a night for adults. Teens and kids need more.

OK, so what does this have to do with virtual office space? Plenty. I’ve written about this topic before—and I’ll probably write about it again. The way I see it, if researchers find it valuable to continue looking at the impacts of sleep and sleeplessness, it’s just as well to explore how virtual office space can help you be more productive so you can get more sleep.

Indeed, virtual offices set the stage for a productivity boost in more ways than one. First, you can avoid all the distractions associated with the traditional office life. You know, the water cooler conversations, the noises around and about you, the commute to work. Virtual offices eliminate all of those distractions and help you get more done in less time.

Even if you do have to pull an all-nighter to meet client expectations once in a while—or if you have to work late every night one week to take advantage of the dead silence that comes in the dead of the night so you can meet your deadlines—working from a virtual office space gives you the freedom to catch up on lost sleep.

Ultimately, researchers concluded that sleeping at night is better than taking naps in the day, but some sleep is better than no sleep. So if you are looking for ways to get more done—and get more sleep—check into the virtues of a virtual office space.

Federal Employees Love Virtual Office Space

Federal employees are chomping at the bit to work from home. A whopping 93 percent of federal employees believe telecommuting would making working for the government more desirable. So says a recent study from FedScoop.

What’s more, the survey reveals that federal employees believe telecommuting would save them time and money. Specifically, 69 percent said telecommuting would boost productivity while 76 percent said it would improve their overall quality of life. Forty-six percent said telecommuting would allow them to spend more time with family while 71 percent said it would decrease their carbon footprint. Eighty-four percent said telecommuting would save them time.

Telecommuting is clearly gaining momentum—and it can gain a more professional business image (or in this case federal government image) with the use of virtual office space. Virtual office space allows federal workers to enjoy all the benefits of telecommuting without compromising a professional profile. Virtual office technologies like Cisco WebEx allow federal workers to connect with other employees online, while technologies like Skype make instant messaging—even instant video chat—quick and easy.

Although there are security issues around the federal government—President Barack Obama had to get a hardened BlackBerry to prevent leaks—most federal employees don’t need the level of security that would prevent them from telecommuting. Virtual office technologies can be run behind firewalls for added protection, and employee education can prevent issues like data loss.

At the end of the day, the FedScoop survey seems to point to the value of virtual office technologies for what appears to be an emerging trend: telework for federal workers.

Davinci Virtual offers seven virtual office space options for federal employees or others who need a Washington, D.C. address. You can choose from two D.C. virtual offices on Pennsylvania Ave. or a virtual office on Connecticut Ave. You can also select D.C. virtual offices on 12th Street, I Street NWW, 16th Street, or G Street.

Want to learn more about Washington, D.C.? Watch this YouTube video before you travel there:


Davinci Virtual Office Avoids London Underground Chaos

Three million passengers were affected when London Underground workers organized a strike on Tuesday. The Rail Maritime and Transport Union and the Transport Salaried Staff Association were protesting London Underground’s plans to slash 800 jobs, mostly in the ticket offices. The motive was to paralyze London.

Indeed, the strike by London Underground staff brought chaos and misery to the capital's commuters on Tuesday. But employees of the more than 1,500 London businesses using Davinci virtual office space were kicking back and enjoying a virtual commute to the office.

"Customer service and responsiveness is king and a flexible business setup is crucial to servicing them, as now more than ever if you can't service them someone else certainly will," says Davinci's UK managing director, Steve Golding.

"In these 24 hours of transport chaos how many calls have gone unanswered? How many opportunities were lost costing UK Plc millions? The move towards more modern telecommunications software has made the need for a physical commute largely irrelevant. So, whilst commuters jostle for space at bus stops, taxi stands and railway platforms across London, the more dynamic members of the business community will be doing their commuting on-line, and using virtual personal assistants and staffing solutions."

Britain's growing army of small businesses and sole-traders who prefer to work from the comfort of the home office use virtual offices to give them a virtual presence at a prestigious business address, while enjoying the benefits of mail and telephone answering services at the fraction of a cost of having a serviced office, or full time employees.

Davinci Virtual has nine virtual office facilities locations in London, including Charlotte Street London, Great Titchfield London, Margaret Street London, Regent Street London, Southampton Row London, Hammersmith London, Victoria London, Austin Friars London and Grove House.

Each of these locations offer entrepreneurs a prime business address, mail and package support, access to a business support center, a lobby greeter, a convenient drop off and pick up location for clients, and mail forwarding and shipping services. Entrepreneurs can also gain access to a conference room at an hourly rate for client presentations.

Check out this video on the London Underground strike:


Virtual Office Space Empowers Flex-Time

It’s a proven fact: telecommuters balance work and family life better than office workers. But it’s also a proven fact that telecommuters can maintain that balance even while sometimes squeezing in a couple extra days’ worth of work each week. So say researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU).

BYU analyzed data from 24,436 IBM employees in 75 countries. Given a flexible schedule and the option to telecommute, employees were able to clock 57 hours per week before experiencing an imbalance between work and personal life—and not all of those 57 hours are telecommuting hours.

According to E. Jeffrey Hill, a professor in BYU’s School of Family Life, the typical high-flexibility work arrangement includes a mix of office time and firing up the laptop from home, the venue depending on the task at hand. Virtual office space can help with the latter.

“Telecommuting is really only beneficial for reducing work-life conflict when it is accompanied by flextime,” Hill says. “Managers were initially skeptical about the wisdom of working at home and said things like, ‘If we can’t see them, how can we know they are working?’”

Nowadays more than 80 percent of IBM managers agree that productivity increases in a flexible environment. In the current economy, the scenario is being repeated with other businesses feeling the pinch. Virtual office space can enable flextime at large and small companies.

“A down economy may actually give impetus to flexibility because most options save money or are cost-neutral,” Hill says. “Flexible work options are associated with higher job satisfaction, boosting morale when it may be suffering in a down economy.”

Virtual office space is also an economical option in a down economy, both for the company and its employees. Employees can save on gas and even lunch expenses by working at home from a virtual office a couple of days a week. And companies can lease less office space if workers are distributed more evenly across the headquarters and the home front.

Virtual office technologies ensure that employees don’t miss a beat in terms of client or staff meetings. Virtual office technologies like Cisco’s WebEx, for example, enable seamless meetings from anywhere. Whether your employees are stationed in your city or road warriors traveling from place to place, virtual office technologies can drive greater productivity—and greater employee satisfaction—at your company.