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Overwhelmed? Take a Deep Breath and Hire a Virtual Assistant

If you’ve been renting virtual office space or using a virtual receptionist, you have seen the power of virtual technologies to make help you run your business more cost effectively, with greater productivity, and more professionalism. But if you haven’t yet hired a virtual assistant, you haven’t maximized your cost-saving, productivity-driving edge.

Just look at 93 Red. This business start up was launched less than a month ago, and has been leveraging Davinci virtual assistants from the get-go. 93 Red works in the print, design and communications industry, and its founders are tapping into the power of a virtual assistant to handle just about everything else, from administrative work to telephone answering.

Simon Cotterill, 93 Red's managing director, has spent more than 10 years in print sales. He understands that aligning  a client's needs and expectations is not just about using the right printer or paper. It’s about the total quality of service, which includes telephone answering and other tasks that have nothing to do with print, design and communications services.

"In setting up the new business it was therefore not only important to present a thoroughly businesslike image, but to ensure that clients were dealt with in a friendly, yet professional manner,” Cotterill says. “After looking at various options we found that the virtual office package, complete with a Virtual PA, available from Davinci Virtual proved to be the ideal solution.”

93 Red has a central London virtual offices. That gives the fledgling company a virtual presence in the capital city. The company also has a dedicated telephone answering service that guarantees they’ll never miss a single call. Cotterill says his clients have complimented him on the friendly and professional service they receive when they call in to make an initial inquiry, need to speak to a team members, or just leave a message.

"Whether our team is working with designers or overseeing a print job, the seamless way that calls are forwarded to us enable our new business to present a thoroughly professional image and help our business grow and prosper,” Cotterill says. “In fact, we are already planning to set up serviced office Space, but will be retaining the services of the Davinci Virtual PA as we've found the level of service absolutely amazing and they have already become such an important part of our team that we couldn't do without them."

What about your company? Whether you are a start-up like 93 Red or an established company in need of back up, you can leverage the convenience and professionalism of virtual office space, virtual receptionists, and virtual assistants to help grow your company—and to help you fight the overwhelm that often comes along with managing a growing company.

Check out this video on how to choose a virtual assitant. Davinci Virtual takes care of all this vetting for you so you get get straight to work as your virtual assistant hits the ground running.

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Get More Sleep with a Virtual Office Space

Do you get eight hours of sleep every night? How about seven? Wishful thinking, right? If you are like most of us, you are downright sleep deprived?

If so, you may be in need of what’s called ‘recovery sleep.’ A new study published in Sleep suggests that recovery sleep can reverse the damage of the sleep deprivation from which so many of us suffer.

“The additional hour or two of sleep in the morning after a period of chronic partial sleep loss has genuine benefits for continued recovery of behavioral alertness,” says principal investigator David F. Dinges, PhD, director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry and chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. . “The bottom line is that adequate recovery sleep duration is important for coping with the effects of chronic sleep restriction on the brain.”

That’s good news. But what if you could get more sleep on a regular basis every night so that you weren’t sleep deprived to begin with? As I’ve said before, a virtual office space can help—even for entrepreneurs who work in New York City, otherwise known as the City that Never Sleeps.

When you telecommute from home, relying on a virtual office space instead of the traditional cubicle life, you can get more sleep because you don’t have to drive to work. In fact, if you want to work in your PJs until noon as you motor through a major deadline, you can do that with a virtual office space.

Virtual offices give you a prestigious business address, a local or 800 telephone number—and the freedom to sleep a little longer in the morning instead of fighting rush hour traffic. You can also boost your productivity with a virtual office space because you can spend work during what would have been your commute home. And, this may be the best part, you can take a power nap in the middle of the day and still have your phones answered professionally by a virtual receptionist.

So let’s get this straight. Am I telling you that you can sleep more and be more productive from a virtual office? Indeed, that’s exactly what I’m telling you. What’s more, a virtual office also saves you money. A virtual office space affords you a professional business image—at a fraction of the cost of renting traditional office space.

Check out this study on sleep deprivation to see an interesting sleep deprivation study:

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Professionals Mix Virtual Offices and Web Gadgets

The Globe and Mail is running an interesting story today on virtual offices and web gadgets. The story chronicles several professionals who are no longer tied to traditional offices. Steve Hampton is one of those professionals.

As the Globe and Mail reports, Hampton is a marketing specialist at BIGLocal.ca, a search engine advertising agency in Ottawa. He runs a virtual office and communicates with his employees and vendors off site. As the story goes, Hampton loves using Skype while on the road. And I’m sure he uses it from his virtual office space as well.

Professionals in many industries use virtual offices and web gadgets hand in hand so they can stay connected with clients while they are on the road, or even on vacation. Virtual office space gives you a permanent, prestigious address, whether in Toronto, Montreal, or Manhattan. Virtual office space also comes with a local or 800 phone number that can follow you anywhere you go in the world.

It’s not just high-tech companies that use virtual offices. Law firms are tapping into the convenience of virtual office space. Small medical practices more and more are turning to virtual receptionists. Even large enterprises are renting virtual office space as they expand into new territories. But combining virtual office space with web gadgets like Google Docs, Skype and Cisco’s WebEx offers the ultimate flexibility.

The Globe and Mail story also offers the example of Rich Hayman, president of Just Moulding Franchising, who now uses a Motorola Droid instead of a laptop or netbook as he travels. Meanwhile, the story reports, Lee Deas of Obviouslee Marketing in Charleston, uses Google Apps to share documents with fellow workers.

The number of virtual technologies and web gadgets are growing. It’s no longer necessary to stay chained to a traditional office space. By combining virtual offices and virtual technologies, you can get more done in less time from wherever you are.

Check out this video on how Google Apps can be a complement to your virtual office space.
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Virtual Offices Help Entrepreneurs Reach Personal, Business Goals

Can surfing the web help you lose weight? It’s possible, according to new research from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (KPCHR).

It’s been said that working from home can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts because it’s too easy to get to the kitchen for a snack. But virtual offices facilitate weight loss if Kaiser’s research bears out.

KPCHR designed a web site that blends accountability with sociability. Users in the study logged in once a week to share their weight and how much they exercised. If they didn’t log in, they were politely reminded by e-mail and then an automated phone call. Users could support each other though Internet chat in a Facebook-like setting.

Of the 1,600 overweight or obese users, 350 lost about 19 pounds in the first six months. At the conclusion of the two and a half year study, those users who logged on regularly kept of most of the weight. Although study authors don’t believe the web replaces personal interaction, it seems to work better than going it alone.

Working from home in a virtual office—or living the road warrior lifestyle—can leave you without much accountability in your personal life. Sure, your boss or your clients can see that you are working from your virtual office with presence technologies on Instant Messaging, or by simply calling you on the phone in between flights. Virtual offices can help you be more productive on the business side.

Now, it seems working from a virtual office could also give you the freedom to engage in Internet-based programs that help you stay on track with personal goals. While your employer may not let you sign on to Facebook from work, for example, when you telecommute from a virtual office you can freely log on to Web-based communities that can offer the accountability and sociability you need to support you in just about any goal.

It’s not all about weight loss. There are online communities and accountability partners that can help push you toward your goal in just about any area of your life. Working from a virtual office helps you maximize your time management program because you don’t have to travel to and from work, and helps you maximize your productivity while you are on the road. With the time you save using virtual office technologies, you can even tap into web-based communities to learn new business skills.

Check out this video on exercises you can do from the office:

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Virtual Offices Set Stage for Important Social Connections

What’s worse for your health? Having a poor social life or smoking cigarettes? They may be just about equal, according to a study from Brigham Young University (BYU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Researchers believe people with poor social connections are 50 percent more likely to due within 7.5 years as people with healthier social lives. That’s on par with the mortality difference between non-smokers and smokers. Surprisingly, lifestyle factors like obesity and a lack of exercise have less impact on mortality than a poor social life.

“When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks," says BYU psychology professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad. "The data simply show whether they were integrated in a social network. That means the effects of negative relationships are lumped in there with the positive ones. They are all averaged together."

Virtual offices won’t necessarily add years to your life, but the freedom that comes along with a virtual office can give you more time to establish live-extending social connections. Virtual offices allow you to be more productive from 9 to 5 so that you don’t have to burn the candle at both ends, missing opportunities to spend time with friends and family.

Virtual office technologies can actually enhance your social connections. You can stay in face-to-face contact with people you might not often see via web conferencing and video chat. You can also make more connections more quickly through virtual office technologies. By reducing the need for extensive travel, you can meet more often with more people virtually, and even for local lunches.

Virtual offices can indeed set the stage for important social connections. Whether you work in Manhattan or Miami, virtual offices give you the freedom to work from home, reducing commute time and increasing productivity. You can shift your work hours to meet the demands of the important people on your life during special occasions, or just curb your work hours with better time management. With a virtual office space, these realities are at your fingertips.

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