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Virtual Office Organization Takes On Mobile Worker Focus

LOS ANGELES—In a move that demonstrates how mobile work is impacting the virtual office world, the Telework Exchange has changed its name to the Mobile Work Exchange. The public-private partnership focuses on demonstrating the value of mobility and telework, of which virtual offices often play a key part.

"Today's workforce is becoming more agile than ever, and telework is one of the components driving the mobile-enabled 21st century workforce," says Charles McClam, deputy chief information officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). "At USDA, we've made it possible for our employees to effectively perform their duties from anywhere using web-enabled technologies and mobile applications.”

Why the name change? The organization points to growth in government telework adoption as well as a new focus on encouraging mobility in the federal workforce. According to the 2012 Office of Personnel Management Status of Telework Report, almost a quarter of the federal workforce reported teleworking in some form, with 31 percent of the entire workforce eligible to telework.

"Throughout its existence, Telework Exchange has been at the forefront of the Federal telework conversation," says Dr. Wendell Joice, notably known as the father of Federal telework. "As the conversation changes, I am pleased to see their continued focus on telework as well as their new approach to mobile IT. “We are at a critical point—let's make telework and mobility happen in the Federal government."

Mobile Work Exchange will continue to provide best practices in telework, performance management, effective communication, recruitment and retention, work-life balance, and other workforce-related topics. The group will also focus on key issue in mobile IT, such as cyber security/privacy, bring your own device, mobile device management, virtualization, and cloud. The organization added a new resource center on mobile IT, and refreshed its monthly publication, now called The Mobile Worker.

"We've spent the last eight years supporting the awareness and adoption of telework," says Cindy Auten, general manager of Mobile Work Exchange. "Now that the federal government is moving telework in the fast lane, the conversation is changing. And so are we.”
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Nexxus Building Virtual Offices Have Ultra-Modern Appeal

HONG KONG—If you want to kick your international business image up a notch in Asia, then check out Hong Kong virtual offices in the Nexxus Building.

You can rent Hong Kong virtual office space from Davinci Virtual at the Nexxus Building. Located 41 Connaught Road Central in Hong Kong, Davinci offers virtual offices there for prices starting at just $90 a month. That’s a low price compared to renting traditional office space.

Conveniently located in Hong Kong's Central District, this stylish building offers 18 floors of prime class A offices rising above a five-story boutique luxury retail pedium.

Nexxus Building has been designed with modern business in mind. Ideally located just a short hop from IFC and Exchange Square, in Hong Kong the class A office building is highly accessible, fully refurbished and professionally managed.

These Hong Kong virtual offices are within strolling distance of other office buildings, hotels and conference facilities of Central Hong Kong and just a short walk from the leisure and entertainment facilities of Lan Kwai Fong and Soho.

This Hong Kong virtual office package includes a prime business address, mail and package receipt, access to a business support center, and a lobby greeter to welcome any guests who come to pick up or drop off packages and more.

This virtual office space in Hong Kong also makes available conference room rental for $25 to $45 an hour and day time office space for $10 to $35 an hour. You can use your Toronto virtual office address for business cards, licensing, websites and other public materials. With Davinci Virtual, you also get access to a network of more than 3,000 meeting rooms worldwide.
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Could You Use a Virtual Assistant?

LOS ANGELES—Could you use a virtual assistant? That’s the question in a headline from the Wall Street Journal way back in 2010. You see, although virtual assistants have become quite the buzz in the past year, virtual assistants are nothing new to the entrepreneurial—or corporate—scenes.

“Between work, chores, an almost-two-year old and another baby on the way, my to-do list seems to be growing rapidly,” writes columnist Michelle Gerdes. “Some of my most-pressing to-do items: packing up baby clothes for the attic, painting the spare room for nursery No. 2, getting a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through our benefits website at work.”

Virtual assistants may not be able to help you pack up your baby clothes or paint a spare room in your nursery, but virtual assistants can help you get a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through your benefits website at work.

In other words, if it’s computer- or telephone-based, a virtual assistant can help you out. Virtual assistants can handle everything from answering your phone to scheduling your appointments to ordering flowers for that special occasion to planning your much-needed vacation. Beyond secretarial service, virtual assistants can also handle online marketing tasks, online research or anything else you need done online.

Of course, not all virtual assistants are created equal. Some are fresh out of college—or in college—and may not be skilled or dependable for your specific needs. Others are industry veterans that have handled just about any virtual task under the sun. So be sure to outline your needs and expectations clearly when choosing a virtual assistant.

By setting the bar at the beginning and taking the time to train up your virtual assistant, you can save enough time getting a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through your benefits website at work in the long run. And that gives you time to pack up your baby clothes or paint a spare room in your nursery—and grow your business.
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Can Virtual Office Work Encourage Community Involvement?

LOS ANGELES-Corporate Social Responsible is a major workplace trend in 2013, according to Sodexo. Could virtual offices help encourage the practice? Do virtual office workers have more freedom to get involved in their communities? A recent study from FlexJobs suggests the answer is yes.

According to the “Parents & Work” survey, workplace flexibility could lead to an increase in community involvement. Eighty-nine percent of parents say that a flexible job would allow them to spend more time volunteering in their children's school and organized activities. Fifty percent of those would be first-time volunteers. This is yet another benefit of allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office at least part time.

"It’s clear from the results that allowing parents the option to work from home would give them more time to give back to their community and also get them back into the workforce,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.

The FlexJobs survey also aimed to understand what stress working parents feel during the holiday season and how workplace flexibility might alleviate that burden. According to respondents, even if they take vacation or paid time off during the holidays, 53 percent will still be expected to check in or work from home on their days off. Add to that additional childcare challenges during the holidays, which 29 percent of parents surveyed face, and it becomes clear why 78 percent of parents said the holiday season stresses them out.

"Workplace flexibility allows parents to balance and rebalance their work and family lives based on the needs of any given season or situation," says Fell, "so it's clear that flexible jobs would help to lessen the feelings of stress that so many working parents feel during the holidays."

Allowing employees the flexibility of telecommuting from a virtual office can be a boon to business. When employees are stressed out they are less productive. When employees have childcare issues they are somewhat distracted. They may even have to call in sick to take care of their kids. Virtual offices can help keep the workforce working without stressing.
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How Does Virtual Office Work Impact Employers?

LOS ANGELES—There’s been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of virtual offices and flexible work for working parents. But how does virtual office work impact employers? The FlexJobs “Parents & Work” survey looked at the employer side of the flexible work coin, too.

According to the FlexJobs survey, parents who want workplace flexibility are overwhelmingly well-educated (82% have a college degree), they're married (81%) women (93%) between 30 and 49 years of age (79%), and they are "experienced" professionals (say 57%, followed by "manager" at 26% and "executive" at 9%).

The survey also suggests that employers looking to hire this group of motivated professionals should consider workplace flexibility initiatives like full-time telecommuting from a virtual office, flexible schedules, occasional telecommuting from a virtual office, and part-time schedules. The survey responses indicate parents would give up a part-time schedule and work full-time if they could telecommute from a virtual office or have a flexible schedule.

41% of employees would like to telecommute from a virtual office
27% would like to have flexible schedules
18% would like to occasionally telecommute from a virtual office
11% would like part-time schedules

The FlexJobs survey also suggests that employers might see a more productive workforce with the right flexible work options. Ninety-five percent of parents said that they would maintain or improve their productivity if they worked from home, and 84 percent said they would miss fewer work days from sickness or unplanned absences.

Convinced yet? Savvy employers are making an effort to meet the work-life demands of their best and brightest employees. That could mean any number of flexible work options, including telecommuting from a virtual office—even part time. With the research about the benefits of a virtual office continuing to pile up, it may be time to survey your own employee base about what they really need.
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