Davinci Virtual Blog



How to Make a Virtual Office Work for You

LOS ANGELES-I was reading an excellent article in MoneyWatch about virtual offices called “5 ways to make telecommuting work for you.” The article tackles real issues virtual office users face, like people who think that just because you telecommute from home means you have time to deal with their drama during business hours.

Then there’s the problem of phone lines or Internet connections going down or the fax machine breaking or computer glitches. When that happens, virtual office users can’t typically just pick up the phone and call IT to the rescue. Recent studies also show that virtual office workers tend to work longer hours, though that’s debatable.

So how can you make a virtual office work for you amid all these challenges? Get real practical and plan ahead. The article suggests five ways to do this. I’ll give the main point from the article and expound on it based on my own virtual office experience.

1. Hire a babysitter: Virtual offices aren’t meant to slash your daycare costs. I have been working from a virtual office for 20 years and I always had daycare or after school care. Otherwise, you’ll be constantly distracted from your work. And it doesn’t help your professional image for clients to call and hear screaming kids in the background. That said, working from a virtual office gives you the freedom to stay home with your child if he’s sick.

2. Set your boundaries: It’s still frustrating for me at times when people don’t get it. Just because I work from a home-based virtual office doesn’t mean I can take long lunches, chat for an hour on the phone, or drive you to the grocery store. On the other hand, I tend not to set boundaries for myself that are healthy, like taking a lunch. I eat behind my desk most days. So find your boundaries. Don’t socialize while you should be working, but take small breaks to keep yourself fresh.

3. Separate personal and professional: I have a business phone line and a personal line. I try not to mix the two. In fact, I’ve got two mobile devices for different purposes, as well as a Google Voice number and a landline. It can be confusing at times, but more often than not it helps me separate my various ventures.

4. Keep in touch: I work from a virtual office, but I am not an island unto myself. I am in constant contact with my clients via phone, IM, e-mail, Skype, Webex and so on.

5. Have back up plans: So far as IT glitches, have a back up plan. I have a digital fax service in case my traditional fax goes down. I’ve got wireless devices in case my hardline goes down. I’ve got a laptop in case my desktop goes down.

Get the picture? You can make a virtual office work for you, but you have to plan for anything and everything and set your systems in place. But it’s worth it.

Happy New Year From My Virtual Office

MIAMI—Happy New Year! Well, it’s officially 2013. It’s a new day, a new month, a new year. Are you ready to drive productivity to new heights?

One way you can work smarter, faster and more efficiently is by tapping into virtual office space. Virtual offices offer many benefits, but study after study after study show some consistent advantages of virtual offices.

For example, virtual offices save you commuting time, which makes you more productive. Saving commuting time also means saving commuting expenses, i.e. gas. And with gas prices what they are today, that’s no small matter. Of course, if you work in a virtual office you can also reduce your food expenses because you don’t have to buy coffee, lunch and snacks outside the house.

Most important, though, is the productivity factor. Virtual offices help you work smarter, faster and more efficiently because you aren’t distracted by the water cooler chat, the office noise, and the constant interruptions all the way around. When you telecommute from a virtual office, you can get into a zone—and stay there. You can stay focused, in other words, and complete your work tasks more quickly—and perhaps even with  higher quality.

Virtual offices can be a boon for your business this year, whether you are a solopreneur who works from home, a mobile worker who roams about, or a large corporation looking to give your employees better work-life balance (oh, yes, that’s one more benefit of virtual offices!). So, again, Happy New Year! And be sure to check out our virtual office deals for 2013.

Could Virtual Office Perks Help Curb Employee Dissatisfaction?

PHILADELPHIA—Most workers are expressing their intention to seek new employment somewhere else. Of course that’s nothing new. It’s been the same story for the past four years. So says a new survey from Right Management.

Could allowing employees to work from a virtual office help stem that dissatisfaction? Let’s look at the full story.

Specifically, 86 percent of employees said they plan to actively look for a new position in 2013—and another 8 percent said they may do so and are already networking. Only 5 percent intend to stay in their current position.

“At a minimum, the survey findings are a sign of considerable job dissatisfaction throughout North America,” says Owen J. Sullivan, CE of Right Management. “The constant drumbeat of downsizing coupled with the expectation to do more with less has put an added amount of stress on workers.”

Sullivan says ongoing economic uncertainty and volatility around job growth and job security have warranted the exploration of new positions. This kind of frustration may not be unusual, even in a strong job market, he says, but the levels of discontent we’re now finding have to be without precedent.

“What we’re finding is what behavioral psychologists call ‘flight cognition,’ a wish to depart a situation, not necessarily an indicator of actual employee turnover,” Sullivan says. “Nevertheless, when more than four-out-of- five workers seem so unhappy it ought to concern top management.”

The findings may also be a reflection of what Sullivan regards as the continuous job hunt. With so many job boards and constant social networking workers appear to have convinced themselves that they’re truly job hunting when all they’re doing is cruising the Internet.

“The Internet job boards are sort of like window shopping, something to do during a down moment,” Sullivan says. “A real job search, which is a much more serious proposition, requires a deliberate and concerted effort to make a change. However, the constant access and push and pull of the Internet and job boards make it easier to shift a window shopper into a buyer.”

So can allow employees to telecommute from a virtual office help retain workers? We think so. Numerous studies that show that employee would be willing to give up quite a lot for the opportunity to telecommute from a virtual office. Virtual office work is considered a perk that drives work-life balance for the employee and greater productivity for companies.

So if you are looking to hold on to your best and brightest workers in 2013, consider how alternative workplace strategies like virtual office space can help you accomplish your goals.

Find Affordable Hong Kong Virtual Office Space on King’s Road

HONG KONG—If you are looking for a low-cost way to enter the Hong Kong market, a Hong Kong virtual office is just what the entrepreneur and multinational firm alike ordered. You can find affordable virtual office space in Hong Kong on King’s Road.

In case you aren’t familiar with King’s Road, it’s a major east-west street along the northern shore of Hong Kong island. King’s Road extends from Causeway Bay to Sai Wan Ho. The famous Sunbeam Theatre is on King’s Road, which was named in 1935 in honor of the Silver Jubilee of King George V’s reign.

You can rent Hong Kong virtual office space from Davinci Virtual at Cambridge House. Located at 979 King’s Road in Hong Kong, Davinci offers virtual offices there for prices starting at just $60 a month. This is quite a bargain for the impressive glass-and-steal office tower.

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 Hong Kong 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.

10 Things Virtual Office Users Can Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

LOS ANGELES—You need more time, but there aren’t more hours in the day. What’s a busy entrepreneur to do? How about outsource some of your administrative work to a virtual assistant?

“Using a virtual assistant can shave hours from your workweek, but knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you're starting or growing a business. Most virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary,” Entrepreneur magazine reports. “Entrepreneurs can use virtual assistants for everything from making vendor or customer service calls to sending out thank you cards to prospective clients.”

Entrepreneur magazine went on to outline 10 things entrepreneurs can outsource to a virtual assistant. I won’t offer them all here. Rather, I’ll serve up the top three that I’ve found, in my experience, to be the most appropriate tasks to hand off to a virtual assistant with whom you are just establishing a relationship. If you start with these three tasks and find that your virtual assistant can handle them with excellence, you can broaden the task list from here:

1. Online research: Entrepreneur says you can easily farm out Internet research to virtual assistants and I agree. It’s a good spot test for a virtual assistant. Although you need to offer clear guidelines around specific terms, acceptable sources, unacceptable sources, and they time allotted, outsourcing online research to a virtual assistant can be a good move.

2. Social media tasks: Creating a list of posts and having a virtual assistant post them in HootSuite can save you a lot of time.

3. Industry knowledge prep: With limited time to keep up with industry news, Entrepreneur says some small businesses have turned to virtual assistants to keep tabs on the most important happenings. If you need to stay abreast of the latest trends in your industry, a virtual assistant can aggregate what you need to know and present it in an easy-to-digest manner.

These are just a few of the things virtual assistants can  help you with, but this is a good place to start. So tap into the productivity power of a virtual assistant for the New Year. You’ll be glad you did.