Davinci Virtual Blog



Avoid Stressful Airports With Virtual Office Technologies

NEW YORK—From New York to Los Angeles to Chicago, airports are about to get a lot busier—and busier airports means more stressful travel. But if you tap into virtual office technologies, you can avoid some of that stress.

According to a Concur survey, the most stressful airport in the world is Chicago O’Hare, followed closely by Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. But again, virtual office technologies can help you avoid these hectic travel hubs. When you work from a New York virtual office, you can communicate with your colleagues in Chicago and Los Angeles with a few mouse clicks--and in living color.

Think about it for a minute. With all the hassles associated with business travel, making it through the airport can cause your blood pressure to rise. There’s the long check-in lines, longer security checkpoints, and other annoyances, like confusing airport signage, poor service from airport staff and crowded bathrooms.

With travelers more reliant on technology than ever, it’s no surprise that poor Wi-Fi coverage and an insufficient amount of electrical outlets were also cited as common complaints for those looking to make the most of their time between flights in the survey.

So what is a weary road warrior to do? Tap into virtual office technologies like web conferencing and avoid as much travel as you can—especially during the holiday season. With virtual office technologies, you can hold face-to-face meetings, share presentations, and collaborate more efficiently.

Virtual office technologies, then, can make you more productive—and more cost-effective. Virtual office technologies save you time and money. And that’s true all year round and whether you travel or not.

Virtual Office Employees Keep Patent Office Operational During Hurricane Sandy

NEW YORK—Want to see the power of telecommuting from a virtual office in the federal government? Look no further than Hurricane Sandy and the United Stats Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

David Kaposs, director of the United Stats Patent and Trademark Office, recently wrote a blog post titled “A Day Like Any Other…” Kaposs was in office for Frankenstorm Sandy and for Snowmageddon, the storm that crippled the Washington, D.C. area in Feb. 2010. But this time, virtual office workers had it largely covered.

Kaposs sees similarities in terms of the storms’ emergency circumstances and federal government closures. But unlike Snowmageddon, virtual office workers were ready to keep the UPSTO up and running during Superstorm Sandy. In fact, Kaposs credits employees’ ability to shift gears and keep performing in the face of the storm to federal leadership in telecommuting from virtual offices.

“Despite the emergency government shut down on Monday and Tuesday, our patents and trademarks teams nonetheless averaged more than 70 percent productivity,” Kaposs says. “A remarkable achievement, considering many of our examiners couldn’t participate because of widespread power outages.”

Kaposs went on to say that the Trademark Assistance Center—the call center for trademark owners and attorneys to contact with general questions about the trademark process—was fully operational during the Hurricane Sandy closure, with 100% participation from virtual office employees.

“This level of performance does not come easily and it does not come overnight,” Kaposs says. “Under the guidance of our telework coordinator Danette Campbell, we created and implemented the systems and processes necessary for a premier telework program.”

How Virtual Office Technologies Help Weed Out Poor Job Candidates

LOS ANGELES—Where does the day go? Some managers are finally starting to get a clear answer to that common question and discovering the power of virtual office technologies to make better hiring decisions.

According to a Robert Half International survey, supervisors spend 17 percent of their time—that’s almost an entire day every week—overseeing poorly performing employees. Virtual office technologies can help managers save time coaching employees more, but there’s another side to the coin: bad hires.

Ninety-five percent of respondents said a poor hiring decision at least somewhat impacts the morale of the team, with more than one-third (35 percent) saying morale is greatly affected. The good news is virtual office technologies can help curb bad hires by helping you weed out the poor candidates—and help you find your new star—more quickly.

"Bad hires are costly, not just for the drain they place on the budget but also in terms of lost morale, productivity and time,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies.

“Underperforming employees also require significant attention from employers, distracting managers from business-critical initiatives and causing other team members to pick up the slack. Bad personnel decisions rarely happen by chance. In retrospect, managers usually discover they failed to give proper attention to the hiring process."

Robert Half identified five don'ts and dos when hiring:

1. Don't go it alone. Tap colleagues for their thoughts on needed attributes and competencies for the open role, and work with a specialized recruiting firm to find the best candidates. You can use virtual office technologies like web conferencing to pre-screen some candidates and save valuable time.

2. Don’t think the Internet has all the answers. Cultivate a talent pipeline by personally reaching out to your network and recruiting sources. Online tools can be valuable, but personal interaction is the most important aspect of the hiring process. Once you’ve tapped virtual office technologies and the candidate has passed the initial test, invite them in for an interview.

3. Don’t take too long. Extend an offer once you identify your top candidate. Companies that don't move quickly risk losing good people to other opportunities.

4. Don’t offer a low salary. Offer a compensation package that, at a minimum, meets the market standard.

5. Don’t fail to differentiate between must-have and nice-to-have candidate attributes. Identify the skills that are mandatory and those that can be developed. The goal is to hire the person who is the best match for the job and your work environment.

Bay Street Virtual Offices Put You in Toronto’s Financial Center

TORONTO—Looking for virtual office space in Toronto? Bay Street is one of the best addresses you could hope for, especially if you are serving the financial services industry.

Bay Street is a major thoroughfare in Downtown Toronto—and it’s smack dab in the middle of Toronto’s Financial District. In fact, Bay Street is often used to refer to Canada’s financial industry.

Bay Street stretches from Toronto Harbour on the south and Davenport Road to the north. The intersection of Bay and King Street is the ultimate center of Canadian banking and finance, with four of Canada’s five major banks in office towers at this intersection.  There are also condos on Bay Street, making it a live-work environment.

You can rent Toronto virtual office space from Davinci Virtual at the Waterpark Business Center Downtown. Located at 20 Bay Street in Toronto, Davinci offers virtual offices through Waterpark Business Center Downtown for prices starting at $60 a month. This is quite a bargain for a high-dollar intersection.

This Toronto 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 Toronto 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.

Are You Making the Most of Your Virtual Assistant?

NEW YORK—Do you know everything you need to know about working with virtual assistants? I recently ran across an info graphic compiled by Chris Ducker, a startup and small business guru, about what every entrepreneur needs to know about working with virtual assistants.

So no matter whether you work in a virtual office or you have a bricks-and-mortar empire, I’ve offered up eight of his best tips for working with virtual assistants:

1. First things first. Be realistic about this!

“Outsourcing is not a quick-fix magic pill that you can ‘pop’ and expect everything to work perfectly from day one,” Ducker says. “So, don’t except too much from your virtual assistant right out of the gate.”

2. Leverage your time—you know it makes sense!

“The number one benefit of working with a virtual assistant is saving time, gaining more time and ultimately becoming more productive as an entrepreneur yourself,” Ducker says.

3. Don’t make assumptions!

“Assumptions make an ass out of you and me.’ Give very clear, direct instructions on the tasks you’re asking your virtual assistants to perform for you,” Ducker says.

4. Invest time in developing your virtual assistant.

“Make sure you spend time training your virtual assistant to the point where they can work unassisted, and to a level that you’re both going to be happy with, so that your relationship becomes a long-lasting one,” Ducker says.

5. Set realistic task timelines.

“Think about all the parameters in place on each task and set realistic task timelines,” Ducker says.

6. Build trust with your virtual assistant.

“Build up trust, don’t micromanage and become a virtual vulture of a boss!” Ducker says. “Show them that you believe in them and the work they are doing for you.”

7. Give praise for a job well done!

“Receiving praise makes your virtual assistant feel accomplished, which is very important to the overall growth of your relationship together,” Ducker says.

8. Have fun with this thing … You’ll learn to love it!

“Have fun with your new business relationship and most importantly utilize your virtual assistant properly,” Ducker says.

So what are you waiting for? If you aren’t working with a virtual assistant, Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has the hookup. We can help you find a virtual assistant to help you maximize your time right now.