Davinci Virtual Blog



Survey: Virtual Offices Lead to Fewer Corporate Locations

NEW YORK—You’ve read the headlines about tough job markets, but when you work from a virtual office you can avoid the relocating that often comes with new jobs.  And a study by Right Management, the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup, is proving the point.

Right Management reviewed data on nearly 7,000 job seekers throughout North America who received outplacement services from the firm during the first eight months of 2012. What they discovered was working from a virtual office in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago or anywhere else is stemming the tide of relocations.

“Growing popularity in working virtually and the fact that many companies are embracing flexible work models could attribute to why so few employees are relocating in today’s tight employment market,” says Monika Morrow, senior vice president of Career Management for Right Management.

That’s good news, especially considering more job seekers don’t want to relocate. Even though the weak job market has compelled individuals to look outside their own area or region for new employment, she says, an individual may be unable to sell a home quickly or at the fair price. With a virtual office, you can work from anywhere for anyone.

As a general rule, Morrow says, a job seeker will accept a new position that requires a move when the offer is generous or the opportunity compelling. “There are always risks,” she says. “Nevertheless, relocation is a fact of life and a common aspect of the flexibility needed in today’s workforce and the choices individuals make.”

Doesn’t all this make you glad you work in a virtual office? And if you don’t work in a virtual office, your spouse’s promotion or relocation may be the perfect time to consider the shift toward virtual office work. With dual career families, it can be difficult to choose which path to follow. But virtual office work gives you the freedom and flexibility to grow your company even if you have to relocate.

Canadians Report Issues at Work. Could Toronto Virtual Offices Help?

TORONTO—Seventy-one percent of Canadian employees in an Ipsos Reid survey are reporting some degree of concern with psychological health and safety in their workplace. That includes 14 percent who disagreed their workplace is psychologically healthy and safe. How do Toronto virtual offices fit into this equation?

The Ipsos Reid survey reveals that more people feel physically safe (20 percent concerned) than psychologically safe (33 percent concerned) in their workplace.  This could be partly to blame on the rise of bullies in the workplace who intimidate coworkers on a daily basis, or the general stress that comes along with high-pressure careers. A Toronto virtual office could help ease psychological stress on both fronts.

"The fact that 14 percent of respondents feel that their psychological health and safety is at risk in the workplace is a significant concern," says Mike Schwartz, senior vice president of Group Benefits for Great-West Life and executive director of the Centre. "However, the number has declined from 20 percent three years ago, which suggests that some employers are successfully taking steps to address these issues.”

Allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office at least part-time could help solve the problem in a number of ways. First, if the issues are stemming from coworker or management stress, such as in the case of bullies, it would give employees a break from that daily grind. Virtual offices also offer a nice change of pace for employees who work long office hours or employees who work in high-stress situations.

Finally, virtual offices can be a good alternative for companies who need to give employees some time to take a deep breath and seek psychological counseling for workplace stress without abandoning the job. Indeed, virtual offices can serve as one tool for helping to foster psychological health and safety.

What Does Hurricane Sandy Mean for Virtual Office Users?

NEW YORK-They are calling it a "superstorm." Hurricane Sandy is threatening 50 million people in a high-population corridor. The winds are upwards of 90mph, making Hurricane Sandy officially a category one hurricane.

But what does this mean for New York virtual office users along the East Coast? Of course, if the power goes out you can only work so long as your laptop battery lasts. But people who telecommute from virtual offices can move to higher ground and stay productive even in the midst of Hurricane Sandy.

Of course, power outages may force you out of your home office, but if you are tapping into virtual office technologies you can take much of your work with you. For example, if you use a virtual receptionist, you can still have your calls routed to anywhere you are on dry ground as you head west to escape Hurricane Sandy. You can also conduct web conferencing from anywhere at any time thanks to virtual office technologies. Virtual assistants can keep working even when you can't.

Large companies that employ telecommuters can keep in touch with their employees even in the midst of the storm through follow-me numbers that find workers wherever they go to stay safe during Hurricane Sandy.

Listen, if you are in the storm's path, like many of my friends and coworkers in New York, get out of harm's way. And take your virtual office with you. Hurricane season is almost over, but virtual office technologies will help you work through any natural or man-made disaster.


Reduce Workplace Fear With a Virtual Office

TORONTO—Some are scared by ghosts. Others are scared by goblins. But most modern workers are more afraid of making a mistake on their job.

Whether they work in virtual offices in Toronto or traditional offices in Los Angeles—or some arrangement in between—29 percent of respondents in an Accountemps survey say their biggest workplace fear is making a mistake.

Beyond making errors on the job, workers  also cite other fears, such as dealing with difficult customers or clients (17%); speaking in front of a group of people (16%); conflicts with coworkers (14%); conflicts with your manager (12%). When you work from a virtual office, you can avoid some of those fears. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

"A fear of failure is natural and can be a good motivator in healthy doses, but workers can't let their concerns lessen their confidence," says Gena Griffin, Canadian district president of Accountemps. "In order to grow in their careers, professionals must be willing to tackle challenges head on and move beyond their comfort zones. Even smart risks that don't pan out can help individuals discover new ideas and better ways of doing things."

Like successful trick-or-treating, navigating frightening workplace situations requires forethought and the right approach. Accountemps offers five tips:

1. Plan your route. A 20-page to-do list would scare anyone and is a recipe for mistakes on the job. To ease workload-related worries—and be more efficient -- prioritize your responsibilities, and delegate when possible. Virtual offices can help you work more efficiently and productively.

2. Ask for directions. When facing a challenging project or new responsibilities, make sure you know what is expected of you. If you have concerns, let your manager know, and work with him or her to develop a strategy for overcoming them.

3. Bring a friend. Don't be afraid to tap a mentor for advice on a particularly devilish challenge. When preparing a critical project or communication, ask a confidant for his or her feedback.

4. Say "thanks." Whether it's for candy or help with a difficult task, a sincere thank-you can go a long way toward building strong business relationships.

5. Give out treats. Volunteer to assist overburdened colleagues, and be quick with praise for those who deliver outstanding work. You'll make people—including yourself—feel good and foster an environment where colleagues help each other on a regular basis.

When you work from a virtual office, you don’t have to speak in front of other people. Or if you do, it’s only via Skype, so they can’t see your knees knocking. When you work from a virtual office, you can avoid conflicts with coworkers and managers over silly things, like who gets the corner office or who ate your lunch out of the community refrigerator. Virtual offices can’t do away with all your fears, but virtual offices can certainly help you avoid a good number of mistakes.

Could Working From Virtual Offices Save the World?

NEW YORK—I saw a spiffy infographic on the benefits of virtual offices. The infographic is titled, “The Perks of Working From Home.” CarInsurance.org put together the infographic, which draws on data from various sources. I’ll try to break it down for you in a few nutshells:

One in 10 U.S. workers work from a home-based virtual office at least once a week. This trend has gained popularity. From 2005 to 2012, the U.S. workforce grew just 3 percent. But the number of regular telecommuters grew 66 percent.

What would change if they all worked from home just 50 percent of the time? Cutting the commute would help the environment. Eighty-six percent of Americans report they drive to work. The oil saved equals one-third of America’s yearly Persian Gulf imports. And the greenhouse gas reduction is the equivalent of the entire New York State workforce never commuting again.

And with an average commute time of 25.1 minutes, a typical worker would save nearly 109 hours per year of commute time by working from a virtual office.

That extra time out of the car is a good thing. An average commuter spends $1,500 a year on gasoline. A half-time virtual office user could save $750. Working from a virtual office could save money on car insurance, too. In California, commuters pay 8.4 percent more in car insurance than non-commuters.

And healthwise, people who commute more typically have greater BMIs, waist circumferences, blood pressure, and levels of stress. Employees working from a virtual office at home are happier. Eight in 10 employees who telecommute part-time feel they have a good work-life balance.

When switching from working in an office to working at home, the average employee says their stress level decreased by 25 percent. Three in four say they eat healthier when working from home. A happy employee is a productive employee. Working from a virtual office at home increases productivity an average of 10 percent to 20 percent.

A little telecommuting could keep everyone  happier, healthier and more efficient.