April, 3

Is the Office An Endangered Species?

Virtual_week 3_2Computers have made people more mobile than ever. They use them for work and play and everything in between. Once hosted office solutions came along, you could really hear those freedom bells!

Then came hosted solutions and the whole business game changed. You mean I can access all my business programs online? I don’t have to update my software and pay a high priced techie to manage all of it? Or worry about someone making a mistake and wiping it all out? Wow! Sign me up!

There’s one expense that many businesses have trouble paying all the time – especially new ones. And that is rent. You know, that glorified storage space where you sit all day and sometimes into the night to crank out your work?

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March, 27

Joining the Cloud Business Evolution

Virtual_week 2_2I must admit I love evolution. Well, maybe not the Darwinian kind exactly, but usually evolution pertains more to forward thinking. Take, for instance – the cloud. For those who’ve been living under a rock (sad, but true), the cloud is where it’s at in terms of business. That’s slightly ironic since it’s in cyberspace, hence where is it really located? Oh, that’s right. In the heavens. Good place for it in my book. Beats battling the traffic!

But, seriously, for any small business, success is going to depend heavily upon how well the company is managed. And that includes that magical term, efficient – challenging for any business, let alone ones with limited resources.

Most would agree that it takes a lot of moxy and a great deal of time and money to start and operate a business. What investors care about – and that includes the owners themselves (they are investors too – in fact, the biggest ones) – is that there is a high chance of turning a profit.

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March, 25

Miami – Not Only For the Young and Beautiful

There are many reasons people flock to Miami. The weather is to die for, the culture is diverse and it is just — well, cool. Some of the biggest celebs have been drawn to the region, from the rich to the notorious: Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Hulk Hogan, Lenny Kravitz, Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone, Robin Gibb, Shaquille O’Neal, and fashion icon Gianni Versace.

Before O.J. Simpson became a full-time resident of Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, he ran off to Miami when he was no longer welcome in the tony Brentwood neighborhood on the west side of L.A.

The only other place that seems to have as many celebs is L.A. But Miami is said to be more accessible than Los Angeles. In fact, Barry Gibb of music group Bee Gees fame also lives in Miami and is said to be quite welcoming. Although… that could be because he comes from the U.K.

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February, 6

Would Your Company Win a Virtual Office Award?

SAN FRANCISCO—Would your workplace stack up to the criteria to win the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility? If you offer telecommuting, virtual offices and flexible work schedules, the answer could be yes.

The latest to win the coveted award is Riverbed Technology. Riverbed won the award for its use of workplace flexibility as an effective strategy to increase employee satisfaction and productivity. Riverbed offers several programs, including virtual office policies, flexible work schedules and leave time options. It seems to be paying off for Riverbed in more ways than one.

“This recognition demonstrates our commitment to keeping employees happy and engaged in the workplace, which also helps to improve productivity,” says Mike Guerchon, senior vice president of employee services and human resources at Riverbed. “We continue to retain and attract top talent because of our career advancement opportunities, benefits such as flexible workplace options, and of course our team of employees that continue to develop innovative technology that meets the needs of global organizations.”

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February, 4

Baltimore Ravens Fans: Don’t You Wish You Worked From a Virtual Office?

BALTIMORE—Davinci Virtual Office Solutions congratulates the Baltimore Ravens on its emotional Super Bowl victory. With all the celebration going on in Baltimore, some employees may be wishing they had the flexibility of working from a virtual office today—and especially tomorrow.

A virtual office would be ideal today for those who stayed up late last night celebrating the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl victory—or for those San Francisco fans who bemoaned the narrow loss. But a virtual office may also come in handy for those who don’t want to get stuck in parade traffic on Tuesday.

The City of Baltimore will host a victory parade and celebration for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday starting at 10:45 a.m., at City Hall. An introduction by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will launch the parade. The Baltimore parade will run from City Hall south on Commerce Street, continue to Pratt and Howard Streets, and end at M&T Bank Stadium.

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January, 22

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.

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January, 21

Could a Virtual Office Make You a Better Parent?

BOULDER, CO—Could a virtual office make you a better parent? Many parents are convinced the answer is yes.

According to a recent FlexJobs “Parents & Work,” although 91 percent of today’s parents “need” to work, 76 percent of these parents also “want” to work. Unfortunately, 96 percent agree that traditional full-time jobs conflict with important parts of taking care of families.

Sick children is one common example of that work-life conflict. Eighty-one percent of parents have missed work to take care of a sick child and 58 percent have worried about losing pay or their job because of it. Allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office when kids are sick can solve that problem.

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January, 16

Avoid Flu Outages With Virtual Office Arrangements

LOS ANGESLES—There are still three months left in what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is calling the worst flu outbreak in a decade. Employers from coast to coast are feeling the doubt-whammy financial impact of increased health care costs and widespread absenteeism. Virtual offices can be part of the solution.

The CDC estimates that, on average, seasonal flu outbreaks cost the nation’s employers $10.4 billion in direct costs of hospitalizations and outpatient visits. That does not include the indirect costs related to lost productivity and absenteeism.

This year, the cost to businesses may be significantly higher in light of the increased number of cases. So far, 29 of 41 states reporting flu cases say the outbreak is at “severe” levels. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the number of cases in the state has already surpassed 15,000, compared to just 4,400 reported cases during last year’s entire flu season. Virtual offices can be part of the solution.

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January, 9

How Virtual Offices Fit Into the Workshifting Trend

LOS ANGELES-Kleiner Perkins Caufiled Byers predicts there may be more smartphones and tablets in use than PCs by mid-2013. That impending reality begs the question: Where will people work? Virtual offices and workshifting are part of the answer.

You know what a virtual office is by now, but what is workshifting? Workshifting is getting your work done when it works for you. Maybe you have to take little Johnny to the doctor’s office, so you miss two hours of work in the middle of the day and make it up at night. Using the web, you can also “shift” part of your work to the doctor’s office with mobile technology and keep the fires burning.

“Workshifting has now become the expectation of nearly all enterprise employees,” Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass, says in its blog. “In our latest iPass Mobile Workforce Report we found that although 95 percent stated their employers encouraged or tolerated workshifting—40 percent would like to have an even more flexible work environment.”

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January, 8

Virtual Offices Changing the Face of the Workplace

ATLANTA—USA Today ran an interesting article this morning called, “Flexible jobs changing the face of the workplace.” Indeed, virtual offices, telecommuting and mobile technologies are changing the way we work.

The USA Today article, penned by Laura Wanderkam, highlighted Nika Stewart and her virtual office team. She says most of her workforce is telecommuting from a virtual office with flexible hours. She reports getting good talent at a good price with this model.

“It’s an intriguing idea, and one that more people concerned about America’s economic future should keep in mind. While most people focus on the unemployment rate—which remained at 7.8 percent in December—the more interesting trend is in labor force participation,” Wanderkame writes.

“The percentage of people older than 16 working or looking for work has been declining for the past 12 years. Many economists blame demographics. Baby Boomers are retiring. Women’s participation has plateaued. There are reasons for both trends, but also implications: When fewer people work, this hurts long-term growth, nudging us closer to 2 percent annual increases vs. the 3 percent we’ve long enjoyed.”

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