Virtual offices are being used with great success in a variety of business settings. Entrepreneurs find them essential to manage communications so they are free to conduct business. I find them to be a flexible solution to function from any and often multiple locations.
Professionals like me who are required to take regular meetings and visit multiple locations use virtual office tools regularly. VoIP lets me stay in touch with colleagues, contacts and clients on a continual basis. I also use web-based programs to manage tasks, scheduling work and collaborate with team members.
Without the hassle and expense of commuting or travel, we are free to dedicate more time to getting things done more productively. Thankfully, technology has made it so that much of what we do doesn’t require that we be stuck in the office. As long as we are available by phone, email and fax – it’s all good. Read more...
We all know that Leonardo da Vinci was probably one of the most well known Italians of all time. He embodied all that the Renaissance period is acknowledged for as a painter, architect, sculptor, musician, mathematician, scientist, engineer, anatomist, inventor, geologist, botanist, cartographer, and writer. In short, he is considered by many to be the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.
Most anyone can appreciate and admire Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the physical embodiment of the ultimate Renaissance humanist. Like anyone interested in innovation, I can easily see how the figure represents the soul of creativity. The outstretched arms are a symbol of strength, but also of imagination. Those two attributes alone would probably be enough for success – I know they would be for me. Read more...
It has been said that after shaping a space, it can serve to shape ourselves. The places where people work and how they think are inseparably linked. Each informs the other in ways few people may ever even realize.
One of the best ways to inspire workers is to shape the environment so it is conducive to creativity and encourage collaboration. Changes we make to workplace environments do not need to be complicated. In fact, simple adjustments are most often more effective than elaborate schematics.
Design for the Culture
Designing for a specific work culture is a critical aspect of making work more enjoyable. Many concepts seem workable for any office. However, it is the implementation that makes them distinctive. Think of it like choosing an ideal bike. You probably wouldn’t choose the same one for pedaling through the hilly landscape of San Francisco as for flat streets in Amsterdam. Read more...
You want your business to be taken seriously and you want it to attract the right type of clients. Therefore you definitely need to have a business address. Professionals don’t want strangers visiting their homes and strangers will not want to do business at your house either.
Even if you work at home most of the time, when conducting business meetings, a physical business address would be ideal for clients. Sometimes homes aren’t as presentable as the offices where you work. Besides at an office you can order janitorial service when the housekeeping isn’t quite right. You won’t feel obligated to cook, offer soft drinks or coffee and tea service. Visiting your business address when the need arises and being in a position to offer refreshments to clients is optional. Read more...
I know a wahm (work at home mom) who frequently changes her workspace. Sometimes the office set up in her spare bedroom just refuses to fit the frame of mind she needs to be productive, even without distractions. Working from home has a lot of distractions and the key is to separate from them. If you fail to ignore them, it won’t be long before your work heads toward feast or famine.
Since survival is the name of the game, she doesn’t hesitate to gear into action. The moment she recognizes there will be a slump in productivity, plan B goes into effect and she moves out. Well, her business moves out, temporarily, to a meeting space that creates the worker productivity mindset that was left behind. This has happened to countless other workers as well. They try to remain focused but to no avail. Everyone should be so lucky to find himself at another space that allows creativity to flourish. Read more...
In addition to developing essential skills such as those concerning technology, it is every bit as important for entrepreneurs master team dynamics. I’ve learned how important it is to use creativity – even in the face of challenge to assemble a team. One of the most inventive ways to use creativity is to inspire others to participate.
Let’s face it – it takes a lot more these days to get people motivated. You’d think that wasn’t the case, given the economy. But in the face of cutbacks, people are asked to multi-task more often. This is something that entrepreneurs have always dealt with. The nature of entrepreneurship not only deals with a certain amount of risk taking, but the need for team building skills. Read more...
You feel you have been working enough hours for the time to fly faster than it actually did. By 10 am the energy zap has taken over and you are hoping that lunch will re-energize that notion to continue working. Only thing is lunch is still three hours away. You walk to the vending machine and although it does add some temporary resurgence, it still isn’t enough.
Chances are your energy is lagging just because you are stuck in the same old room, looking at the same boring walls and communicating in the same hushed voices that are required in that mundane office setting. The next time you see your boss, suggest workers could have a shift in morale if they have a change of scenery. Read more...
Stop waiting by the sidelines thinking about when the time is right to start that business. Start it right now. I have a friend who is a freelance writer that holds down a day job. For years she has dreamt of making a living as a freelancer but laments all the time that the job, the kids, school, this and that. Girlfriend, do yourself a favor and just get started.
One day she finally just began to write and although she did not have any markets in mind, with the continued reassures of her inner voice she kept pecking away at those computer keys. Today she celebrates the birth of her freelance writing business as a virtual God send. Read more...
One of the best things that could have happened for businesses was the advent of virtual communications systems. No longer do you have to be physically attached to an office to get work done. This is, after all, a global marketplace we exist in. Every company wants to take advantage of differing time zones, cultures, and other issues of diversity as a way to gain momentum in the workplace.
One of the most popular ways to communicate virtually is through social media networks. Facebook began as a way for family and friends to connect, but today it has also catapulted into a network that drives businesses forward. From everywhere and from just about any company, you will see the Facebook logo asking you to like their company. Let’s not forget Twitter, Pinterest and literally, hundreds more, which are popular among the masses of workers. There are also intranets that seek the input from specialized groups. Read more...
Along with new business comes new ways of conducting it. Many start-ups and growing companies do not have the space to have effective meetings – especially larger ones. Below are some alternative meeting spaces that progressive companies often prefer for their business and staff gatherings.
With the onslaught of technical devices available today, many companies require access to state of the art digs that have cool features for presentations, demonstrations and screenings. In today’s business world, the old white board has been replaced with electronic fixtures that enable streaming video and other capabilities.
Outdoor meetings have been all the rage for venues and gatherings of all kinds. No longer limited to barbecues, areas in back of buildings can be used to create a number of intriguing settings. A round table nestled among trees and beautiful landscaping can relax guests and staff for more productive interaction. Read more...