Virtual Offices Go for Gold as Games Begin

Virtual Office — Tags: , , , , , — joanna @ 10:32 am on July 28, 2012

Working at home during the Olympics

It’s been seven years in the waiting. Now, after a spectacular Opening Ceremony that highlighted the UK’s sporting, industrial and social history, the curtain has lifted on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All eyes are on the 10,000+ athletes from 205 countries, who are competing for golden glory across 300 sporting events. But medals, records and achievements aside, here at Alliance Virtual Offices we’re focusing on something slightly different.

We reported recently on how thousands of London businesses are attempting to avoid an Olympic commute by enabling their employees to work from home throughout the durations of the Games. Businesses have invested significant amounts of money into adapting and improving their IT systems to allow home access. The question is, could this be the dawn of a new era for the UK’s workplace? Now that the investment has been made, will businesses allow staff to work from home in the future?

And for those businesses that choose to continue this foray into the mobile workplace, what better way to take advantage of this new-found flexibility than using a virtual office?

Picture this. You’ve discovered that part of your workforce can work from home both happily and efficiently. Once you’ve undergone a trial period and you’re satisfied that your staff can do their job, the possibilities are endless. You could reduce your physical office space and resort to hot desking – encouraging staff to use the space on a rotational basis. Some businesses have successfully closed their physical space altogether, replacing it with a virtual office.

If you have a number of offices across various locations, consider scaling down your presence. By using a virtual office as an alternative you’ll still have a professional business address, use of meeting rooms and ad hoc day offices, but you won’t have the overwhelming expense of a permanent office. In addition your business will benefit from numerous support services, from call answering services and professional live receptionists, to mail handling facilities.

So rather than using this homeworking period as a stop-gap until the Games have finished, why not look at it as an opportunity? Consider it a trial for a new, more flexible way of working. It could be that golden solution your business has been looking for.

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California Dreaming: Alliance Virtual Has Got Your Cali Virtual Office Needs Covered

San Francisco virtual offices, California

Whether you are a resident of sunny California or just do business there from time to time, Alliance Virtual Offices has got your virtual office needs covered, and then some. From northern California’s towering pines to SoCal’s sun-drenched beaches, we’ve got premier virtual offices ready and waiting to help you get the job done in nearly 60 unbeatable locations.

California may be one of the most appealing and exciting vacation destinations that the U.S. has to offer, but setting up shop for a business can be extremely costly. With much higher than average traditional office prices and employee salary rates, establishing a business in the Golden State has its hurdles for sure. But fear not! This is where Alliance Virtual Offices can truly be your ace in the hole.

With our expansive list of great California virtual office space locations, coupled with unbeatable service and amenities packages, you can set up shop in California for a fraction of the price of traditional office space. What’s more, sticking to a more virtual workstyle gives you the flexibility to up and move your California office space whenever the mood suits. Need to host a client meeting in Los Angeles this month, but would like to give a presentation to colleagues in San Francisco in September? We’ve got your back! The convenience and flexibility of an Alliance virtual office plan breathes new meaning into the word, “mobile.” Let us show you just how fun, convenient and affordable doing business in California can really be.

Visit the Alliance Virtual website for a full list of our virtual office space locations in California and beyond.

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How to Manage a Remote Workforce

Virtual Office — Tags: , , , — joanna @ 12:34 pm on July 20, 2012

Managing a mobile workforce

At Alliance Virtual Offices we’re well tuned on the many benefits of remote working. We know that it negates the need for an expensive office, thus reducing overheads and enabling businesses to plough those savings into things that really matter – like marketing, investment and staff. Remote working can improve the work-life balance of business owners and employees, improving productivity through increased motivation and trust.

And when combined with a virtual office, businesses can have the traditional ‘shop front’ office, complete with a physical business address, on-demand conference rooms for client meetings and day offices for personal use.

The list of benefits goes on.

Of course, mobile working doesn’t suit every business. That could be because the industry relies on a physical presence – such as a factory, or a drop-in centre for clients. But it might also be because businesses feel incapable of managing a remote workforce. There is a certain shift required in both attitude and processes when dealing with remote workers. Some managers have only ever known ‘line of sight’ processes, where they are surrounded by their team and can see them at work. Others have risen through the ranks of office management and simply know nothing else.

As the mobile revolution grows, so too does the level of support for businesses looking to go mobile. To help you become acquainted with the idea, here are top 3 tips on how to manage a mobile workforce:

1. Communication: Perhaps the most essential tool, especially for nervous bosses. Set workers up with a variety of communication tools such as a mobile phone, instant chat and video calls. Of course, making the necessary adjustments to your IT infrastructure to allow seamless network connection from home is a must. Consider having a regular video or conference call every day to stay in touch. You could also use an online project management tool such as Asana, which holds details of each worker’s tasks and uses a reminder system to help employees stay on top of deadlines.

2. Ground Rules: Establish a clear set of rules with each and every worker. It should communicate exactly what’s expected of them either throughout the day or over the course of the week. Set targets, and put your requirements in writing. You could also stipulate that staff have to reply to your emails or calls within a set time frame.

3. Education: As a manager, if you are not used to the pattern of remote working, you will need to adapt. Various organisations such as e-work.com offer training tools and courses to help managers adapt to the evolving workplace. It’s well worth it and could help not just you, but your team and the entire business too.

Don’t stand in the way of progress. The mobile revolution is in full swing – are you ready?

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Virtual Offices in Palo Alto: Put Your Business in Google’s Back Yard

Virtual Office — Tags: , , , — joanna @ 4:23 am on July 14, 2012

If you want to really put your business where it matters, and get an instantly recognisable business address while you’re at it, what better place to set up shop than Palo Alto, CA? Birthplace of Silicon Valley and home to such goliaths as Google, Adobe and Apple, this is certainly the place to be if you’re in the technology business.

And even if you’re not in IT, Palo Alto is synonymous with huge household names. So you could still benefit from the exposure and raise a few eyebrows when you hand over your business card. And what’s more, you won’t pay the earth for it.

Real estate in Palo Alto and Silicon Valley might be as astronomical as the corporations it’s home to. But if you don’t need to be based there round the clock, why not consider a virtual office?

With Alliance Virtual Offices you can snap up a virtual office in Palo Alto, bang in the middle of the city, from just $95 per month. Benefit from that all-important business address, rub shoulders with today’s (and tomorrow’s) most influential companies and take advantage of a fantastic array of services. From on-demand meeting rooms and day offices to mail handling facilities and call answering services, this could be the perfect way to put your business in the fast lane.

Virtual offices are made for start-ups, and in fact Palo Alto is the original start-up incubator. Hewlett Packard began life here in a modest garage back in the 1930s, and grew to become the multinational corporation that it is today – igniting the technical metropolis that is Silicon Valley as it went.

Who knows, perhaps your business is the next HP? Maybe you’re a budding eBay, a Microsoft in the making or the next Nokia? Whatever your business aspirations and your ambitions for the future, give your business the break it deserves and snap up a professional office in Palo Alto. It could just be the best business decision you will ever make.

Past, Present, Future: Why the Field of Court Reporting Has Staying Power

Tampa, FL

To dig even deeper into our series of posts about court reporting, and how virtual office space provides the ideal work solution for practitioners of this thriving profession, it might be time for us to step back into time a bit.

We have discussed the present environment for court reporting in the U.S. – how it can provide a steady and lucrative career path for the determined freelancer. We have also gone over some of the ways in which the field is expanding and will continue to do so into the future, enabling its practitioners to diversify their offerings. Perhaps we should pay a bit of homage to this increasingly popular field and dish up a bit of information about the history of court reporting. After all, how can we be confident in where we are going if we do not know where we have been?

For your information: Below are a few quick historical facts about the field of court reporting:

  • The profession of court reporting was born with the rise of civilization in ancient Greece, with reporters originally referred to as scribes.
  • Court reporters were born in Persia, Judea and the Roman Empire.
  • Court reporters were alongside the U.S. founding fathers when the Declaration of Independence was drafted.
  • Court reporters reported the Dred Scott decision for Justice Taney.
  • President Abraham Lincoln trusted court reporters with the task of recording the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Court reporters were with President Eisenhower planning D-Day, and with MacArthur at Tokyo.

Okay, enough about the past. Let’s talk about YOUR future! Interested in pursuing a career in court reporting? From sea to shining sea, we’ve got a list of several great schools/colleges that offer training. What’s more, Alliance Virtual Offices offers fantastic virtual office packages in each location. So, you can go straight from the classroom to your very own flexible, convenient and affordable virtual office without missing a beat! Now THAT’S worth reporting!

  • Bryan University (3580 Wilshire Blvd., #400 Los Angeles, CA 90057)
  • GateWay Community College (108 North 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034)
  • Erwin Technical Center (2010 East Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33610)
  • Brown College of Court Reporting (1900 Emery Street, #200 Atlanta, GA 30318)
  • MacCormac College (29 E. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60602)
  • St. Louis Community College Meramec (11333 Big Bend Road, St. Louis, MO 63122)
  • Everest College (170 N. Stephanie, Suite 145 Henderson, NV 89074)

For a complete list, visit www.ccredu.com.

Image source: Tampa, FL

Virtual Offices Provide the Perfect Job Solution for Military Spouses

Virtual offices

Last week, Americans far and wide joined in the celebration of our nation’s independence. From hot dogs and hamburgers to sparklers and fireworks, Americans delight in the traditional festivities that, at the end of the day, are intended to celebrate and show appreciation for our Armed Forces.

Another group deserving of our respect and gratitude are the spouses of those who serve in our military. Often times, being married to or having a relationship with someone who is in the military can bring quite a sense of geographical diversity to one’s life. Moving around the country – around the world for that matter – can be a great adventure, but can also make it rather difficult to maintain a steady job. That was of course, until virtual offices hit the work scene.

When the future of a spouse’s station is uncertain, the idea alone of building a career can be daunting. How will I show stability? How can I be a desirable candidate to recruiters? Worry not; with the convenience and extreme flexibility of virtual offices, telecommuting is a fantastic and practical option for geographically mobile job seekers – military spouses included.

For June 2012, FlexJobs’ Flexible Jobs Index shows the top, scam-free career fields with ample flexibility – ideal for military spouses who are often on the move. Job categories such as writing, media and research show the most significant increases in open positions, and the medical and health fields also offer a large number of jobs for military spouses looking to set up shop via a virtual office. So, no matter where you and your military family may roam, virtual office space such as that provided by Alliance Virtual Offices will get you and your business up and running before you can say, “Uncle Sam.”

June’s Top 5 employment categories with the highest percentage of available virtual office jobs:

1. Medical and Health
2. Administrative
3. Education and Training
4. Customer Service
5. Sales

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How Virtual Offices Help Court Reporters to Diversify

Virtual Office — Tags: , , , — joanna @ 9:55 am on July 7, 2012

Meeting rooms in Miami

Continuing our series of blog posts on court reporters, and how virtual office meeting rooms can help freelance stenographers to gain a professional edge, this week we look at the huge diversity on offer in this competitive industry.

In the US, stenography and court reporting is a career choice that’s expanding at pace. Court reporters create written word-for-word transcriptions of court room proceedings, usually taking down 180 to 220 words per minute. Atlanta has the lion’s share of the court reporting industry, and Washington DC has its fair share of stenographers too – given its standpoint at the center of the regulatory universe.

But it’s not just limited to law and order. From transcribing AGMs, board meetings and interviews to broadcast captioning for TV, today’s court reporters have a healthy list of options at their feet that’s as long as it is varied.

And that’s no bad thing. In the UK, stenography is considered a dying art. In March 2012, the last court reporters left the Old Bailey in Central London as part of a wave of cost cutting methods across the legal system. Stenographers have since been replaced by audio recordings and, while the efficiency of this decision remains to be seen, it has meant that thousands of court reporters have been forced to diversify.

As the digital age continues its forward march, perhaps it’s only a matter of time until US-based court reporters must also consider alternative options. But naturally, many court reporters are already diversifying. And for those working on a freelance basis, there’s no better way to improve your career and business prospects than with the help of a virtual office.

From Miami (pictured) to Memphis, Austin to Albuquerque, you’ll find virtual offices and meeting room facilities in locations spanning the length and breadth of the continent. Firstly, this means you can put your business where it needs to be. You can set up a business address in your city of choice – wherever the opportunities may be – and position yourself there for as long as necessary. But that doesn’t mean you have to be there in person. You could work 1,000 miles away and only be at the ‘office’ on the days you need to be there. It doesn’t mean you’re paying for wasted space either, because with a virtual office, you only pay for what you use. Meeting rooms and day offices are available on-demand along with plenty of other support services, from reception meet-and-greets to scanning and printing facilities.

It’s the perfect way to stand out from the crowd and position your business for diversification. So whether you choose to stick with the courts or try your hand at the world of broadcast captioning, there’s a virtual office with your name on it.

And just for the record, you’ll find everything you need right here at Alliance Virtual Offices. With such a vast range of meeting rooms and virtual office locations, it’s not just choice that’s at your feet, but the world too.

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