Work Virtually Anywhere: The Intel Approach

Virtual Office — Tags: , , , , , — joanna @ 8:06 am on May 10, 2013

Work virtually anywhere with Alliance Virtual Offices

Here at Alliance Virtual Offices, we’re well aware of the importance of the virtual office in our modern working era. As an alternative workplace concept, it’s fast moving into the mainstream – and research continues to highlight the benefits of flexible working, virtual office style.

Recent research from the UK shows some quite staggering results. In March, Microsoft stated that the adoption of a more flexible ‘anywhere working’ approach could benefit businesses by a whopping £4.5 billion (approx. $6.9 billion) in productivity. Their findings show that it could also reduce absenteeism, thus saving a further £3.2bn (approx. $4.9) every year.

One word: Wow.

Daniel Langdon, Microsoft’s SME business marketing manager in the UK, hit the nail on the head when he said: “Ten years ago anywhere working seemed to be something only big businesses were interested in doing. Today, it’s another tool in a company’s armoury to be as flexible and cost effective as possible,” he said.

Intel: A case study

We’ve always known that the case for a virtual office is a convincing one – and these multi-billion dollar figures serve as a real wake-up call for businesses operating within traditional bricks and mortar. For those who still need a little convincing, check out this case study on the Intel Corporation.

Back in the 1990s, Intel made the decision to move to a more virtual office style of working – that is, adopting a more flexible approach for staff by switching to mobile technology. Back then, conventional offices and cubicle farms were the norm, and the Internet was still young. Very young.

So it was quite a brave shift. Intel monitored the move closely, and even in the early days, discovered that a more mobile environment improved productivity by over 5%. This spurred the company on, and Intel embarked on a huge desktop-to-mobile transition. Now, around 80% of Intel employees rely on mobile technology as their primary working device.

The upshot? The transition delivered a return on investment of $26 million (NPV). Through greater flexibility, employees became more connected and collaboration improved. Mobile working is now considered a “norm” at Intel, and over the years, IT and connectivity has helped to drive down the company’s ownership costs by a massive 67%.

It just goes to show that companies of all shapes and sizes, from modest start-ups to multi-national corporations, can make the transition to a virtual office. And it could help save a small fortune, too.

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Thanks to Kolobsek ( for this great image

2017: End of the Line for Office Landlines?

Office landlines to be phased out

We’re in the midst of a mobile worker revolution. Increasing numbers of businesses, from freelancing professionals and start-ups to multinational corporations, are becoming more flexible; often bypassing the traditional office in favour of work on-the-go, remote locations and the latest in mobile technology. Many businesses are choosing to downsize or replace the traditional office in favour of shared space, hot desking environments and virtual offices.

Further evidence of the gradual shift towards a more flexible way of working comes from a survey by Virgin Media Business. Following a poll of 500 CIOs this summer, the research found that over 65% of CIOs believe that telephone landlines will disappear from everyday office use within the next five years.

An office without desk phones? Just a few years ago, that thought was almost inconceivable. Now it’s not just a possibility, but a likelihood. After all, why be tied to an expensive desk when you can be out meeting clients, or rubbing shoulders with fresh new talent in a co-working space? Or maximising your working day by cutting out the commute and connecting from home? It’s one more step towards greater flexibility at work, less restriction on location, and endless possibilities.

The survey also shows that PCs are another form of technology in the firing line, with 62% of respondents believing that the humble computer will be replaced in a few years’ time by laptops and mobile devices.

“The pace of change with technology is having a transformative effect on the way we work,” says Tony Grace, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media Business. “It’s never been easier to work on the move. Mobile connections to the internet are getting better by the day. Almost everywhere we go we’re able to check-in at the office, social networking sites, or simply contact friends and family everywhere we go. This is leading us to rely increasingly on our smartphones and less on our landlines.”

Virtual offices are helping to make this shift not just possible, but more efficient for business too. Virtual office users can have all the frontal benefits of a regular office – a business address, local phone number, a receptionist taking calls, even on-demand meeting rooms. But without the enormous costs and commitment associated with renting office space. With Alliance Virtual Offices you can choose from hundreds of professional business locations right across the globe complete with a range of flexible services to suit your exact requirements, meaning you can work anywhere but be right where it matters.

So, armed with a virtual office and today’s wireless technology, where will your business be in five years’ time?

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Are You a Virtual Overtimer?

Chicago Office Space

There’s plenty to be said for the value of mobile devices. For a start, it’s fuelling an exciting shift in working behaviour and bringing more flexibility into the workplace. It’s boosting productivity by enabling work on-the-go and helping SMEs to save money on physical office space in favour of remote working.

When combined with a virtual office, the possibilities are amplified. Not only do virtual offices provide a recognized business address and on-demand services such as meeting space and printing facilities, it also offers receptionist support, call answering services, mail handling, even meet ‘n greets. In short, it helps businesses to step up their professionalism without the huge costs associated with real estate and secretarial staff. For a growing business, that’s a step in the right direction.

But are mobile devices creating too much overtime? Do mobile professionals ever switch off?

That’s exactly what Good Technology asked when they polled 1,000 US working adults about their working patterns. The results are astounding. According to the study, a massive 80% of people continue working long after they have left the office, mostly answering calls and replying to emails. On average, US workers first check their phone around 7:09 a.m., and 40% said they still handle work emails after 10 p.m. Half of those polled admit to checking their devices whilst in bed.

On average, this amounts to an extra 7 hours per week – almost an extra day’s work – which builds to more than a month and a half of overtime a year.

Mobile technology has opened the door to a more flexible working life that is creating a gradual shift away from the traditional workplace. It enables technology-equipped professionals to work from virtually anywhere; helping businesses flourish and giving individuals the tools to establish a more positive work-life balance.

But where mobile working is concerned, it’s more important than ever to be aware of your working habits and protect that delicate work-life balance to avoid stress and the dreaded burn-out. Reserve some quality time away from work and remember to switch your devices off when spending time with the family, with friends, and on holiday. Not only will your body and mind thank you for it, your loved ones will too!

Are you a virtual overtimer? Do you ever really switch off? Leave your comments below.

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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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Virtual Sound Bytes: What’s Trending in Technology?

We’re serving up a quick shot of news, trends and hot topics to keep you in-the-know when it comes to the goings on in the world of technology. As virtual office space aficionados, at Alliance Virtual Offices we pride ourselves in staying up with the latest and greatest that the virtual and technology world have to offer – and today we’re dishing out a few of our favorites to you! Bon appetite!

Microsoft improves multi-monitor support in Windows 8 Release Preview

Microsoft is planning to improve how Windows manages multi-monitor setups, beginning with the next major release of its popular operating system. There are some features already available in the Consumer Preview, such as taskbar options for multiple displays and some that will change, such as the ability to launch Metro applications on any display.

Google revamps search engine with new tool, Knowledge Graph

Internet search giant Google announced a major overhaul for its search engine on their official blog yesterday evening, bringing Knowledge Graph in addition to more “human-like” search functions as a way to provide answers to user questions directly on its search result pages.

Electric Imp wants to power the “Internet of Things”

The “Internet of Things” plans to deliver a world where all electronic devices will be connected and intelligent. For example, your refrigerator will know what’s inside and inform you if you are running low on milk. Or you could turn on the heating in your house before you head back to work, and your sprinklers might sense when your plants actually need water instead of just running on a timer …

What are the most interesting technology trends to YOU? We’d love to hear from you and we’re always hungry for more!

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