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Entries Tagged as 'Flexible Workspace'

Tools for Managing Your Mobile Workforce

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The trend toward mobile office spaces where workers conduct business in whatever location is convenient is changing the entire world of business. Technology helps mobile work possible with great tools to allow managers, workers, clients and all the key players to stay in touch constantly, just as if working from the traditional office space. Staying on top of the latest software tools can make all the difference in developing a successful virtual or mobile workforce. Some of the best tools currently available include:

Google Drive (Docs): From Microsoft Office comes a truly great tool for sharing data in the mobile workforce. Anyone with a Gmail account can access this great tool without signing up and it costs nothing. Non-Gmail users can sign up easily, too. This tool allows storage of document that can be edited by the owner and access flags can allow others to read or edit the data. A colored cursor provides the ability to follow changes made by another person and the editor’s name is included above so everyone working on a document, spreadsheet or presentation can know exactly what is being changed. Anyone who uses Microsoft’s Office Suite will be immediately comfortable with this great tool. There were more robust tools out there, but this is the easiest, fastest way to transition into the cloud as an office space.

Free Screen Sharing: A great meeting tool from Free Conferencing allows you to host or attend sessions where desktops are completely shared only selected items are shared. The meeting host picks which items or applications to share and which they prefer to hide during their live meeting. A “take back control” lets the host allow another presenter share their screen during the meeting and the chat function lets the host and participants send private online messages during a live meeting. This is a very practical and easy to use meeting and screen sharing tool that is free to get started with.

GoToMeeting: This platform, from Citrix Online, is great for small companies to use as a tool to get everyone together in a virtual office space. Up to 15 people can meet, record, share the screen and communicate easily. A corporate version accommodates up to 25 people. It is not the prettiest tool but it is very easy to use, even for novices. There is a per-user monthly charge but it does offer very affordable virtual office space for mobile workers to collaborate.

WebEx Meeting Center: Cisco has given this nomenclature to the umbrella given to their large array of online collaboration and meeting applications. The Meeting Center allows both hosts and meeting participants to keep multiple meeting-related data elements such as documents or spreadsheets on screen at the same time and they can be moved around and resized as desired. This adds a lot of power to this collaboration tool. This tool does require some learning to use it effectively but it is affordable and allows up to 25 members in a virtual office space at one time. 

Office365: With Office 365, you can get your work done securely and communicate real-time from almost anywhere to anyone. Combining Office with Office 365** unlocks the full potential of Office 365 as the best solution for productivity, collaboration, communication, and worry-free IT. Office365 is a cost effective way to move your business to the cloud!

Skype: Probably the best know and least used businesss tool available for mobile working. Includes telpehone, video, messaging and file sharing.

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Video , Virtual Office Space

Keys to Maximizing Your Mobile Workforce

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More and more professional workers in all phases of business are working from home office spaces. Your business may already have mobile and virtual workers, but if you have not yet implemented this option, now would be a great time to consider doing so.

Mobile workers in home office spaces and third places are a rapidly growing trend. In the event of inability to physically commute to a brick and mortar office space for any reason, mobile employees can continue performing their functions. The recent damages from Hurricane Sandy are a prime example, but other events such as blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes, power grid failures and other similar events can impact a business much harder if virtual office spaces are not already functioning.

The United States government recognized this fact and passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. This legislation mandates that Federal agencies have in place strategies that permit their employees to perform their work remotely. By using alternative work processes during emergencies, work stoppages are minimized since mobile devices can have workers back at work as soon as power is available to operate computers and technological devices.

With a 41% increase in Americans working from home office spaces during the past decade, it is clear that business is finally embracing the alternative work methods of the mobile workforce. In fact, sometimes it is best to get away from work in the traditional office in order to get work done in a quieter, less hectic third place.

No longer should employers think of workers performing business outside the traditional office space as “telecommuters”. Today these workers represent a mobile workforce, going where business can most effectively be accomplished. For some time business professionals have stopped into third places such as coffee shops to conduct business but today companies are making these arrangements formal and acceptable.

There is a huge trend in office space rental to book a meeting space or work cubicle much like booking a hotel room. Entire businesses have become successful by providing the third places where a mobilized workforce can stop to conduct business meetings or have access to printers and copy machines.

The question in the minds of many business owners is “How do I create an effective mobile workforce?” Even with the obvious benefits of reduced overhead by reducing the square footage required when leasing office space, every business owner wants to ensure that going mobile or “moving into the cloud” does not impact productivity or profits. Here are a few simple keys to implementing an effective mobile workforce.

Touchdown Office Space: Sometimes a worker needs to come into an office physically but mobile workers don’t require assigned cubicles. Provide office space that is set up with current technology so that those workers that need to have an on-demand office. Hold meetings that require all company employees to attend at alternative sites such as hotel meetings spaces.  Provide touchdown office space in a traditional leased office or contract with a touchdown space provider if you don’t need a brick and mortar headquarters for your business.

Answering Service: It’s important that going mobile doesn’t impact the company image as a professional entity. Either assign the main office clerical staff to handle phone calls for all employees or contact with a professional answering service. Unless you must maintain a significant on-site staff because of the nature of your business, the answering service solution is a big money saving option.

Technology: Be sure to remain on the cutting edge of technology so the benefits of new devices and communication methods can benefit your business. Provide business-dedicated equipment to employees and upgrade it often. New software applications and improved mobile devices are important to creating a mobile workforce that can stay in touch in the most effective ways and hold virtual meetings as needed.

Outsource: Freelance workers are more available than ever as more and more people open small service industry businesses such as virtual assistant services, writing and editing services and data entry or translation services. Freelancers are professionals who have chosen to become part of the mobile workforce by providing a skilled service to multiple clients. This can provide your company with services on an as-needed basis, allowing the employee with other skills to do the work at which they are most effective.

Communicate: Stay in touch with your mobile workforce. Make it a policy to have daily updates emailed so you know what projects or deals are in work and the status of on-going projects. Hold staff meetings, but do it virtually by using one of the many effective online meeting applications. Update your staff members just as your work in traditional meetings by using email or conference phone calls.

Accept Alternative Work Styles: Let your employees work in whatever way suits them best and allows them to be most effective. Some people work best from their home office space while others prefer third place workspaces while between meetings with clients. Still others need to use the quiet of landing spaces for tedious tasks. Don’t expect every mobile worker to operate in the same manner. Look at productivity, sales or profit, whichever metric best suits your type of business and the mobile workers’ tasks. 

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Home Office , Office Space , Office Space Design

Huge Increase in Work from Home in Past Decade

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In just 10 years the trend of working from office space inside a person’s home has soared by 41% according to CNN Money. Rising by four million since 1999, there are over 13 million people working from their homes in the United States alone based on US Census Bureau statistics recently reported.

 One of the drivers behind this huge surge is the fact that broadband internet access has become readily available and affordable. The economic difficulties of recent years have led to workers finding creative ways to make their desktop or laptop computers and other mobile devices generate income. Software applications which allow virtual meetings and voice over internet protocol communications to the entire globe at little or no cost have continued to make working from home even more practical.

While some support staff positions in business require physical presence of a wage earner at a specific office during specific time periods, many other professionals find that working from their home office space is as easy or easier than working in a traditional business location.

For start-up business enterprises, working from home cuts overhead vastly and allows the entrepreneur to start their business organization where many small businesses simply can not operate within their budgets if leasing an office space is required.

 It really doesn’t matter whether a person operates the business or works for an organization owned by another person, the ability to maintain and work from a home office space can be very appealing. In busy cities and rural areas alike, skipping a hectic commute and the reduced fuel and vehicle expense is one point that many state as the driver behind their desire to work from their home one or more days each week.

 Only a few years ago, employers were not very supportive of the idea of having an employee work from home. The fear that production and profit would suffer caused the home as virtual office space to be off to a slow beginning. As employers gave workers the chance to prove themselves in the virtual office world, employers were pleasantly surprised to learn that their businesses thrived as a result and employee satisfaction soared.

Virtual commuter working from home offices saved many business enterprises recently during the October 2012 Hurricane Sandy destruction and on-going recovery efforts. Awakening to find brick and mortar businesses flooded or otherwise damaged by the storm, those workers already set up for working from their home office spaces jumped right back into production as soon as power and internet services were restored. Other workers quickly set up a home office space for doing business. Some businesses that might have been forced to go out of business were saved and continue to generate jobs and profits for their local areas.

While those businesses with mobile workforces were tested during Hurricane Sandy, the impact of school closures and day care center outages allowed those businesses with cloud-based systems were among the most rapid enterprises to return to operation. As a result of the catastrophe, more and more businesses will recognize the benefits inherent to allowing employees to operate from home office spaces.

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Office Space Design , Virtual Office Space

Recent OfficeFinder Tweets - We try to be relevant

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I have not posted my tweets here in a long time. You can see what I have been following. Hope you will follow me.

OfficeFinder Sweet Tweets - Click to follow us

 The cubicle's days are numbered... of course they have been saying that for years. Maybe now it is true! http://pinterest.com/pin/2674081000436183/ …

OfficeFinder #OfficeSpace News is out! http://paper.li/OfficeFinder/1318021671 … This is our daily newspaper that gets Tweeted.

CBRE Group: Office Market Vacancies Will Decline to 14.9% In 2013 and to 13.8% in 2014 http://ow.ly/fAuif 

Demand for 'creative office' space isn't going away http://ow.ly/fAtXN 

Jack Taylor scores 138 points for Grinnell - Yahoo! Sports http://ow.ly/ftP9O 

How To NOT Look for a New Office - steps you should definitely NOT take http://ow.ly/frRt1 

The Economy and the Great Office Space Reboot http://ow.ly/frupk 

Update Office Furniture to Fit your Style Needs http://ow.ly/fgHUL 

Hurricane Sandy Shows It’s Time to Embrace Workplace Flexibility http://ow.ly/flTzx 

#Coworking Spaces: What You Can Expect http://ow.ly/femGr 

5 Jaw-dropping Corporate Campuses http://ow.ly/femtI 

Program Your Office To The Changing Workplace http://ow.ly/fgHST 

Amazing Startup Offices are the New Normal | #officespacehttp://ow.ly/fem97

Do You really Have The time? | Tenant Tactics #officespacehttp://ow.ly/fgGnC 

Office Myth: All Office Coffee is Terrible. http://ow.ly/fgHOL 

The Rise of the New Contract Worker - More and more people are choosing a contingent work style Harvard Business Review

CoWhat? Workspace Design Models, Part 2 Will contractors will become more important than full-time employees? ”http://ow.ly/fhPwq 

6 Tips for Negotiating a Commercial Property Lease without Getting Burned | http://SBA.gov  http://ow.ly/fehso 

9 Office Leasing Tips Every Businessperson Should Know - http://ow.ly/fehGM 

4 Questions To Ponder When Branding Your Workplace http://ow.ly/felWp 

How to Structure a More Flexible Office Lease http://ow.ly/fewbZ 

33% of Lower Manhattan office space uninhabitable http://ow.ly/fcaeI 

Office space without limits - no matter how flexible, does not cut it http://ow.ly/fajGn 

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By: James Osgood

Coworking office space , Flexible Workspace , Manhattan Office Space , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

The Future of the Office Building

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Gensler has presented their study of the future of the office building via video. Fascinating! As our workforce becomes more mobile, the office building will need to evolve and move away from housing employees to a function of servicing them. The future may be here before we know it!

Click here to view video

 

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Flexible Workspace , Office Space