Tag Archives: Virtual Office Services

Digital Transformation and Why a Virtual Office is the ‘New Normal’.

digital transformation

digital transformation

I have noticed a clever meme floating around on social media this month – “who spearheaded your company’s digital transformation?” Answer “Covid-19”.   Yes, it’s undoubtedly true that when things have settled enough for us to look back on the disruption of 2020 we will see Covid-19 being the catalyst we had been waiting for to rationalise the way we work and let office practise catch up with digital reality.  Indeed, experts had warned against the false sense of security many companies had that the warmer weather and the general easing of restrib=ctions would return us to a landscape not wholly different from what we had known in the past.

Without a vaccine readily available, many organizations are continuing to encourage their workers to work remotely. In July, Google became the first major organization to formally extend its work-from-home policy until summer 2021. Other large organizations such as the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and Japanese technology company Fujitsu took a further step in their digital transformation by announcing “indefinite”  flexible and remote working policies for their employees.

Socially distanced work, a novelty only four months ago, has now become the “new normal.”  But are countries prepared to make near-term improvements and plan investments for the longer-term, beyond the immediate crisis?  And where do they start?  This is a macro policy consideration but it is important to think about.  In order to have a Work From Home (WFH) new normal we need certain structural elements in place.  Not all countries are equal in meeting the challenge.

A study by Harvard Business School shows that America (of course!!!) is well equipped for the challenge as is the UK.  But many other European countries do not have a reliable enough digital framework to support a distance-working economy. For business leaders, it raises new possibilities for recruiting and hiring new and diverse talent. Unbound by the constraints of physical headquarters or office locations, executives are free to hire talent in new locations, provided that adequate network infrastructure exists for remote working. This enables companies to recruit and manage staff well outside their normal base of operation.  There is a vast pool of talent sitting around on short term recruitment platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr and now, People Per Hour.   This influx of new overseas talent means that UK freelancers must work ever more efficiently to compete and thrive in our new world order of digital transformation.

digital transformation freelance

Having an efficient virtual office based in the centre of London helps make this possible and gives a big tactical advantage to small businesses and freelancers working from home.  Being able to get your phone calls answered professionally by British staff and mail forwarded through the fastest UK mail channels gives a huge advantage which will be more apparent as the working world changes.   This is a good moment to talk with the team at Hold Everything on London’s Regent Street.   We have been preparing for this enormous paradigm shift for the last 30 years.  We knew it had to happen eventually, commercial properties are expensive to rent and very wasteful on space and resources.  Employing full-time staff to answer 20 phone calls a day is an anachronism, it only makes sense to pay for what you actually need.   We can show you how you can boost your business or freelance profile and save money doing so.   Forwarding mail and answering your phone is just a small part of what is entailed in a virtual office.   We can help you, from company formation to your IPO, We want to help you make sense of Post Covid-19 business.

Virtual Office? Yes, Our Moment Has Come.

virtual offiice concept

We have all heard the expression that ‘destiny can tap you on the shoulder’.  Well, here at Hold Everything virtual office we are feeling that tap right now.  If anything changes from our Corona Virus lockdown it will be the concept of what an office is and whether it needs to be an actual space we travel to every day often for several hours at a time.   Rod Liddle, the leading Sunday Times columnist has a fine knack for sensing trends, listen to what he has to say.. ‘

What on earth is the point of the office any more?

They had a use once, these desolate areas of parched pot plants and plywood cubicles, patrolled by willy-waving middle managers forever calling fatuous meetings, often involving PowerPoint presentations, in order to ameliorate their own crushing insecurities — but, surely, no longer.

If, instead of the elderly, we could pin the notice “do not resuscitate” on the door of almost every office in the land, we would be an immediately better, happier and more profitable place for big business, employees and society in general. There is almost no downside. Abolish the office, everybody gains.

virtual office at home

Liddle continues to make several important points:

Home-working (or co-working) employees are considerably more productive than those who work in the office.

An American workplace survey showed that the more workers were out of the office, the more innovative and successful the company.

A Swedish study suggested that people who commute more than 45 minutes a day each way were 40% more likely to divorce.

Liddle makes many other points in his diatribe against the traditional office environment, but he also makes a quite brilliant suggestion that the discarded office premises could be converted into dwellings to solve our burgeoning housing shortage.  He sees apartments coming out from old office space as the riverside landscape was transformed by warehouses becoming loft apartments.

Philip Johnston writing in the Telegraph sees the trend but feels the transformation depends on a robust internet structure.

Will home working prove to be a temporary expedient or will it usher in an entirely new way of working for millions, fulfilling the early promise offered by the internet? The arrival of 5G with its greater opportunities for streaming, video conferencing and the rest should make remote working much more feasible.”

vitual office in action

I believe  that we are well on the way to creating a sustainable digital structure that will allow companies to gradually abandon an expensive and utilised office space in a central location and move elegantly to distant working whilst keeping a traditional central business address with the facilities of a virtual office such as Hold Everything.   Imagine, you have an address for receiving your business mail which can be speedily forwarded to you wherever you are in the world. This address will be on London’s most well known road, Regent Street for as little as £24.00 a month, no more than a 2 minute stroll to Oxford Circus and near Apple & Hamley’s, so that you have a legitimate,  prestigious address.   The mail can also be opened and ‘actioned’ on your instructions by a skilled, discreet secretarial team.  Should you wish to actually meet a client at the office a luxurious boardroom awaits you at an hourly or daily rate.

Your central London landline rings, it is answered by a skilled receptionist and the call is either passed to you at your current location or a message is taken and transmitted on to you.   For years many businesses have been wondering about the reality and practicality of working remotely and abandoning paradigms from the 1980’s.  Now, at a stroke, Coronavirus has reset the business world. We know there can be no turning back.  A central London virtual office is your solution and we are there to fulfil our destiny.

Post Brexit London. Medical Tourism Generates Millions for the Economy.

medical tourism near the hold everything virtual office
medical tourism near the hold everything virtual office

Harley St is the epicentre of London Medical Tourism

Over the coming months and years London will need to be ‘fleet of foot’ to thrive independently from the EU.  The soundest way to do this will be to push our strengths and our unique skill sets that our European competitors cannot compete with.  Obviously we have our financial sector which is world-beating and  the premier destination for mainland Europe to raise finance and take advantage of our sophisticated financial instruments. But over the coming weeks we will look at other lesser known sectors that are unrivalled from Berlin to Rome.  One of these is situated right on our doorstep and its importance may yet surprise you.

Many people, when they think of Regent Street, think mainly of the prestige shops that line the streets from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus .  The huge flagship stores from Apple and Nike and the world famous toyshop Hamleys.  People seldom think that just the other side of Oxford Circus  is another vast tourist goldmine earning this country millions of pounds every year.  Just a few hundred yards north of Oxford Circus is Harley Street, the epicentre of the British private medical universe.  Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of medical skill and specialisation which act as a magnet to London’s high-level medical tourism market.  Different intermediaries, especially, medical concierge companies, help international patients to navigate the UK health system and ease the travel arrangements. Many of those offer services oriented to the wealthiest clientele.

The United Kingdom has been the destination of choice for medical tourists to whom quality of treatment comes first, and price second. Medical facilities in the UK offer many advanced treatments that are not available in other medical tourism destinations, despite the fact that the latter may be far more affordable. The UK has been seen as a premier choice for medical procedures like fertility treatment and cancer therapies and also for cosmetic surgery clinics, owing to its reliable quality of care that far exceeds its competitors elsewhere. Medical tourists typically visit cities like Manchester and London to take advantage of the first-grade healthcare facilities and their wealth of skilled practitioners.  Typically medical tourists are wealthy visitors from the oil-rich Arab countries and Russian oligarchs who also spend large sums on accommodation and entertainment whilst they are visiting their doctors.   Our medical tourist industry also helps finance our own NHS by using NHS facilities at market rates.  This, in turn is a social benefit for all of us in London.

So, if your business is in the medical tourism sector, perhaps as a medical facilitator, you would be very wise to base your business at our virtual office since it locates you right at the heart of medical London and gives extra credibility to your company.   Over the coming weeks we will be looking at various sectors that will help the uK thrive post-Brexit and make London and even more prosperous city.

 

Tips to Avoid Legal Problems in Your Small Business.

We all know that law firms make lots of money from litigation and one of the most profitable areas is business law. This ranges from everything from libel suits (defaming a competitor) to mishandling customer data. Fortunately most of this expensive problems can be mitigated by a combination of common sense and correct insurance cover.

Follow our tips to avoid expensive legal costs.

Here at Hold Everything on Regent Street we have heard many stories over the years from companies who have fallen foul of legal guidelines, be it HMRC or for data protection failure. Even simple things like GDPR compliance need taking seriously to avoid costly solicitor’s letters.

If you are setting up a new business it is well worthing appointing a business solicitor to be on call for any troubles that might arise, prevention is an excellent strategy in this area. We are always here to discuss business problems with our clients and if we don’t know the answer ourselves we can certainly put you in the right direction.

8 Top Tips For Working With a Virtual Assistant

When you are used to running a busy virtual office in central London the concept of ‘being virtual’ is a very seductive one.  For many small businesses and start ups the natural progression from having virtual office is to have virtual assistants (VAs) scattered in low income countries.  Used correctly, this type of support staff can provide a big plus for your business and allow you to delegate many routine tasks such as research and data cleaning.

So how do you find a VA?   This is the easiest part as there are websites that let you find and employ a limitless number of experienced part time staff who will charge you an hourly rate way below their counterparts in the UK.  The easiest site to go looking on is Upwork which has a well organised sysstem for locating the part time staff of your dreams.   In a later blog post I will give tips on how to advertise for a vA and how to go through the virtual interview procedure with them.  In this short post I want to show you a video I made that sets out my top tips for working effectively with a VA based on the other side of the world.   In my experience the key to successfully dealing with virtual staff is to be friendly and considerate to them.   Just because they live far away and your contact is on skype or email you should be as polite as if they were in the next office.  The worst thing you can do is take a tone of ‘western superiority’ which will ensure you get the minimum return from your investment.   Treat them as you would any loyal office colleague and you will understand why virtual is best.