Adapting to the Digital, Virtual Office


According to Forbes, by 2020 more than half of employees will work remotely. This will affect many aspects of a company’s culture including how we collaborate with our coworkers. Those working remotely might only see their coworkers once or twice a year. This can create some communication problems if companies do nothing to adapt to this new culture. The article below offers some advice on how employees can communicate effectively in a remote workforce.

What You Need to Know About the Rise of the Digital, Global Virtual Office

*Image from Shutterstock

A short message on keeping your personal information safe during the holidays


As the holiday season descends upon us in its bright and shiny glory, we must remember that the art of gift giving can and sometimes does come with a price. That price is identity theft and for many Americans, it’s a costly price to pay. According to Lifelock, a company that can help prevent identity theft, more than 15.4 million people were affected in 2016, up from 10.2 million in 2007 ( The short article from NPR  highlights some of the basic ways you can help protect your identity and financial information this holiday season. We want to wish everyone a very safe and happy Thanksgiving and Christmas.



Is a Shared Office Space in Your Future?


There are many aspects of starting a small business. One of the most important aspects is choosing the right location. Not only will this affect how you work, but also how your clients view your company. With a shared office space, like Your SMARTOFFICE Solution, your business can flourish professionally without the cost of a traditional office. This article highlights the reasons you should consider a shared office space for your small business and how to choose the right location for your office.

Is A Shared Office Space in Your Future?

* image from The Balance

The rise of the virtual office assistant


A business must run like a well oiled machine. Many components go into ensuring your business runs efficiently  and productively. If your business requires reception services, this will essentially be the face of your company. Every interaction will start and end with them, making this team member a crucial component to the daily success of your business. This article showcases the art that is the virtual assistant and describes some of the benefits of using virtual assistant services.

The rise of the virtual office assistant

*image from The Week

8 things to consider when choosing a virtual office space


Choosing the right virtual office space can mean a world of difference when trying to market your business the right way. Maybe you need 24/7 access to your office space. Do you require reception services? Mail forwarding? An official address and phone number? Your SMARTOFFICE Solution has a variety of packages and amenities to fit your individual needs. This article from Biz Penguin highlights some of the things you may want to look for when choosing a virtual office space.

Biz Penguin, 8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Virtual Office Space

3 Ways to Protect Your Privacy when You don’t Use a Traditional Office



Author: Alyse Garrard; original source

PrivacyWhen you’re running a business that’s not conventionally housed,  your privacy and the privacy of your clientele is often put at risk.  Here, I’ll walk you through some of the ways home-based business owners, outside sales reps, and on-site service providers (people who don’t traditionally do business from an office; un-officers) have their privacy compromised and how using a virtual office protects against these privacy threats.

1. The STARBUCKS Eavesdropper

Rather than having clients meet at the home office or always relying on them to provide meeting space, the Starbucks (or Panera or Dunkin’ Donuts) meeting is a go-to for many resourceful un-officers.    After all, it’s generally quiet, has wi-fi, and is easy to find. Yet, while you’re having a one-on-one with your top account, there’s way-too-loud-headphones Joe and slurppy-coffee MaGee not three feet away.  While Joe and MaGee might not have prying ears,  they are a bit of a distraction.  You don’t notice quietly-reading-a-book Janice behind you.  Occasionally, Janice peers over her book and turns to her open laptop to jot down notes.  She just so happens to do this every time you or your client mentions sensitive information.  Quietly-reading-a-book Janice could be a competitor, who had had an earlier Starbucks meeting and was elated to see you and your client walk in.  But, the more likely case is that Janice is a criminal looking to steal more than your top account.

Let’s replay your Starbucks meeting; only this time, you’re at Your SMARTOFFICE Solution.  At SMARTOFFICE, we have an state-of-the-art piece of technology that you’ll never find  at the Bucks. “What is this ground-breaking innovation?” you ask.  Why, none other than a door! Rather than sitting in open air and sharing your space with Janice, Joe, and Magee, you have a private meeting room with a door that you can shut prying ears and eyes out of.  To top it all off, at SMARTOFFICE, the coffee’s free.

2. You are HERE.

Trade shows are a great opportunity to get exposure to hundreds of potential clients, and your booth is one of the most popular.  You spend all day in 1-2 minute conversations giving your elevator pitch and handing out marketing materials to every Joe, Janice, and Magee in the joint.  About midday you get stuck in conversation with Sleazy Sammy, and it’s obvious that Sammy is interested in more than just your services.  While your giving your elevator pitch for the hundredth time you notice that Sammy’s held your handshake way too long, and he’s standing a bit too close.  As you rap up your conversation, Sammy doesn’t acknowledge your services but asks you out on a date with a suggestive wink.  You politely decline and hold off on handing him your business card.  You move to the next trade show guest but notice that Sammy picks up a card from your booth.  What’s on your card?  Your home address and your cell phone number.  Sammy, now, knows just where to find you for a follow-up.

You’re probably thinking that all that can be solved by having a PO Box and a Google voice number.  Well, what does that do for all the  non-Sleazy Sammys you met.  They see PO Box and think, who am I really dealing with that doesn’t have a REAL address.  And, those Google voice numbers are good if you answer the phone every single time. But, what if you can’t get to it, the robot voice comes on and who likes dealing with those.

Same scenario with SMARTOFFICE:  You use 710 East Main Street and the remote receptionist number that comes with your virtual office package.  710 East Main St. with no box number or suite number gives the impression that that’s your building.  And, rather than your clientele getting the robot voice, they get a friendly and helpful receptionist.  And what of Sammy?  If he stops by 710 East Main, the receptionist will let him know that you’re only available by appointment.  So, he calls and the receptionist transfers him to you.  You might have to talk to him that first time, but you can then let the receptionist know to dodge calls from that particular number.  He’ll give up eventually.  None of the sketchier prospects will ever know exactly where to find you.

3.  Privacy for Productivity’s Sake

As an un-officer, you’re likely the only person in your business clients interface with.  You’re the one solely responsible for providing the services, answering questions, and troubleshooting when there’s a problem.  Most of your clients understand this and trust that you’re working to provide services quickly and efficiently.  But there’s that one who wants all of your attention all of the time day and night.  Let’s call her Needy Nancy.  Now, you don’t mind Needy Nancy as a client.  Her account’s pretty easy to service, and she always pays on time.  But, her constant calling on your cell or home phone (the only one for your business) gets in the way of you getting things done for your other clients. She’s even been bold enough to call after your business hours.  When you didn’t answer, she showed up at your house (the address on your business card).

The Needy Nancys of the world are a problem, but they need services just like the rest of your great clientele.  So what to do?  SMARTOFFICE to the rescue!   You remember that remote receptionist? She gets all of Needy Nancy’s calls now.  Generally, Nancy just wants a human to talk to and pass the time.  She calls with a question, the receptionist doesn’t try to answer it (which might cause a complication for you) she lets Nancy know that you’ll get the message to you and asks Nancy how her day is going.  After a brief chat, Nancy feels attended to and doesn’t call for the rest of the day.  Nancy does drop by 710 East Main from time to time, not because she feels neglected, but because she wants to shoot the breeze.  The real bright side for you is that after 5pm sharp; no business calls come to your cell. They go straight to your professional, personalized voicemail, where your clients can leave a message that you can get to when time permits.

Yes, privacy can be difficult to maintain for un-officers, but a virtual office at Your SMARTOFFICE Solution can certainly make that task a lot easier with a professional address at 710 East Main Street, a cheerful receptionist, and private meeting rooms.



5 Smart Moves for Social Media Marketing


smarties_441__1Be A Real Social Media SMARTY


Author: Julie Lowe, Source: Social Media Day Flyer

  1. Optimize your social media accounts so that you can be found in search results.
  2. Post 2-3 times per day on Facebook to keep reach and engagement levels up.
  3. Keep the “social” in social media.  Ask and answer questions.  Provide a TONE of value
  4. You don’t have to be on every social channel, just the right networks for your business.
  5. The only think worse than no presence on social, is a neglected presence. Be Active! 

Learn how to avoid common mistakes, and get an unfarir advantage over your competition at

Jobs are Over: The Future is Income Generation- Part 1


Author: Heather McGowan

Source: LinkedIn

This is part one of a four-part series on the changing shape of employment, the emergence of the collaborative economy, and the potential impacts on higher education. Insights for this piece came in part from the recent Thomas Friedman Next New World Summit of thought leaders in education, technology, entrepreneurship, and consulting. Here are links to Jobs are Over Part 2Part 3, and an interview with Future of Work Researcher Stowe Boyd based upon the series.

The era of using education to get a job, to build a pension, to then retire is over. Not only is average is over and the world flat, but this is the end of employment, as we once knew it. The future is one of life-long learning, serial short- term employment engagements, and the creation of a portfolio of passive and active income generation through monetization of excess capacity and marketable talents.

Where did this change begin? From 1981 to 2001, the U.S. economy experienced the beginning of middle-class income stagnation with most job growth focused in lower-paying jobs (evidenced by a flattening of median household income vs. GDP). Starting in 2001, even that job growth all but disappeared as companies began outsourcing middle-skill labor – anything that is routine either mentally or physically – to history. Work was automated, digitized, robotized, and/or broken into job fragments that can be supplied from anywhere in the world. Since the great recession of 2008 both GDP growth and labor productivity have risen while private employment has declined – rapidly[i]. This is new normal, employment as we’ve known it, is over.

This was one of the my key takeaways from attending the Thomas Friedman’s Next New World Summit, a summit of thought leaders from across the value chain, from education(Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity and Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap), to technology (Lazlo Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google and Andrew McAfee, author of the Second Machine Age), to entrepreneurship (Ben Kaufman, founder and CEO of Quirky), including those who track and monitor these tectonic shifts (James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn).

Part two covers the blurring of education, career, and retirement.
Part three will posit what this may mean for institutions of higher education and their need for transformational change.
Part four will cover the need for a new social contract.

More Information:

Heather McGowan advises presidents, provosts, and other senior leadership in higher educational institutions to work with faculty and staff to make the transformational changes necessary to thrive in this emerging new normal. Most recently she advised the President and Provost of Philadelphia University on the creation of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce– the first undergraduate college in the US focused exclusively and explicitly on innovation. This college has won national awards, was endowed with a $20M gift, and is the subject of the collaboratively written book, Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate (Pearson 2013). Ms. McGowan recently began advising the President of Becker College in Massachusetts on their strategy to transformation Becker College to Becker University with an explicit focus on addressing the complex, changing landscape of higher education.

Ms. McGowan also provides strategic visioning work (single frame visuals to represent problem statements and opportunity spaces) to corporate clients.

Heather McGowan’s Amazon Author Page

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