Going Virtual – Part 1 & 2In Silicon Valley, innovation is gauged by its capacity to "disrupt". What if you could knock down every office building in Silicon Valley and plant trees in their place? Now, what if you could knock down every office building while simultaneously doubling worker productivity, saving $ billions in expenses, and half a billion tons of carbon emissions? How's that for disruption?
Going Virtual makes a compelling case that offices are obsolete in the 21st century. The exhaustive research and case studies presented in the book dispel conventional wisdom that offices amplify resources. The findings in Going Virtual demonstrate that offices consume vast resources in terms of productivity and cash, as well as exacting a substantial toll on the environment. For example, each year, America’s 56 million knowledge workers collectively burn more than 10 million person years and 740 million barrels of oil in commute. Once these workers arrive at the office, their remaining quality work time is shredded to bits by endless interruptions.
Going Virtual demonstrates how businesses can survive and prosper in the “New Normal” economy of the 21st century. Part 2 offers practical advice on how to transition from a bricks and mortar office to a virtual one.
Take lessons in economics, plenty of commentary and studies to back up the arguments, a history of Todd Miller's own virtual business (since the 1990s!), shake them up and you have the first book. Miller wants to realize the benefits to everyone when you take your company virtual. The business can save millions of dollars every year, and he demonstrates exactly how this happens. Tons of information is shared. Sometimes I felt like it pingponged a bit, but it always came back to the basic concept that virtual companies are significantly more productive and lucrative. He provides plenty of real life examples to back this up. I know I am sold on the idea! But, I am not the one who needs to be convinced!
These books really are geared for the higher-ups in companies. While the potential for happier employees is discussed in detail, including how much more productive they can be while also saving money out of their own pockets, the option of working at home only exists if they have the job that allows for it.
Book 1 explains why you need your company to go virtual. Book 2 tells you how to do it. The first few chapters contain information that is valuable to any business - whether it is brick and mortar, or virtual. Learn how to create a proper mission statement (which really means giving up on them) and to create morale among employees. Why should they want to work for you? Then find out in detail which programs to use to make your virtual office a reality, as well as solutions to common problems, such as finding health insurance for employees across the nation. Labor laws take on slightly new definitions when working in a virtual office, and he cites experts who can explain it all to you. At times in both books, he does summarize bits and pieces of the other one. But, to fully understand both parts, you would need to read both parts.
It's a totally different way of doing business, but seems to be growing in popularity and practicality. I think these guides can give you a launching point for discussion and further research into how you would implement the concept in your own business.
Serial entrepreneur and author Todd Miller is CEO and Founder of gwabbit.com, maker of the award-winning series of gwabbit contact capture and cloud products. Declared a "Head-slappingly simple solution to a grating problem" by BusinessWeek, gwabbit has received numerous awards and accolades. Prior to gwabbit, Miller was CEO and founder of WebFeat, (sold to ProQuest in 2008). WebFeat is one of the world’s first successful global 100% virtual companies, and Miller is considered a pioneer in the field. Prior to WebFeat, Miller was President of Knight Ridder Information’s SourceOne subsidiary. Early in his career, Miller was responsible for the launch and rapid growth of the hugely successful InfoTrac search system at Ziff-Davis’ IAC subsidiary (acquired by Thomson-Reuters). Miller is a contributor to The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. Interviews include Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, EU advisor and economist Jeremy Rifkin, Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley, Emmy and Peabody award-winning astrophysicist Brian Greene, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Miller holds four patents in the field of search technology. He has received awards from the Gartner Group, Reed Publishing, CES, The DEMO Conference, and others. Miller has been a featured speaker on IBM's eBusiness Tour and was featured in IBM's "Success Stories" campaign.
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