Permanent Consultant, Bertie Siggers, interviews two experienced virtual assistants about their tips, in order to help personal assistants with the transition to working remotely. They cover: Their favourite technology Staying motivated and productive while working from home Their remote workspace Structuring their day Learning opportunities Creating boundaries Improving communication with their principals Their tips for
In my four-year professional career, my experience working from home has consisted of approximately two days of developing sciatica and calling IT. It’s therefore understandable (I tell myself) that I haven’t managed to create a perfectly Zen office at home, featuring wall plants and an exercise ball to sit on. Faced with the current COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are now working from home for the first time – and for an indefinite period. If you don’t regularly work in a home-based job, here are some things to consider when creating a home environment where you can work effectively!
Start with your workspace
My previous experience with working from home focused on nursing my spine back to health after a one-day stint on a kitchen chair which I have decided was designed by a masochist. So, comfortable and functional seating at a proper desk might sound like an obvious place to start, but you may potentially be sitting in the same spot for the foreseeable future. This should then be your top priority, as it will allow you to look after your body and aid in your ability to be productive. I also recommend adjusting the height of your screen to be at eye-level, working in a space with natural light and maintaining a healthy posture.
Prepare your computer and tech tools
I-T are two letters which can strike fear into the most hardy of souls at the best of times, let alone in this crisis. It’s incredibly important to make sure your technology is capable of functioning while at home, including your internet connection and the computer you’re using. It may also be worth researching apps you can use to help you complete your daily tasks, such as Scannable for PDF scanning, Zoom for group video calling and Slack for instant messaging between your team. There are a multitude of apps out there which may make every day processes far more bearable. Even though we’re physically isolated, technologies like these allow us to work collaboratively like never before.
Minimise distractions from people around you
This may be hard to believe, but anyone in the house while you’re working is considered a distraction. For the sake of surviving this period of isolation with the people you live with, it’s definitely advisable to establish boundaries. This could be anything from working in different parts of the house, to setting periods without talking. If anyone has to take calls, it might be a good idea to designate a separate room for this so the rest of the house doesn’t become distracted. This way, you can transform a space normally designated for eating or socialising into your productive work haven!
This is a learning period for everyone and transitioning from a physical office space to your kitchen table is never going to be easy. From what I have seen with my candidates and clients in the last week, the community spirit and enthusiasm for helping each other is alive and well. We’ll get through this together!
Tiger Recruitment is a leading PA and virtual assistant agency. Check out our tips for staying motivated while working from home in a previous Insight blog.