Since March 2020, many people have started working from home and bringing work stresses home alongside common personal issues. A work-from-home setup might seem attractive due to its flexibility, but it is still a professional job that must be treated professionally. Many people have started looking for remote jobs and have joined virtual assistant companies in the Philippines to become remote workers.
Many companies currently have Gen Z workers and virtual assistants in their ranks, alongside older workers, who face different problems in their day-to-day lives. Some remote employees might have no problems working from home, but other people might be having problems with their mental health and are looking for ways to deal with them while working from home.
Organization is vital for any remote worker to stay on track with their work without working too much or too little. Having schedules, filing systems, and detailed to-do lists can help time management and ensure that the remote worker isn’t overworked.
It can be challenging to stay organized when the employees have no set office hours due to having flexible work hours. Setting specific work hours or strictly following the schedule provided by the office without compromising it by doing personal tasks are examples of staying organized. Planning a day ahead can also help ensure that people have a work-life balance and enough time for personal tasks and routines before or after work hours.
It’s important to avoid getting distracted when working at home, and staying organized and on schedule can help achieve this. It’s also helpful to work only during normal business hours when the other employees are working.
Maintain Regular Working Hours
Many remote workers are usually under the impression that working from home allows for better work-life balance since they assume they’re in better control of their time. In reality, remote workers can easily get caught up in their activities to the point that they lose track of time and work beyond working hours.
If the remote worker has control over their schedules, they should remember to include breaks in the schedule and take regular breaks to let them get up from facing the computer and stretching. Taking breaks can help virtual assistants physically and mentally and help them be more productive.
Once outside working hours, people can start exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while relaxing.
Have a Dedicated Work Space
Remote workers can also ensure that they’re well organized by having a dedicated workspace or home office. When setting up an office space, it’s advisable not to set it up near a bed or a TV to avoid any temptations to skip work and relax. It’s also advisable to have the space completely isolated from any possible distractions to focus on working.
Having a separate place for an office that includes a dedicated work PC or laptop to store all work-related data is advised if the worker has enough budget, especially if their employer doesn’t provide work tools. Freelance virtual assistants will have to use their own computers to work, making it more important to have one dedicated for work purposes.
Besides having a separate work PC, virtual assistants must also keep their office supplies within their reach in their workstation so they won’t waste time looking for them and get distracted in the process. It’s also important to arrange the items in the area to have a Skype-friendly environment, especially since Skype calls will be more regular and necessary in remote work situations. A Filipino virtual assistant can also make cheap upgrades to their home office setup to improve both productivity and comfort when working at home.
Invest in Equipment
If people want to get started as virtual assistants, they’ll have to look for their own equipment, and they mustn’t skimp on equipment. In one of our previous articles, we talked about how an Intel Celeron or an old PC is enough for basic tasks. While this may still be true for basic tasks, virtual assistants who multitask and edit images or videos might need to spend more to upgrade some parts.
Some of the practical and affordable upgrades include getting 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM consisting of two sticks of RAM for dual-channel memory (this article by The Beat has more information on RAM for video editing, including info about dual-channel memory) and using a cheap 2.5-inch SSD as a boot drive for basic work purposes or getting a new low capacity 2.5-inch SSD from either Samsung or Crucial then pairing it with a high capacity HDD for more extensive workloads. Video editors on a budget will need to consider looking for used graphics cards, at least a used GTX 1050, mainly because of both the high prices and current GPU shortage in 2021. Be careful of scams though, remember that no 10-series graphics card has a VGA port.
While it’s important not to skimp on equipment, not everyone has the same budget. If a virtual assistant can afford it, then they should consider getting brand-new PCs or laptops with the latest i5 or i7 and similar processors, dedicated graphics, and top-of-the-line NVMe SSDs. If the VA is on a strict budget, then at least a PC or laptop with a quad-core processor, a budget SSD as a boot drive, and 8 GB of RAM will suffice. Those in an extreme budget can look for office PCs with an i3 or at least a dual-core CPU with either a budget SSD or a hard drive. However, they will have slow PCs as a result that can only handle basic office tasks with limited multitasking capabilities.
Virtual assistants usually work using their own equipment, so they should not skimp on their equipment whenever possible. Having a slow work PC is disadvantageous for the VA, especially if they don’t know how to improve their PC’s performance. If the VA was a bit knowledgeable, they could make their old computers a bit faster. One way is to have a fresh install of Windows. Other users might opt for a custom windows install without the bloatware and allow older PCs to benefit from lower RAM consumption.
Computers can experience problems after constant use, especially when the user downloads different files and programs on the internet. Virtual assistants will need to know how to use the different software, update programs, and troubleshoot simple problems. Being able to fix minor issues without relying on costly IT services and looking for a brand-new computer to replace the old one after an otherwise minor inconvenience.
Being tech-savvy also allows the remote worker to look for the equipment they need to have a smooth working experience. They can also think ahead and have a reliable backup system to safeguard their files or an Uninterruptible Power Supply to prevent damages on the motherboard or hard drive due to a power surge or sudden power outage.
Virtual assistants are instrumental in the growth of multiple small businesses and the survival of businesses during the pandemic. When businesses rely on virtual assistant services, there’s a big chance that they’ll benefit from the services and grow when trusting in a trustworthy VA company. To ensure that virtual assistants and other remote workers can succeed while working from home, they’ll have to ensure a healthy lifestyle and an organized work life.
Another way for remote Filipina workers to succeed is by joining a trustworthy VA company Philippines and having a chance to find online jobs in Admin, Sales, Marketing, Accounting and Bookkeeping, Project Management and Research, Customer Support, and others.