There’s a very real possibility that the shelter in place orders, or the lock down or quarantine, may be extended. Which means Virtual Assistants and their clients will have to work from home for longer. Operating from their living rooms or home offices while maintaining their productivity, and reminding themselves that this isn’t a stay-cation, that their teams are still depending on their output. Previously, we gave tips for working from home during quarantine. Nonetheless, one of the hurdles is the lack of access to the resources available in a traditional office. So for this article, we’ll look into tools that can prove useful, even crucial, for this arrangement.
Stock Up On The Coffee
First things first. An ample supply of caffeine is a necessity for these trying times. Especially when you need to jolt yourself awake for work despite being so close to the bedroom. The familiar scent of coffee can also serve as a reminder of the office, a hint of familiarity to help with the shift to the home-based setup. Try using the same kind of coffee you use at work.
A Good Rig
If you were previously office-based and your home PC or laptop isn’t up to spec, then you may need an upgrade to work from home effectively. More so if you don’t actually have a computer at home and just use your phone to browse. Especially if your work requires intensive operations – like graphic design, illustration, etc.
See if your company will provide laptops and other electronic necessities. In Virtual BizNest’s case, when John Signe issued the order for our Virtual Assistants to work from home, the VAs who needed PCs were assigned office computers to take home with them. For those whose employers aren’t providing such necessities, purchasing or borrowing up to spec laptops/computers may be in order.
Ensure Stable Internet Connection
A problematic connection can be a major headache. Thankfully, internet service providers are still operational and can still address concerns and issues. So make sure your net is fully functional. It is the cornerstone of the work from home arrangement and you will be using it a lot. An upgrade may even be in order if you are downloading and uploading large files or require connection similar to your office’s speed and performance. Moreover, be prepared for emergencies by asking your neighbor’s WiFi password or investing in a pocket WiFi.
Use The Cloud
Whether it’s Google Drive, Azure, Asana or even just putting files in Dropbox for the rest of the team to access, leveraging the Cloud can make life so much easier. Collaboration, file sharing, data transfer, these flow so much smoothly with the Cloud so it’s almost like you are still in the same office with your teammates. It also makes data much more redundant so crucial files will not be lost forever just because someone’s computer crashed mid-edit.
Update and Track Progress
Less of a specific tool, as Cloud platforms have these functions or even your basic Google spreadsheet. But more of a best practice for said tools. Manage your time well and have a tracker for you and your team to input details and keep each other abreast of everyone’s progress. This way, supervisors know who is doing what and when deliverables are due.
Likewise, teammates can keep track of each other’s activities as they collaborate. All while sparing each other long and tedious exchanges of emails or messages – which can get confusing and hard to follow after a while. No one wants to be left in the dark. Moreover, no one wants to have to do things at the last minute because nobody said that a task is nearing its deadline.