Working from home as a Virtual Assistant can be a dream job to some. Since I have started in this industry in 2009, I have seen the rise of people wanting to be able to earn the same pay but with the convenience of working from home. Imagine not having to commute for hours instead use those hours as extra time to sleep or do what you need to do for yourself. It is indeed a dream job.
However, working from home can also be lonely. As human beings, we are created to interact with others and when we work in the comfort of our home, things can get boring and lonesome – not to mention unhealthy at times.
Here are some suggestions that I can give to those Virtual Assistants out there who are working from home:
1. Set up a routine
Working from home does not mean that you can just do whatever you want, whenever you want. Although it gives you the privilege of being in a comfortable place, it does not mean that you cannot work like you are working in an office. This has been a problem for us in the past (and sometimes now) because many freelancers feel that they are free, thus losing their professionalism
Setting up a routine for yourself will make you feel that you are actually working as you should be. Sleep at a scheduled time, wake up at the right time, take a bath (I know many of you out there does not even take a bath for days), eat like it’s a regular working day, set up your work desk, and be ready to work at a designated time.
Routine will help you be organized, both work and personal.
2. Set boundaries between personal and work.
Believe it or not, many freelancers cannot distinguish between work and personal time. Sometimes they bring work in their personal outings. Nowadays you can almost work anywhere, and I mean any-where. You can be on a beach somewhere drinking with your friends while you are finishing up a task from your client.
This is not a very good practice, aside from very unprofessional. With Outsourced VA, we have a Bundy clock system where our Virtual Assistants can only login in approved locations. Yes, our online Bundy clock has a GPS that tells us where you are when you come in for work.
There should be a time when you will start work and when you stop work. You should be very clear with your client about this and communicate with them about these boundaries.
3. Try working outside of the home.
I know I told you that you should not mix personal and work, well this is not it. When I say work outside of your home I meant in a coffee shop or in a co-working space. Why am I saying this? Because we have to be around people too. We want to have that feeling that we are still part of this society that we live in.
Working outside can take away your loneliness and stress, so once in a while do it.
4. Take personal time.
Setting boundaries is really one of the keys here. Once you are done with work, set up a date with your friends and just hang out at least once a week. Maybe every 3-months you go out of town and see nature. Rest and don’t feel guilty when you are taking your personal time. This is very important to keep yourself sane at all times.
Working as a Virtual Assistant can really be fun if you know how to handle the situation. Remember, life is not all about working but building relationships. Never forget building a relationship with real people and get away from the digital world so you can be in touch with the real one.
I hope this helped you and may you continue to be a successful Virtual Assistant.