So how are you all doing?

We are into our second week of ‘lock-down’ during the COVID-19 Pandemic and life as we know it has changed somewhat for an unforeseeable amount of time.  As a Virtual Assistant my working day hasn’t really changed.  You could say that this industry is well-equipped for such a situation that we find ourselves in, because we’ve been doing it for some time.  However, for many other people the ‘work from home’ concept is new on the agenda and takes a little adjustment.

Over my next few posts, I’m going to share a wealth of knowledge obtained from my own experience as a remote worker.  It won’t be a ‘how-to’ guide, but more a focus on the benefits and the tools and tips that can help you within your business to stay positive, focused and productive.

To start off with let’s look at communication and connectivity.  Why?  Because not only is it important to stay connected and communicate with your colleagues, suppliers, clients or customers, it’s important for your own well-being too.

Working remotely can be isolating if you don’t set up effective communication channels.  So, to start off with, what’s the best way to get going ‘one on one’?

We’ve all heard of Skype.  I would imagine there’s not many people that haven’t.  It was one of the earlier methods of calling someone through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).  However, there are lots of other options out there now that you can also use such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Viber and WhatsApp to name just a few.  Most of which are free to use, but there are some that you can pay for that offer additional features.  I found this useful article that offers some alternatives to Skype if you’re looking for something a bit different.

“There are now many alternatives to Skype since Skype became one of the early success stories when it came to easy-access VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). By the end of 2010 it had recorded over 600 million users around the world. However, while there are a lots of free alternatives for business, there are paid options available to ensure the best quality for calls and video.”

One to one communication can also be effective through instant messaging.  If you need to speak with others with a quick question, that may not require a phone call, just dropping a quick message may be more effective.  Again, you can use the likes of Skype or WhatsApp (you can actually log into WhatsApp from your desktop. (If you don’t know how, then ask me and I’ll be happy to help.)  You can also use chat tools within project management software such as Teamwork, but that’s for another post.  Teamwork is an amazing tool and I use it within my business. I have a lot of positive things to say about it!

Get yourself connected as soon as you possibly can with others.  It will help you to stay in touch with what is going on around you.  Ask questions, answer questions and be more productive.

  • Schedule in certain times for calls and catch-ups.
  • If instant messaging is distracting, schedule times to be available on that too.
  • Many people don’t like to be on a video call but push yourself to do it. Seeing someone is good for your well-being.  Okay so it’s not ‘in person’ but it’s almost as good.  If someone smiles, you can see it and reciprocate.  After all, we all need to spread some happiness during these difficult times.
  • Have your lunchbreak with a friend(s) or family via video call. Treat it like you’re sat across the table from each other.

What are your methods of staying connected within your business as well as during your own personal time?

In my next post, we’ll continue with the same topic of communication and connectivity, but we’ll look at how you can successfully hold meetings or conferences, group chats or even training events or lectures.

If you would like a little more in-depth assistance with how you can make any of these communication channels work for you then please do get in touch.

Stay safe, stay at home, stay healthy.