With the ‘new normal’ now making working from home a key aspect of people’s lives, Joanne Butcher – founder of award-winning Your Favourite VA – offers tips on making the most of your home environment.

"MORE of us are having to work from home at the present time.

"Thankfully, in today’s world, working remotely is made easy by the fantastic technology we now have available to us.

"As a Virtual Assistant I have always worked remotely, from my own home office. If you are still finding your way and adjusting to a new working set-up, here are my tips that will help make your day as productive as possible, while avoiding blurring the lines of family and business time.

"With a bit of forward planning, you will easily make the transition from working in an office to working remotely."

  • Set aside a dedicated workspace. Having a desk in the kitchen or the corner of a less travelled room will work but avoid having the home office in the bedroom for stress-related issues which can translate into sleep disruptions. The key is developing a space where you can train yourself to know “this is where I work” and create a mental wall and door around the area.
  • Stick to a routine. Structure your day as though you were going to the office. The beauty of working from home is that there is no commute, so you could decide to start work earlier and finish earlier. Don’t forget to schedule in breaktimes and try to get outside every day, even if it is just for a short walk around the block.
  • Have a to-do list. Before you start, list down your priorities for the day. Set pockets of time to complete your tasks and make sure you stick to your schedule.
  • Virtual meetings can be draining when they carry on for much longer than planned. Maximise conference calls by establishing clear schedules, agenda, and goals. And stick to a time limit! Try to keep them under an hour or else people will start to lose attention. And try not to schedule too many in one day.
  • Don’t forget to communicate regularly with team members, clients and mentors. As well as staying on top of work news, it is also important to celebrate successes or team members birthdays, just as you would if you were working in an office. Having a good support network in place is important, so that you can reach out if you need help, as well as be there for someone else if they are struggling.

As a Virtual Assistant, Joanne offers a wide range of services to small business owners, giving them support to successfully manage their businesses, such as inbox management, content design and social media strategy.

In July 2020, she won the South England Prestige Award for “Virtual Assistant New Business of The Year”. Despite opening her (virtual) doors on the brink of a pandemic, Joanne has managed to grow a loyal client base, winning praise for professionalism, accuracy, and creative flair.

To find out more about how a Virtual Assistant could help your company, contact Joanne at [email protected] or go to her website www.yourfavouriteva.com