What Running a Virtual PA Company Has Taught Us About Remote Working

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Back in 2019, who knew working from home was going to become this popular?

Well, actually, we did. That’s why we set up a virtual PA company.

The benefits of remote working were discovered by employers and employees alike through the turbulence of 2020/21 - and now people feel so strongly about not returning to business as usual in an office all week that they are willing to quit in a mass exodus dubbed “The Great Resignation

Employers have been responding to this rapidly changing world by increasingly offering remote or hybrid working. And although remote working has its perks for improved work-life balance and efficiency, it isn’t without its challenges.

Running a virtual PA company makes us no strangers to working from home

As a virtual PA company, we have lots of experience of remote working, and we’ve developed a ton of strategies to help us get the most out of our working environments. Here are our tips to overcome the top three challenges.

Staying connected to your team and battling loneliness

We tend to stay on Teams all day, in each other’s background. This means we can chat in real-time as if we were in the same room, when a thought or conversation arises, without having to make an appointment. If this doesn’t work for you, schedule regular video call catch-ups for even when there’s nothing specific to talk about. To battle loneliness, communicate your news, feelings, concerns, triumphs - just like you would in the office

It’s also important to keep your schedule transparent with shared diaries and to share workflow through Kanban boards like Trello, Asana and Slack etc. Make sure if someone else needs to find something out quickly they can find a way without speaking to you.

Switching off

It’s tough to be strict about switching off on days off or after working hours. The benefit of remote working is the ability to be flexible with time, but it’s difficult sometimes to have a clear distinction between home life and working life.

When you don’t have enough downtime, WFH burnout happens. The best strategy for switching off is to have a checklist of tasks to complete that day, physically check them off, then switch off.

Filtering out distractions and staying motivated

The distractions at home can be hard to resist. Not even the enjoyable ones. It’s tempting to put a quick wash on, get a head start on dinner or run the hoover ‘round. So it’s important to be disciplined.

Create a tidy, organised workspace. Even if you don’t have space for a private home office you can make a quiet corner somewhere.

When we need to concentrate, we like to use headphones with auditory stimulation like trance music, white noise or binaural beats to create flow and focus.

If you’re easily distracted by digital temptations, use an app-blocker like Serene to keep you on the straight and narrow.

If the monotony of WFH makes focus difficult, break up your day by working in a cafe or library for a change of scenery and some great coffee (and cake).

Clearly, we’re big fans of the virtual working model

As more organisations adopt remote or hybrid working, we’re providing virtual services to an increasingly virtual world. We’ve had a bit of a head start on the WFH thing, but we wouldn’t have it any other way - and it seems a lot of the business world agrees.

What have been your top WFH challenges? Can we help? Let’s chat.