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Virtual Work: 8 Tips for working remotely

Tips & How To's

Workers from across the globe are moving towards working from home as an attempt to stop Coronavirus from spreading.

As a Digital Worker at Virtual Latinos, make sure you are equipped with all the tools required to work remotely successfully.

Check below our shared tips and suggestions to make your home office work a successful experience.

Woman working remotely from her home

1. Set up a workspace

If you don’t have a dedicated home office, try to find an area of your home you can dedicate as a focused work area. If you are using tools like Zoom or Teams You can always use the background blur feature to keep teammates focused on you.

2. Communicate and communicate more

When working at home, possibly while balancing childcare, your core hours may change. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your supervisor, team and clients when you are available. Use message features on your preferred communication tool to let people know your current working hours and availability.

3. Be seen and be heard

It’s important to use the optimal audio and video tools calls and conferences. Turn on your camera and use an external speaker when possible.

To create the best audio experience: ​

  • If you are in a quiet private space, use an external speaker like a USB speakerphone.
  • If you don’t have an external speaker, or you are in a loud or public place, use a headset.
  • If you use the speaker on your laptop, ensure that you are directly in front of and close to the laptop as the speaker may not be bi-directional and people will have a hard time hearing you if you are off to the side.​
  • When you are attending a meeting, remember to mute yourself when you aren’t speaking.​

To create the best video experience: ​

  • Turn on your video camera! ​
  • If you are in public setting or don’t want your background to be visible, you can always use background blur feature. Check your lighting; if you are sitting in front of a window you will be in a shadow. ​
  • For the optimal audio and visual experience, ensure that the internet connection is reliable. If possible, connect via an Ethernet cable for the strongest, most reliable signal. Most of the communication tools will alert you if you have a weak connection and offer suggestions to improve quality, stay alert.
  • Don’t have an external monitor at home? Split your screen!​

4. Connect with colleagues via Zoom, Skype, Hangout, Teams or other.

Use chats, threaded conversations and calls to stay close with your colleagues. Name, pin or hide your chats to stay organized and be sure to adjust your notifications settings to your own preferences.

5. Collaborate with clients and vendors

Chats, calls and meetings will keep you connected with external contacts. Always be sure you apply the right permissions to files you are sharing. Download Telegram Mobile app if you don’t have it already, as it’s an easy way to multitask, letting you chat on one device while searching/working on files on the other.

6. Explore virtual meeting options

If you can’t bring groups of people together physically, explore and learn about available options for virtual meetings, including Teams meetings, Live Events and Broadcasts. It’s important to be able to help your clients and vendors know how to join meetings you have scheduled.

7. Work via your mobile device

Make sure you have all the handy tools and apps on your mobile device to stay connected while on the go. Every day we find ourselves on the go and need to connect, collaborate and create with our mobile devices. Working virtually can often increase this need. So, if you aren’t already using your mobile device for work, now is the time to get started!

Freelance virtual assistant working from home

8. Stay Truly Human

Explore tips on establishing a structure to your day, ensuring you are striking a balance between work and personal time, all at home.

  • Key to staying focused when you are creating and working remotely is establishing a structure and proactively balancing your screen time, finding the right place to work and connecting with people
  • Set a routine to start your day and mentally get into work mode – get your coffee, read your emails + messages, etc., and do what you typically do during a workday.
  • Think about your “virtual dress code” as you will be connecting with people via video.
  • Ensure you have a dedicated place to work that is quiet, has enough space for you to work, and allows you to focus. Ergonomics is important so think about your desk height and your chair.

Avoid working in bed. If you start working in bed you’ll likely get sleepy or have a hard time feeling truly awake. Instead, get up and make your bed first thing in the morning, just like any other day. Avoid the urge to work in your bedroom at all, unless that’s the only space where you have privacy.

If you do have to work in bed, creating a sense of “going to work” will help you. That means changing out of your Pijamas, washing your face, getting coffee, whatever makes you feel awake, do that first. Once you start working, sit up and avoid working in your bed if you’re exhausted.

It’s a good idea to treat your bedroom as a sacred space where you only go to sleep or relax. Once it becomes your office, you’ll find it hard to avoid thinking about work 24/7.

Using mobile devices to work remotely

  • Working from home, or remotely, often leads to increased screen time and less time away from your desk. Take breaks, go for a walk, and get up from your desk regularly. Avoid working where you’ll be tempted or distracted. One of the keys to successfully working from home is to pretend you’re at an office so don’t work somewhere that will tempt or distract you, that means don’t work with a TV on, and if laundry or dishes are calling your name, avoid them! Get your chores done before you begin work and save time for binging Netflix once you’re done for the day.
  • Set boundaries with other people at home.

Working from home with roommates, friends or family present can be challenging. Sometimes if someone comes over and sees you on the computer, they may not register that you’re working. This is true especially if that person has never worked from home before, they may assume you can do whatever you want.

It’s important to set boundaries with people around you in work from home settings. Tell everyone who’s home with you that you’ll be working as a virtual assistant during certain hours and to not disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Put a sign on your door if you must. Doing what you can to avoid interruptions is key to staying as productive as possible.

Take breaks every 75 to 90 minutes, for about 15 minutes per break. Ideally, your break should involve no screens at all and let you get some fresh air. Take a walk outside, play with a pet or talk to a friend. You’ll find that you’re much more productive if you walk away from your desk and computer throughout the day.

  • Connect with colleagues, team members and others. Virtual “water cooler” chats are a great break. Avoid total social isolation.

And when you’re ready to sign off for the day, truly unplug and try to resist the urge to check your messages frequently. Enjoy your free time!

Become an online virtual assistant today.

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