Being a virtual assistant can be a dream come true. There are so many perks beyond the obvious – no commute, working from the “office” of your choosing, no dress code, flexibility; the list goes on. But, there are definitely some professional pitfalls to avoid as a virtual assistant if you want to be a success.
Being Too Flexible
Setting your own hours and working at your own pace is absolutely a luxury. The problem is no matter what type of work you do, there is always a deadline or some type of structure that you are required to uphold. If you plan out your weekly or even daily schedule, it is important that you stick with it and make sure that it makes sense to both you and your client. Too much procrastination and being more favorable to working hours that work better for you than your client or employer, will lead to poor work performance, missed deadlines or long days. assistant.
Make sure you have the information needed to achieve the perfect balance of a schedule that makes you happy and successful. This may require that you coordinate your days, business hours, your client’s schedule, etc. to ensure that your working hours are the best fit. Being too flexible is one of the biggest pitfalls to avoid as a virtual assistant.
Giving in to Distractions
If someone had told me that I would encounter more distractions working from home than I did at the office I would have probably laughed. Before jumping into the virtual world, I imagined the most productive version of myself cranking out top-notch work while juggling laundry and making fresh smoothies and meals all day. That, my virtual friends, is not the reality. The truth is the potential for distractions is unlimited when working from home.
It’s a beautiful day, you have errands to run, your family and friends know that you are home so they drop in, there are household chores glaring at you with their food shaped eyes, and a million other things that pop up. It’s important to set limits with family and friends, be firm with your working hours, shut off distractions, keep domestic duties and professional duties separate, and always have a schedule that is realistic and that you are committed to.
Being able to communicate well when you are working remotely is not only vital to you but also to your employer or client. There are a lot of little things we take for granted that happens daily in an office setting that just aren’t possible in the virtual work environment. One form of communication that is going to be absent is body language. Think about the times that you were able to observe that a co-worker was overly stressed, or felt the importance of a message just by watching its messenger.
It is important that you communicate often, ask questions, and verbalize what your client can’t see. Just as important as the unseen, what your client sees from you should also be thorough, professional, timely, and a true depiction of how your work is progressing. If you have questions, reach out for answers. If there are hindrances or you have ideas that you want to share that you feel will bring success; share them! Keeping an open dialog between yourself and your client will make your work day a lot smoother, lead to more success, and a lot of appreciation from your client. Steer clear of making assumptions or leaving room for your client to form them. Make sure that he or she is aware and feels confident in your work by communicating effectively.
If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant, please visit our career page!