More and more businesses have adopted the remote lifestyle recently, so there are plenty more homeworkers than before. However, for Virtual Assistants, it’s business as usual. You still need to plan those meetings, manage those events, and do everything just as you usually do from your home office, but isn’t it so much harder to be productive when your equipment isn’t fit for purpose? If your chair squeaks, your desk has seen better days and you feel uncomfortable, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. There is a wealth of home office solutions available and we’ll cover a few easy improvements you can make to improve your working from home experience.
As a VA, you’re there to help businesses and entrepreneurs manage the day-to-day things remotely so they can focus on the big picture. However, without working from a physical office, you can miss out on some of the benefits of a dedicated work area, such as stationery cupboards, printing hubs and water coolers. But there are many things you can do to create a home office setup that’s tailored to your way of working and your comfort level.
Here are some ways you can improve your home workspace for your health, wellbeing, and overall performance as a fast-paced VA.
Ways to upgrade your home office space
There are certain essentials that every VA should have in their home or office:
- A speedy computer
- A good internet connection
- A comfortable office chair
- A desk at the right height
- A dedicated phone
Top Tip: Start with the physical home office setup
The best thing to do is have a dedicated workspace at home to help you maintain your work-life balance. This is often a spare room, but if you don’t have that kind of space, you could pinch a corner from your living room or hallway, adapt a garage or work from a local co-working space if you wanted. There are plenty of creative ways to set up a comfortable workspace with limited space.
Here are 4 things to think about when assessing your working space
Is there natural light? The blue light emitted from screens can impact your circadian rhythm, potentially causing you sleepless nights. Positioning yourself near a window can help mitigate that.
Is there enough space? Most VAs just need room for a computer but if you need storage space, a filing cabinet or a desk lamp, you might want to consider some clever storage solutions.
Is your chair supportive? You’re going to spend 8+ hours a day in it, so for your back’s sake, invest in a decent office chair. Look for lumbar support, height adjustment, tilting and cushioning too – here are some tips to help you choose.
Do you need a footstool or any wrist support? Your body should be positioned ideally for the desk and chair with your knees at a comfortable angle and your wrist supported to reduce repetitive strain.
Checking your tech
Laptops are incredibly mobile and space-saving, but they don’t always have the power or capacity to run multiple pieces of remote software and management tools at once. So, if you’re a VA that requires a lot of software, a desktop computer may be necessary. However, they do take up a lot of space, so perhaps consider an all-in-one desktop monitor or a slimline tower computer to save room.
Then there’s your sound system. VAs need access to clear and crisp audio and microphones to properly conduct phone duties remotely, so don’t skimp on the quality. Here are some of the most recommended hands-free headset and mic combo options to consider. This way, your voice and sound will be unhindered, and you can stay ready to type too.
The little home office extras
If you work for yourself, most of this equipment will likely be coming out of your own pocket. However, this gives you the freedom to stamp your personality and tailor your space to your comfort when it’s just yours, so here are some design ideas to jazz your workspace up:
- Add some photos – seeing family and friends can help you stay motivated and can remind you to take important screen breaks
- Add comfort – throw a blanket over your chair for when you get a bit cold or place a rug beneath your desk to keep your toes warm
- Add some greenery – house plants are an excellent addition to a desk as they can create an ambient, relaxing space. Some even have air-purifying capabilities!
- Choose some fun stationery – you’ll likely still need some stationery, even though you’re virtual, so go with colours and styles you like and make sure your branding is on point too if anyone else is going to receive it. Custom stamps and letterheads are a no brainer if you still need to use snail mail.
As a Virtual Assistant, you have the freedom to work wherever and with whatever equipment you prefer, so don’t suffer in discomfort – improve your space to help you provide the top-level support your clients need.
Looking for a virtual assistant role?
At Oriel Partners, we help match exceptional VAs with fulfilling positions in high profile workplaces. Check out our virtual assistant job board today to see our latest vacancies.