In a traditional 9-to-5 job, it’s far easier to switch off at the end of the working day. You can simply turn off your computer, leave the office, and essentially leave all your work-related problems behind. As a virtual assistant, it can be much harder. Your home is your office, and switching from ‘work’ mode into ‘home’ mode is a far more complicated process.
However, with a few simple changes in your habits such as those listed below, you can switch off with as much ease as your office worker counterparts.
When you give up your 9-to-5 office job for the convenience and flexibility of a virtual assistant position, it can feel like a dream come true. After all, you can now work in your pyjamas, take care of daily errands, and work on your own hours.
However, after a few weeks – or months – in your new position, you may find that those benefits are enabling you to get into bad working habits. You could be working more hours than before, your home life could be blending into your work life, and you’re going above and beyond for your virtual employer more than you would normally.
So, what do you do? You get strict with your working day. The first thing to do is to remind yourself that your entire working day should be exactly as it is if you were working in an office environment. That means you should get up at a normal working time, shower, put office clothes on, and head to your ‘office’ for work by 9am. Morning tea should be taken at 10am, lunch at 12pm, and afternoon tea at 3pm. Then, once your work is completed, you can end the working day at 5pm.
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of working longer hours with a loose schedule when you become a virtual assistant. Get strict with yourself and notice the difference in your home/work life balance.
Unfortunately, there have been many cases of strained relationships due to one – or both – parties working from home. While the convenience is something both you and your significant other will enjoy, the close confines and work problems can start overtaking your personal life. When there’s no ‘switch off’ time, how can you stop talking about work? While it’s important and healthy for any couples to talk about their problems, consider whether your work problems are worth the breath. Will it affect your life? Will this work problem matter in a week or a month’s time? If not, don’t let it cause a rift in your home life.
The best virtual assistant is one who can leave their problems in their ‘office’. This means that as soon as you remove yourself from the computer chair, you’re no longer at work. You ‘go home’, you cook dinner, do household chores and talk generally about your day. The last thing your significant other wants is to see you upset and stewing over a work problem that doesn’t matter.
As a virtual assistant, you have both the best and the worst job in the world. You can attend your children’s school meetings and sports games and you can take care of daily errands you’d otherwise struggle to complete. You can save on travel time and fuel by working from the comfort of your home.
But because you have no defining line between work life and home life, your work problems can easily take over. Below are a few ways to recognise this problem.
You could be:
If you find that you’re doing any of these things, something needs to change. Take a minute to think about what your work is doing to your home life and put a plan in place. Make sure to always set time aside for yourself and your family.
If you struggle to know when to end the working day with so much work to get done, a hobby can most certainly help. While the timing may not seem perfect with work piling up by the second, you need to think of yourself as well. If the work can wait until the following working day, then let it. It’s important you maintain a healthy work/life balance.
This is where getting a hobby becomes such an important thing to do. If you can choose something you’re interested to take part in after working hours, there’s every reason you should. It means that you have a reason to leave the house, get out of your comfort zone and take part in something outside of yourself.
Why not join a sports team that meets for practice once or twice a week after work? Or even something a little milder like a book club? It’s important for your mental health to have the ability to switch off in order to move your mindset from work onto something you’re interested in.
You will not only come home in a better frame of mind, but it will give you a sense of freedom and a new-found social life. Don’t lose your social skills or your friends just because you work from your home.
When you struggle to switch off at the end of the day within a virtual staffing position and it’s affecting your home life, all is not lost. There is so much you can do to get that work/life balance back. However, if you’re finding that you’re genuinely unhappy with the situation and you can see no way out, it’s time to make a change.
Not everyone is cut out for being a virtual assistant but if you work at it, you can achieve the perfect balance at home.
Below are a few things you can do before you decide it’s not for you.
When you’re a virtual assistant, you hold a very beneficial position. There are so many advantages to such a role, but there are just as many hurdles to overcome. Have you struggled to end your day on a high? How did you get your work/life balance back? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks.