Things are still transitioning: some offices are bringing their staff back in, while other companies are still remote. How will you set up your environment if you are still working remotely and what are the biggest obstacles you will prepare to face?
Although many Executive Assistants work directly outside the office of an Executive, many also lead successful careers working from home – even before the pandemic forced many to do so anyway. Techniques like utilizing the correct mindset, environment, boundaries, and technological tools will help you succeed in your new remote position.
The Mind Is a Powerful Thing
Change is scary. Many Administrative Professionals have concerns about feeling lonely or isolated after working from home for extended periods. Celebrating the small accomplishments as much as you can, along with other techniques described in our former articles, will help you stay emotionally positive even at home. Ebony Belhumeur is the Executive Assistant to the founder and CEO of Protocol Labs and works remotely. On her website, The Assistant’s List, Ebony’s first note is to have a remote-first mindset, or “a way of organizing your operations so that the work you do is clear, documented, and communicated proactively to the appropriate people.” This mindset will help you delegate the right tasks to the right people, even though you are not in the same place right now.
Where and When
Now that your mind is set in the right direction, where do you work in your home? It helps to choose a place you can consistently go to each day for work, even if it’s the dining room. If you do not have a desk or any other necessary tools for your workspace, it is worth the money to invest in. It is time to meet with the team in your designated workspace. Familiarize yourself with whatever platform your company uses like Zoom or Hangouts and place a link in the location section when inviting your coworkers to make it easier on everyone. Record each meeting in case someone cannot make it.
Set a boundary of time blocks during the day when you are or are not available for someone to call. Make sure everyone in your team is on the same schedule and knows your boundaries. It is easy to take on more than you have time for when working remotely. If you notice this occurring, delegate some tasks to others instead. This will help with your healthy work/life balance as well.
As an Executive Assistant, your priority is communication with the Executive. Make sure you are both on the same page of how you will be communicating, texts or calls, and when. Once you agree on the same time boundaries, regularly check in with your Executive. Another way to make sure you are both on the same page is to send him or her daily digests each morning describing what tasks will be completed. By utilizing different camera and scanning applications technology offers, you can share receipts, documents, sticky notes, or other pieces of information easily. According to an article by Mallory Greer, another successful Executive Assistant who has worked remotely for years, entitled Going Remote, “you can make sure none of those in-person bits of information get lost or forgotten” if you utilize the correct tools.