From PA to VA: How PAs Can Support Their Bosses Working from Home

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2020 by Top London PANo comments

With the need to work from home, be it due to coronavirus or another business need, PAs can find themselves moving into a Virtual Assistant (VA) role. Any change can be unsettling but as a leading PA recruitment agency, we know you already possess many of the skills you need — they just need some redirection. We’ve also seen an upsurge in the number of requests for temporary PAs working virtually, helping homeworking executives to be more effective.

Let’s take a look at how PAs can adapt to life as a VA whilst continuing to help their executives.

  1. Set up your work station

    Your homeworking area should be as professional as your desk in the office. This will help ensure that you can answer the phone, join a video call, or print a form with the same ease that you would in the office.

  2. Communicate

    As a PA, you’re well-placed to adapt to homeworking. You probably have outstanding communication with your executive already. You may even have systems and software in place, putting you at an advantage. When you’re remote working, it’s essential to communicate. Make sure to check in with your executive multiple times a day. Follow emails up quickly, and put things in writing as much as possible.

  3. Accept change

    The reality is that the working life of many executives has changed. If, for example, your executive was a frequent traveller, they won’t be at the moment. You’ll need to consider what can be done to make their work continue. Make sure you suggest and organise alternative ways of working. For example, learn how to use software that enables your executive to video call remotely.

  4. Take initiative

    Your boss is probably doing a fair amount of fire-fighting right now. They won’t have time to think about specific tasks for you. It’s your job to consider the situation and take the initiative. For example, go through their diary and consider how upcoming events and meetings will be impacted. How they can be managed differently?

  5. Keep an eye on the future

    Things are chaotic at the moment, but try not to get caught up in the storm. Consider instead how your business will adapt once things calm down. You need to be ready to hit the ground running when life returns to a more normal state. Think about how you can anticipate this, or perhaps which long-term projects could benefit from the calm environment of home-working.

  6. Be productive

At home, it’s easy to get distracted. It’s tempting to catch up on little things like the laundry or the washing up. Conversely, you may find yourself spending far more hours working than you would in an office. Set some clear boundaries about working hours. Have a time when you sit at your desk, and make sure you ring-fence a lunch break. Try to ‘clock-off’ as you would normally, whilst also allowing for the usual flexibility of a PA role.

Your role is perhaps more valuable than ever. PA workers, even those in London, can largely work from home. This is a time to add value to your executive.


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