In the last five months, the tired culture of the 40-hour work week has been dismantled. Proving to be just that; a tired system that exhausts its workers. Americans take the least amount of vacation time, maternity leave, or mental health days. For far too long, we’ve been living in an unsustainable culture where “hustling” is praised, and if we’re not in the constant motion of “work mode,” we’re assumed lazy and unmotivated. However, that’s simply not accurate, and some consider the grind of the 40-hour work week to be toxic. A healthy work/life balance is actually key for maximizing productivity, job success, and satisfaction.
Quality Over Quantity
While it may not be possible for every company to operate remotely forever, the pandemic has proven that the number of hours workers put in, and where they work, aren’t always indicative of their productivity or accomplishments. Being clocked in for more hours doesn’t necessarily mean they can or will get more work done. Working remotely means they don’t have to sit in their cubicles for the last few idle hours of the day, pretending to be busy even when they’re all caught up with work. They’re only clocked in when they have tasks to complete. This means the quality of their output is better because their minds don’t have time to get bored and wander, and they’re saving valuable energy for necessary tasks and critical thinking. In addition, companies financially benefit from their employees working remotely because it saves them thousands of dollars in overhead costs.
However, if working from home for an extended period isn’t an option for a company’s employees, they might consider hiring a virtual assistant to help fill in the gaps. VAs are already equipped with software and office supplies to start work immediately.
Rise of the Virtual Assistant
When the pandemic hit, the rest of the world panicked about how they would maintain business operations and ready employees for remote work during a lockdown. With employees taking extended periods of time off because of illness, leaving businesses shorthanded, they had fewer people available to work even if they could convert employees to remote roles. However, virtual assistants were prepared to continue business as usual and were unaffected by stay-at-home orders.
Virtual assistants are a fast and efficient alternative to help companies keep operations running smoothly despite losing some employees during shutdowns. They are also not limited to administrative duties as some believe; many have specialized skills and are experts in various industries. Business owners can certainly find VAs with niche experience, no extra training needed.
Only Focusing on What’s Important
VAs can take care of tasks that need to be done at odd times or that take away from more important matters. For example, if a business owner has an after-hours phone call because they’re trying to accommodate a client in another country or time zone, a VA can represent them and place the call on their behalf. This saves them time and energy to focus on big picture goals, prevents the inconvenience of having to work around certain tasks or appointments, and shortens their workday so they can set and keep healthy work/life boundaries.
VAs are a great example of what can be accomplished remotely. Almost any industry, job role, or task can be completed remotely if companies are willing to get on board permanently. It’s cost effective and energy efficient for business owners and employees. It also opens up a world of opportunity for people who may not be able to commute or accommodate a full-time work schedule, like new moms, people with disabilities, or people who live in rural areas. Ultimately, there are more benefits to working remotely than not.
Hopefully, despite the hardships and stress that many have faced because of the coronavirus, the one good thing to come out of it will be a necessary change in how we work and run our businesses. With any luck, business owners will see that allowing employees to work shorter days from home increases employee productivity and improves their quality of life, making for happier, healthier employees.