Glimpses Into The Life of A Virtual Assistant During COVID-19

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When I sit before my computer to pen my thoughts about how my experience has been so far during COVID-19, I actually find myself grappling for words. Surreal. Unbelievable. 

Our generation hasn’t really ever encountered a massive catastrophe of this magnitude. With the number of deaths across the globe increasing and the economy plummeting, it is really quite difficult to see any positivity out of this situation. However, believe you me, there are. If only we look hard enough for them. 

For instance, a lady in my community who serves food to the aged every day, free of charge. Or the police force in Kolkata who sang a wonderful song to cheer the neighbourhood. 

As a virtual assistant for the last 6 years, I have been enjoying my work thoroughly. Going to the office daily allows me to work seamlessly with my colleagues and to ensure that work gets done in a timely manner. Breaks and lunches together with the team allow us to catch up on the daily goings in our lives. 

With the sudden exponential growth of COVID-19 cases around the world, most people have taken to self-quarantining themselves and practising social distancing. As a virtual assistant, that means I can no longer work from my office but instead have to work from the confines of my home. 

The initial week of being quarantined was slightly hectic as everyone was adapting to the concept of providing virtual assistance virtually :) However, what makes a system or an organization robust is how you deal with a situation and what measures you put in place to smoothen the process. The best part was our IT team at MyTasker. They helped install all the required software and applications needed to make work from home easier and employee-friendly. Therefore, even the most technologically challenged person didn’t face any issues. 

The best part about self-isolating is that it gives you a lot of time to focus on other aspects of yourself besides work. For instance, I had always wanted to start learning the nuances of Digital Marketing but never found the time. The lockdown period has allowed me to purchase a Udemy course and go about upscaling my skills. I have started meditating every day. And also have found the time to read those books which I’ve been meaning to for quite a while now. 

Workwise, the positives of working virtually have strengthened our team’s sense of responsibility. Everybody is ready to go out of their way to assist one another and foster a sense of togetherness during these trying times. Initially, I had thought communicating effortlessly would be an issue, however, with applications like Zoom Meeting, UltraViewer, Skype, Google Hangouts, Loom it has become very efficient to keep in touch with colleagues and share recordings or screens. Every employee along with our Management are working round the clock to ensure that all employees are positive, motivated and driven to give their best. 

Of course, everything has a flip side as well :) And this lockdown too has its cons. Being isolated for long periods of time can be quite lonely. Especially when you’re used to going out regularly, meeting people, chatting with your colleagues. Workwise, one of the downsides is fluctuating internet connection and not having a proper work station like at the office. However, these are minor hiccups that can easily be ignored. 

Speaking of the tasks that are usually coming in during this crisis, I would say that it is a mixed bag. Many of our clients have continued to set up recurring tasks and are using this time to work on things that they have left pending for a long time. Many of the tasks are also COVID-19 related such as extensive research on Coronavirus which they can later use to create e-books or tasks related to setting up digital equivalents of their business to survive this crisis. Many of them are generating leads on their target audience and brainstorming strategies to help their clients better in the future.

On a whole, though the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better, we all need to look for the silver lining in every cloud and derive the best out of every situation. This is a time where I choose to upgrade my skill sets, spend more time with my loved ones and family by connecting virtually and also taking care of myself spiritually.  

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