By: Kat Crucena (Virtual Coworker- Recruitment Specialist)

Did you know that on average, employees spend a total of 90,360 hours of their lives working? That’s a lot of time! A 40-hour workweek can feel like a lifetime if there’s no harmony in the workplace. When there’s friction between employees,
this may lead to low morale, diminished work productivity, and unprofessional behavior. The good news is, there are many ways to promote harmony in the workplace. Some of the simple things every employee can do are as follows:

First, Say Thank You. These two little words may be the most powerful when it comes to creating happiness and harmony. May it be big or small wins, people will feel valued if we take time to acknowledge their accomplishments. So, let’s offer a genuine Thank You every day.

Second, Keep an Open-Door Policy. Be open to suggestions, complaints, or discussions without judgment. We should understand individual differences and realize that everyone has their own way of looking at things. By listening, we can understand what others see from their point of view instead of our own. Early conflicts can be resolved when people are able to
express their feelings openly.

And Third, Create a Team Environment. Aside from holding regular meetings, it’s also nice to get outside of the stressful workplace and have fun together with the team. We should take our work seriously but engaging in team-building activities (virtual or physical) once in a while will help build harmony and create opportunities to connect with each other. We will be happily surprised to discover new things about our colleagues.

 “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.” (John C. Maxwell, 2002)

Whether you’re new to remote work or you’ve been a work-at-home superstar for years, adding kids to the mix is a whole different ball game. Productivity has been turned on its head as parents try to strike a balance between work and home life. And while you want to enjoy having the family together under the same roof all day, you also know that not working isn’t an option.

The struggle is real, but these five tips can make every day feel like less of a battle:

1. Maintain a Routine
When kids are home from your school and you’re working remotely, all bets are off when it comes to a routine. Maybe you’re all sleeping later or eating at odd times of the day. And then you wonder where the time went when you didn’t get all your work finished!

Your kids can benefit from a routine just as much as you do. Try to stick to a normal schedule, especially when it comes to eating and sleeping. Break up the day with specific activities, such as doing all chores in the morning or taking an afternoon walk at 2:00 every day. This not only creates something to look forward to but can help everyone maintain a sense of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic world.

2. Teach Your Kids to Do Household Chores
Household chores are a win/win: kids get to learn responsibility and you get to check off some items from your own to-do list. Even kids as young as age 2 or 3 can lend a hand around the house.

For example, young children can take charge of making their own beds, putting toys away, tidying the living room, or carrying dishes in the sink. Older kids can take out the trash, put away their laundry, and clean off the kitchen table or countertops.

3. Sneak In Some Learning on Screen Devices
Most parents try to limit their kids’ screen time, but for the time you do allow, try to maximize its impact by making it educational. For example, you could allow screen time only if the kids are playing certain games on their tablets, such as spelling, math, or other learning games. Or, you could let them watch a documentary instead of mindless cartoons on Netflix.

4. Let Them Be Bored (It’s Healthy!)
Bored children might be a thorn in your side if they’re vocal about their boredom, but it’s actually good for kids to be bored occasionally. Boredom is an opportunity to let creativity thrive. In fact, you could even go so far as to take away toys, video games, and screens and encourage them to find new ways to entertain themselves.

5. Plan for Quality Time
Most importantly, work-from-home parents should go ahead and plan on being less productive during the workday. Know that kids are going to interrupt your train of thought more than once per day, no matter what parameters you put into place.

If you can’t beat them — join them! Plan to take extended breaks to play games, read stories, and spend time together. Once they’ve had some of your attention, they’ll be in a better position to entertain themselves while you continue working.

And if you’re worried about losing productivity, consider hiring a virtual assistant that can lessen your workload and fill in the gaps.

We’re here to help and provide many more tips and tricks for working remotely. Our experts are available to help anytime and our Recruitment Specialists are ready to connect you with your ideal virtual coworker.

For more information, book a free consultation with our Team.

The way we interact with coworkers, family, and friends has forever changed. Interesting times with the current situation around the world. Many companies are having to adapt and make the decision to move their staff from office space to working remotely. Some companies already have structures in place for this but most do not. Working virtually is no longer an option, it is currently a requirement for every organization. Luckily, we live in a time when technology helps businesses thrive virtually.

Fortunately, virtual coworkers are nothing new and their services are required more than ever. Understanding how to leverage virtual staff during this time is essential to business growth.

Streamlining communication is critical for virtual teams to thrive. A number of free software applications are available that allow all types of virtual meetings. Zoom allows participants to video chat, share screens, and conduct presentations. It also helps schools break up classrooms with Break Out rooms. Google Drive is one of the top shared document platforms. A business can essentially run off google documents and sheets and allows for a centralized space in real-time for you and your virtual employees to collaborate. Skype is a favorite when it comes to remote working, which allows for video, audio and screen sharing.

If your entire recruiting process is going digital, there’s a good chance video interviewing will replace a large portion of your in-person interviews. All interviews are typically conducted via Video Chat on Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts. There is a large pool of high-quality candidates looking for remote work these days. Finding the perfect fit can pose some challenges. When conducting a video interview it’s often a good idea to conduct a test activity with your candidate. Identifying required skills, attitude and relevant experience is important when it comes to bringing a new staff on board. Look for certain characteristics, some of which may be extroversion, bubbly personality, a sense of humor and having a trusting nature, this all flows through in the interview process. Communication is hugely important, you can have a great staff however if they don’t communicate well the engagement won’t be successful. Do they reply quickly? Are they able to finish their tasks in a timely manner? Develop a healthy working relationship with your staff by setting clear boundaries and KPIs and engaging them in the mission and vision of your company.

Finding high-quality staff in the Philippines will allow your company to delegate out time-consuming tasks, cut down on overhead, give you the opportunity to grow your business rather than working on it, and even work on your next great idea with you to help you reach your goals faster.

Is it time to hire a virtual assistant to help you scale and grow your business? Our expert Recruitment Specialists are ready to connect you with your ideal virtual coworker.

For more information, book a free consultation with our Team.

As the late great legend, Stan Lee, once penned back in 1962, “With great power, there must also come – great responsibility.” This is true of all great heroes & heroines, but here, in reality, it is also true. As an employer, you have a great responsibility to your vision, goals, and especially your employees. Without you, they would not have a job or be able to feed their families. You now have a great responsibility to get them trained, familiar & comfortable with their new workflow, up to speed, and set them up for success. This goes for local employees working in your office as well as your virtual staff members.

We’ve noticed a slight trend this year among entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses. They’re excited to hire a virtual assistant, happily start the resume/interview process, find someone perfect to hire, and then after only a week or two let them go for poor work quality, miscommunications, or not learning fast enough. With the help of some superheroes, we’ll tell the tale of the newly hired virtual assistant and their Employer, let’s call her Captain Courageous.

Spider-Man Training
New virtual assistants are a bit like young Spider-Man. They’re entering a world they’re not familiar with and need training. Training is a part of any new position. Even if you’re a genius, there are things to get accustomed to and learn because every company, manager, and boss are different. Training takes time with any new employee, sometimes months. When working with a new virtual assistant it’s important to be patient while training. Positive encouragement is important. Becoming impatient and ununderstanding only pushes away their work ethic and interest in working with you. It’s best to grow a role focusing on their strengths and skills.

Hulk Communication
The Hulk does not communicate beyond a word or two but his alter ego, Dr. Banner is a genius and very articulate. Communication is key with virtual assistants. Not only might there be a language barrier but there might also be a cultural barrier. Become familiar with your virtual staff member, get to know them as a human and understand their culture. Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. are all free and available anytime for quick catchups, calls, meetings, and screen shares. Make certain to be very clear, specific, and professional in all communications.

Thor Workflow
Thor is the ultimate. He’s a God, but he didn’t start that way, he’s over 1000 years old. Remember that when you begin working with your virtual assistant. Begin with one task at a time and manage each task so your assistant begins to understand how your company runs and what type of workflow is expected. Another excellent way to aide your virtual staff’s learning process is to include them on team meetings. These are essential to creating a team and rapport with one another. Motivation, praise, and advice from fellow team members will do wonders for any employee. Delegate tasks accordingly as to not overwhelm your virtual assistant. They might say they understand but ask in several different ways to make sure. That can save both of you lots of time. Before you know it, your virtual assistant will be lightning fast, leading the way, and exceeding your expectations.

Whichever role you hired your virtual assistant to help you with, make sure you give them a chance to learn and process everything. New jobs can be nerve-racking, especially if your employer is in another country. Be patient, use clear & constant communication, and take advantage of the free global platforms that allow the sharing of ideas, documents, and programs. Use your “great power” for great managerial responsibility. Excelsior!

They say, “There is no place like home”. However, it is vital for us to get out there and earn a living.Some of us have to live away from our families to work, or some need to travel for hours and endure traffic just to get to work.

What if you don’t have to leave your “sanctuary” to work? Could that possibly be the best thing that can happen to a hard-working employee like you? Let’s discuss the perks of working from home, shall we?

  • Goodbye EDSA traffic! Eliminating the stress of commuting/driving for hours is probably the best thing about working from home. You can always start your day feeling well-rested and ready to work.
  • Since you did not start your day in a stressful manner, you are most likely to be more productive. There are less worry and distractions. As a matter of fact, studies shown that work from home employees are less stressed, happier, and healthier — hence, reducing sick days and absenteeism.
  • You don’t have to worry about getting dressed or wearing uncomfortable shoes all day. Comfort comes first and nothing is more comfortable than wearing your house clothes (even your pj’s) all day long!
  • You’ll save money. We work to earn money so we can pay our bills, sustain our way of life and to save. You’ll find that cutting out some expenses that goes along with working in an office makes a big difference in your bank account.
  • It exercises your creative and critical thinking. Independence is important when you’re working from home. Your boss or co-workers can only do so much to assist you if you encounter any challenges. It is up to you to effectively think of ways to work around those challenges. In the end, you will feel a sense of accomplishment once you are able to come up of a solution.
  • It allows you to have more freedom to spend time with friends and family. As you integrate those relationships into your more flexible workday, you will find that you have more control over your work-life balance.

In this day and age, work from home opportunities are at the tip of your fingers.Companies are catching on the trend and are employing more and more people in the tech sphere and looking for online employees of different skill set. If you want to take advantage of this trend and build a successful career online, join us! Be a Virtual Coworker today!

1. Be a Leader and Start with your Self

In the Pope’s message to the government leaders, he said “reject every form of corruption”. Being irresponsible and unreliable at work are forms of corruption. If you can’t or don’t want the job, don’t stay in it and corrupt the opportunity from others who can and will do it. As home based professional, you should be a leader to yourself. Set high standards for your work with discipline doing the best you can to “say NO to Corruption”.

2. Take responsibility

Pope Francis showed not only sympathy but also how to take full responsibility upon hearing that one of the youth volunteer in Tacloban died. He met with the father of the volunteer to personally condole him. This small act provided us a compelling example of how to take responsibility. It takes strong guts to say sorry, own up to the wrongs committed, and alleviate the damage.

Everyone commits mistakes as it’s easy to misconstrue instructions from clients who are a thousand miles away. But it takes a responsible home based professional to admit it and do something to correct it.

3. Do not just talk, Communicate

Pope Francis spoke “poor English” as he claims. But his smile amidst the heavy down pour and despite being so tired spoke directly to every Filipino’s heart.

As home based professionals, we could learn to communicate more through other means aside from just talking. Use tools, sheets, reports and management systems to help you relay work progress, status updates and anything you want your clients to know. After all, technology when used properly is a divine gift!

Across religions, personal beliefs and yes, even location, Virtual Coworker extends its invitation to all qualified and committed home based professionals to come and explore our new job opportunities. Through these new vacancies, may we become a blessing to you as you become one to others!

Starting a home based career is more than just having a comfortable working space and a functioning computer. You need to have the actual skills and tools for it to fully work smoothly. Online tools make home based careers more efficient and in fact easy. Here are some tools that will help you make your home based jobs a breeze.

1. Google Account

It is probably the most popular and handy tool to have. You simply have to have a Gmail account and you will get free access to a variety of tools Google has to offer, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Groups, and GTalk to name a few. On top of all that, you will have free access to having a YouTube account and Google+.

2. Skype

The most popular communication tool for home based workers. It is free, fast, easy to install and a very good call and chat platform. Navigating skype is a breeze even for non-technical people.

3. LinkedIn

Is the most professional Social Media platform a home based worker can join. Take Facebook and remove all the Spam postings, gather up all professionals and business entity in a single venue and you get LinkedIn.

4. Jing

Jing is a free tool for creating screen captures and instructional videos. Instructions are easily understood if you could actually see through the process. With Jing, you can capture what is exactly in your screen in image or video format while giving instructions or annotations along side.

5. Teamviewer

If you think Jing is amazing, wait till you get to try teamviewer. It has a paid premium account but you can play on and use their free service to create meetings or allow remote access to your computer.

In starting a home based career, it is also important that you are technically ready to provide a professional level of service. It is therefore necessary to set-up a home office with all the essentials like computer, stable internet connection, working headset, and other necessities for a home office conducive for good working condition.

1. Home Office Space

A comfortable, quiet, and conducive for work, space in your home is important for a home based job to work well. Get away from daily disruption and work your way to success.

2. Working Computer

Invest in a computer or laptop or both. Working from an internet cafe is not acceptable. Aside from the noise, it is also very impractical and defeats the purpose of working from home.

3. Stable internet connection

The common minimum speed requirement is 1 Mbps but some clients might require a more stable speed. It is safe to go for 3 Mbps subscription.

4. Headset and web cam

Invest in a good headset and camera. Whether you are doing calls or not, it is an important means of communication with your clients.

There are countless of opportunities for you to work online but with the rise of opportunities comes a number of virtual employee wanting to get a piece of the pie. Thus, if you want to stand-out you need to be more than good, you have to be impressive.

Here are some tips for you to take when starting a career virtually.

1. Be attentive to Details

When given a task, listen to instructions carefully and ask questions if necessary. Common mistake is to pretend you understand just so you can impress your employer. Check all the needed details and deliver an impressive result.

2. Be Pro-Active

A good virtual employee would do as what they are told, but an impressive Virtual Employee is not afraid to give out ideas and suggestions if this will benefit the client in the long run.

3. Be Organized in All You Do

Manage your calendars properly, take note of important dates and deadlines, have a proper documentation, send reports on time. A great virtual employee is organized especially so that they are working separately from their employers.

4. Communicate

The key to a successful offshore relationship is communication. Keep your communication lines open and be responsive to your client. If they require reports, deliver them on time.

Working home based is an option many Filipinos are taking in to consideration nowadays. With the increasing demand for home based offshore workers, we are given more career options and alternatives to better our lives.

One common misconception about working at home is that it is an easy job. True! You get to work at the comfort of your own home but it is never easy in any way. It entails a lot of physical and mental conditioning. Needless to say, it demands a lot of dedication and hard work.

To get ready to work home based, one must need to prepare the following

1. You need room to work.

Set aside a defined space for you to work. Work away from distractions and anything that could hinder your productivity. A professional office space ensures a more productive output on work.

2. Invest in a good computer and reliable Internet connection.

The bread and butter of working home based is a good and conditioned computer plus high-speed internet connection. If you want to join in the bandwagon of home based industry, invest in these items.

3. Back-up Office

You don’t want to make a bad impression on your client. Knowing the condition of the Philippine Internet providers, one must have a back-up plan for working. As when the Internet fails or in times of power outage, where would you go? Consider the options you have in your location.

Extra Tip:

Prepare an impressive RESUME, build a good portfolio and dedicate yourself towards the application process. Working home based takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

Crooks have invaded the online industry and the most common target are the web users looking for home based jobs. With the desire to please prospective employers, most victims fall for whatever the scammers ask for. Don’t fall for the scam tactics; use these tips to help you avoid common scams.

1. Do your research and know who you’re dealing with

Resources online are your best defense. Do your research, Google is a friend you can count on when an offer from someone you don’t personally know arrives. Online jobs are basically a trust and confidence relationship between you and an employer from another country so be sure to make an educated decision.

2. If the job offer is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true

If you are offered 30,000 PHP a month to do data entry task for 2 hours a day, be very weary. An offer that is too good to be true is usually not true. If you are serious about considering a career online, equip yourself with proper knowledge and objective assessment of your skills and experience to avoid falling for bogus offers.

3. No sending of money

Con artist insists that applicants wire money. The money could either be for application processing, legal documentary stamp, or whatever purpose they could think of. Don’t give in to the bait no matter how small the value is. A potential employee asking for even a single peso is your biggest WARNING not to push through.

4. A decent online job undergoes a proper recruitment process

Keep in mind that online jobs are just like any other jobs. They need to qualify applicants to see if they are fit for the job they are applying for. If the screening process is skipped, no interviews are made, you are not asked to submit your resume, take this as a warning sign.