When thinking about working from home, a lot of us imagine sleeping in late, sprawling in pajamas and long leisurely lunches. What people need to realize is that even though working from home offers a great amount of flexibility, it is still a professional job and it needs to be treated as such.
We interviewed Johanna Jogno, one of The VA Hub’s most diligent VAs to tell us what it is like. To put everything in perspective, you should know that she managed her own business and unlike the previous VAs that we have featured before, Johanna has an extensive experience in working from home and in an office before she responded to one of our Facebook ads. “I worked from home for almost five years and I also worked as a customer service representative, sales specialist, technical support agent, and billing agent in the BPO industry.”
Apart from being a dog mom to 9 charming pooches, Johanna is currently a Real Estate Virtual Assistant at The VA Hub. “My work is very challenging and fulfilling. Since I have two clients, I work 12 hours a day. For my first client, I do social media marketing, newsletter and other marketing tasks. I am the Executive VA of my second client. I help her in some of her personal tasks, prospecting, lead generation, follow-ups, schedules, Transaction coordination and any other tasks that she needs help with.”
Despite the challenges like web development and marketing which are skills that she is persistent in learning more about, she enjoys the extra time she gets to spend with her family, having less expenses and the sense of security of being at home. She believes working from home is great but she does not think working from home is for everyone. She thinks a virtual assistant “should be driven and passionate.”
Individuals in the same career path as Johanna need to learn the best work at home practices. This includes setting office hours, having a dedicated office space, avoiding home-bound distractions, and actually dressing as if you were going to an office. This will help keep your mindset sharp and focused.
“I tried to convince a friend to work from home but he said it isn’t for him. He has an outgoing personality and working from home will not fit him.” Those who are going adjust well to working from home, and be happy, will be those who are self-disciplined with their time, don’t rely on face-to-face banter, and those who are self-regulating when it comes to administrative matters that will habitually crop up throughout any given day.
“My goals for the next 6 months are to be an expert in Marketing and TC, to be financially free to be able to have my own car, and of course save, save, save!” These goals are highly achievable! Working from home provides you great opportunities to connect with some of your core values, like family and community, while still earning more. The biggest benefits of working from home are its flexibility, financial savings and health advantages.
It is often a challenge because of the lack of buzz that epitomizes a traditional office setting. But once you’re on the phone, attending meetings, making digital content, videoconferencing and making an effort to create your online community, that isolation is easily overcome. With some minor alterations to your mindset and honest communication with those you work with, these can easily be solved. Learn to avoid distractions, deal with social isolation, and take your status seriously.
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