How Returning to the Office Impacts Virtual Assistants – Part 1

Returning to the Office Pt. 1

If you’re a virtual assistant you may wonder how returning to the office will impact your business. While it may not directly impact your business you cannot assume it won’t impact your client’s businesses, which could have a ripple effect on your business. Even if you served your clients in this capacity before, things have changed and you’ll want to ensure you are ready. 


Earlier this month we discussed how back-to-school time impacts our businesses and shared how to take stock of your business, reassess your schedule and create a new schedule that works best for your goals, and even how to create a homeschool schedule. 


Here are 3 great questions to ask your clients regarding returning to the office. 


  1. Do you anticipate returning to the office to consult and/or coach clients? 


If not, does your client want to be proactive with their audience and send out an announcement stating why they will not return and how their clients can continue working together online? 


If yes, now is a great time to create a COVID-19 intake form compiling the client’s new office policies and procedures. This would include if their clients plan on having a hybrid company and the equitable protocols established for those not in the office. 


2. Do you plan to travel for work?


Whether you have planned your client’s travel for years or you came on board at a time when they weren’t traveling, things have changed greatly. Now is the perfect time to review their travel preferences again. 


  • Airfare, hotels, and rental cars rates have soared and are well above pre-pandemic rates. You’ll want to discuss how this will impact their rates, reimbursement if the company will be paying, as well as what they are willing to pay to travel. Additionally, if they were frequent flyers who frequently took the same flight you’ll want to ensure the flight route is still in service since many carriers have changed schedules. 
  • Also, if you are regularly scheduling travel you’ll want to keep on top of all the new travel reimbursement options and flight change fees. 


3. What is your biggest concern regarding the return to the office?


This is a very proactive question and shows you truly care that your client is successful. If your client has no concerns – great! If your client does have concerns it will allow you to figure out how to assist, putting them at ease. It could be as simple as finding a new ice breaker or team building activity that doesn’t require physical contact and can be done with social distancing. Or your clients may not be used to speaking to smaller more intimate groups versus the packed out rooms of pre-COVID. They may even have their own health concerns. The more you know the more you proactively assist your clients. 


The great debate regarding the return to the office will likely go on through the end of the year and its ripple effect will impact virtual assistant businesses. Whether you choose to assist clients who are returning to the office or not is your choice and the best decisions are made with the best information possible. 


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