For many Assistants, your job has recently become a lot more complicated. As you navigate working from home, maybe for the first time and potentially even alongside your children, you’re also working your hardest to go above and beyond for your executives to provide some sense of certainty and normalcy for them. We know this is not easy.
We also know that Base is well-suited to help. We have pointed all of our resources to help you succeed in your role – to really wow your executive through courageous help and ambitious growth. Whether it’s our suite of features built to help you and your executive focus on what matters (no matter where you are!) or comprehensive resources curated especially for you in this moment, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to find peace amidst chaos.
We’ll continue to aggregate resources here, as well as create original content and templates that are helpful in this stressful time. Have a great resource to share? A link to a helpful article, a template you’ve created, or even an idea for a resource we could create? Email us at [email protected].
All info current as of March 2020.
- COVID-19 Information
- Tips on How to Wow Your Exec
- Working Remotely
- Operations and Workflows
- Happy Things
- Kids and COVID-19: Childcare, college closures, etc.
There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) about COVID-19 out there. Look for real stats, info from health professionals, and reputable news sources.
- CDC: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- WHO: Coronavirus disease advice for the public (COVID-19)
- Social Distancing and Self Quarantine (Johns Hopkins)
- What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus (The Atlantic)
Tips on How to Wow Your Exec
EAs, now is your time to shine! Your execs will need all the support they can get in this time of uncertainty. Proactivity and empathy are crucial right now – both to provide the best support possible and to show how valuable you are to your team.
- The Extra Mile: Now’s the Time! (Base)
- Stay One Step Ahead of Your Exec (Base)
- Manage Up! Being Proactive, Consultative, Strategic & Confident (Base)
While some EAs are used to working remotely, we know that many are used to being right outside their exec’s office, with quick access to resources. We’ve pulled together some info on best practices for working remotely.
Specifically for Assistants:
- Going Remote: 5 Tips for Executive Assistants (Base)
- 5 Tips for Assistants Working from Home (The Assistant’s List)
- The BELAY Guide to Working From Home (our partners at VA agency BELAY)
- How To Create The Perfect Work From Home Policy For Your Company In 2020 [With Template] (SnackNation)
Overall Remote Guides
- Remote Work Wiki (Notion)
- GitLab has put together an amazing set of resources for remote work, including a remote work emergency plan, tips on transitioning to remote work, and notes on what to avoid.
- Remote Work Toolkit (GoToMeeting)
- The Remote Work Survival Guide (Zapier)
- Remote Work 101
General Posts and Tips
- The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity (Forbes)
- How to work from home (The Verge)
- Panicked about working from home? Here’s how to do it right
- How to Work From Home, if You’ve Never Done It Before (NY Times)
- A Quick Security Checklist for Remote Workers (or Anyone, Really) (doist)
- 8 Tips To Make Working From Home Work For You (NPR)
- How to Work Remotely and Still Be the Best (Developers)
- For execs: What It Takes to Run a Great Virtual Meeting (HBR)
- For execs: Twitter thread on working remotely
- The Tech Headaches of Working From Home and How to Remedy Them (NY Times)
- I’ve worked from home for almost 20 years. These 6 tips make it awesome (Fast Company)
- How to Work From Home Now That Your Boss Doesn’t Want You Coming In (NY Times)
Team & Engagement
- Employee Well-being Assessment Tool (Emplify)
- Strategies to Manage Your Newly Remote Employees (NY Times)
- A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers (HBR)
- 6 ways to deal with conflict and disagreement when you work remotely (Fast Company)
- How to lead a team who is suddenly working from home (Leah Bonvissuto/LinkedIn)
- 10 Easy Ways to Keep Remote Workers Happy and Engaged (Bonusly)
- How to Build Connection and Camaraderie While Working Remotely (Lessonly)
There are so many great tools out there that facilitate remote work! Don’t be afraid to try them out – many are offering discounts or free access for the foreseeable future.
For video and conference calls
- 4 Great Tools That Make Setting Up Conference Calls a Breeze (Base)
- 25 Zoom backgrounds to spice up your next remote meeting (PLG University)
- Krisp (free plan and lowered prices)
- GoToMeeting (free services for for Health Care Providers, Educational Institutions, Municipalities & Non-Profit Organizations)
- WebEx (expanded capabilities on their free plan, plus extra content for education and healthcare professionals)
- Google Hangouts Meet (advanced features currently free)
- A Guide to Hosting Virtual Events with Zoom (Creative Mornings)
- Zoom Meeting Dos and Don’ts to Help Your Colleagues and Yourself (Inc)
For remote collaboration
- Slack is offering free upgrades to paid plans for teams working on pandemic research, response, or mitigation.
- These Slack Tips Put Productivity Back into Your Day (Plus, They’re Fun) (Base)
- Microsoft Teams (currently free for students/educators and NHS staff)
- Microsoft Teams – Best Features (Competitive Computing Consultants)
- Microsoft Teams Tutorial (LearnIt Training)
- EA Toolbox: Screen Sharing Software (Base)
- Loom (great for sharing workflows and delegating tasks – currently with removed limits on free plans and reduced prices on paid plans)
- CloudApp (great for sharing workflows and delegating tasks)
- QuizBreaker: Ice breaker game for remote teams
- Bonusly – awesome engagement and gratitude tool for remote teams. We use it at Base and love it!
- Calendly – current offering free Zoom and GoToMeeting integration
- TripIt (Pro version currently free)
- Pikup – connect with neighbors for errands and grocery trips
- A Complete Guide to International Airlines’ Coronavirus Policies (Condé Nast Traveler)
- A running list of all the hotel change and cancellation policies due to the coronavirus pandemic, including Hilton, Marriott, and Airbnb (Business Insider)
- Google’s travel search now highlights travel advisories and airline cancellation policies (TechCrunch)
Operations & Workflows
EA workflows will need to adapt during remote work and in stressful times. Some things to consider:
- Steps for Closing the Office – for the holidays, but applies now as well! (Small Business)
- Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (SBA)
- Sample Business Closing Letter (Letters.org)
- Coronavirus Business Continuity Checklist (Gov’t of Jersey)
- 5 ways to keep your customers informed about changes to your business (GoDaddy)
- COVID-19 Digital Signage Templates (pingHD)
- Employee communications and the coronavirus crisis – Helpful advice from trusted sources (Poppulo)
Most in-person meetings will need to become video or phone calls. It’s very important to distinguish what type of call each will be, and to be clear on time zones.
Sending your exec a daily digest will help make sure you are both still aligned on priorities, schedule, and project updates.
- Using Base to Create Effective Email Digests (Base)
- Email Digests: Where to Start and How to Organize (Base)
If you’re not used to working from home, it’s helpful to map out your work day/week so you can stay productive and keep boundaries on when and how you work. You’ll also want to set (and keep!) boundaries for when you work – scheduling your emails is helpful with this.
If you’re used to circulating documents (and even birthday cards around the office for signatures, you can easily switch to online versions.
- 14 of the Best Electronic Signature Apps (Hubspot)
- Sending Handwritten Cards Has Never Been Easier! (Base)
Have more time on your hands? Now is a great time to document processes, emergency procedures, contact lists, etc.
Self-care & Learning
EAs are great at taking care of other people; but it’s so important right now to take care of yourself as well. Stay healthy, manage stress, put family first.
- Manage Anxiety & Stress (CDC)
- 15 ways to practice self-care in the time of coronavirus (Quartz)
- Feeling anxious right now? These therapy apps can help you manage your mental health (Fast Company)
- 17 Ways to Feel Good at Home Right Now (Bon Appetit)
- Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit (Shine)
If you have extra time on your hands, there are plenty of free online trainings and learning opportunities!
Happy & Calm Things
Take breaks, and make sure there are moments of brightness in your day!
- Live Panda Cam (for a dose of cuteness)
- Isle Of Calm: Stream 6 Hours Of Soothing Music (NPR)
- The Calm Place (NY Times) – take a few minutes to listen, breathe, and calm your body.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams (very calming!)
- List of Live Virtual Concerts to Stream (NPR)
Kids and COVID-19: Childcare, college closures, etc.
- Temporary Nannies
- Home-Schooling Tweens and Teens During Coronavirus Closings (NY Times)
- 10 tips for working from home with your kids there, from a freelancer who’s been homeschooling her kids for 3 years (Business Insider)
- Got kids? Try these 11 quick tips for working from home while they’re with you (Fast Company)
- WFH With KIDS: A Helpful Guide For Parents Working From Home (The Officials)
- College Students: U-Haul Offers 30 Days Free Self-Storage amid Coronavirus Outbreak
- Free Printable Coloring Book (Lessonly)
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (The Kennedy Center)
- Online Art Class (Super Kickers)
- Library of Lessons for stay-at-home kids (Besquare)
- Continuously Updated List of Free Resources for Kids at Home (Girls’ Night In)
Do you want to know how Base is making it easier to go remote?
📨 Base Digest
Custom templates for daily and weekly updates, inbox reviews, trip and meeting summaries, and much more.
✅ Decision Stream
A simple question feed that allows assistants to give busy executives the ability to convey decisions in seconds.
Organize executive preferences, habits, key contacts, software, and more in a single, secure location.