I believe that remote working is the future. More and more companies are coming to realise that remote workers have an excellent work-life balance, take fewer sick days, and are more productive. So I thought I would take a moment to talk about why I love remote working, and in particular being a virtual assistant.
I have efficient, considerate working procedures that work for me
As an employee (as I was for 20+ years), you have to abide by the company policies and procedures – whether you like them or not. I have worked for companies that have:
- timed tea and bathroom breaks;
- asked staff to work in complete silence and not communicate with each other in the workplace (I worked there four months and didn’t learn a single person’s name other than my boss, it was a very strange environment!);
- told me I couldn’t wear trousers at work (that one was in the 1990s, but it serves its purpose here!);
- expected me to come in early, work late or come in on days off;
- expected me to do all of the above hours, but told me I don’t get paid overtime as its not ‘company policy’.
The list could go on forever, I am sure you have a few of your own that you could add. But one of the great things about working remotely, and working for yourself, is that you set the procedures that you wish to work by.
Of course, there will be particular things that each client will need, but that only serves to show that procedures can be moulded as necessary – they are not set in stone, they should be flexible to benefit the company/client and the employee.
I can be flexible with my hours
I remember having to come in early, take short lunches, stay late – all because I had a doctors appointment or kids school play to go to. Everything was always a rush – getting to work early, rushing lunch in half an hour, rushing to the appointment and rushing back again – it’s exhausting just thinking about it!
But now I can make my appointments and fit my working day around them. Because I know in advance (mostly, apart from ’emergency’ last minute admin jobs!) what I am likely to be doing in a week, I can book appointments sensibly, and work around them.
Of course there are days where I still start early or finish late, but that is usually by choice, and I know that I can work less the next day, or even take a day off to have a long weekend.
I love organising
Making lists, organising files, creating electronic filing systems, cleaning inboxes – you name the mundane, organisation-related task and I can guarantee you I will love to do it!
So having a job where I can take on all of those tasks that most people hate, is a dream for me!
I am doing a job I love
One of my favourite Ted talks is Gary Vaynerchuk. He did a fantastic Ted talk at the Web 2.0 Expo in 2010, about doing what you love (you can watch it here, I highly recommend it).
I have worked in administration since leaving school more than 20 years ago, aside from 5 years working in fundraising – in which time I did a surprising amount of administration! I have always loved what I do, but sometimes not the company I work for, the environment, or the colleagues.
Now everyday I get up and do a job I love, in an ever-changing environment of new clients, new tasks and new joys.
I am meeting new, interesting people all the time
I love the idea that I could meet as many people as possible, and find out what they want, what they need, and whether I can help them. The very idea of doing that blows my mind.
And so I find myself in a job where I can constantly meet new and interesting people, whether they are clients nearby I can meet for coffee, or people on the other side of the world who are connected via social media.
I love this aspect of being a virtual assistant.
I feel satisfied at a job well done
Working for an employer, we rarely feel valued. We rarely feel like we have genuinely done a good job, and come away that day feeling proud of our aachievements.
But I know that through each step of my clients journey – from the first meeting, through consultation and initial work, right through to completion – I know that I have done my absolute best, 100%, and I can feel proud and satisfied with my work. And as a virtual assistant, I hold myself accountable, so am always striving to do my best!
I don’t have to commute
Now I have to admit, I am one of those people who quite likes the journey, the commute – it’s a great time to read or catch up on blogs, news, etc. But there are two things I never liked about commuting to work.
The first is the inevitable delay of the bus or train, which causes us to feel stressed and upset before we even start our day.
The second is the time that I inevitably spent fretting about a task I could be doing, if I weren’t stuck on a bus or train. I remember being stuck on a train to Manchester, delayed by two hours and counting, and in my head I was going through all the things that were sat on my desk that needed doing, and being annoyed that I couldn’t do them because I wasn’t there yet.
I can work anywhere, anytime
I am not bound to working 9-5 Monday to Friday. I could stick to that if I wanted to, but I am always open to my clients if they need me to do something quickly in the evening or at the weekend.
I am also not bound to working from home – armed with a laptop and my phone, I can work from anywhere with a decent internet connection!
I get to learn new skills, while enhancing old ones
I have always loved to learn new things, and have a long list of mini distance courses behind me to prove it! While being a virtual assistant, I can learn new skills and take on new tasks. And there is always something new to learn!
There is immense potential
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the idea that this role has infinite potential. I can work with clients from anywhere – from my own community to the other side of the world. And as there are new businesses launching every minute of every day, there are an infinite number of possibilities out there just waiting to be siezed.
And there you have 10 things I love about being a Virtual Assistant
This list actually started with just three items on it. But as I began to write, and think about my work, I realised there are so many more things I love about this job. And I am only just getting started.
Get in touch today to find out what I can do for your business.