Working Remotely Is So Much Better For Me

Working Remotely Is So Much Better For Me

This year will mark five years since I opened Format Services, it was slow to begin with as I juggled part-time work with existing clients. It meant I would leave home at 7:00am to head to the office, get back home at 2:00pm to cook dinner for the boys and get back to work.

I am not quite sure how I even did it, but I knew that it would pay off eventually. Crunch time came when my workplace was looking at extending my hours and I just knew that I loved what I had going on as a side hustle more. I bit the bullet and chose to hand in my notice and try my hand at freelancing.

I said I would give myself a year, if it did not work out, I would head back into the world and secure another role, after all I was skilled having started my work history as an Office Junior right up to Executive level across various industries.

What I love about working remotely is:

Freedom & Flexibility

I have so much more freedom and flexibility. As I am an Autism mum, I juggle many appointments for my son and always felt a pang of guilt when needing time off of work or having to rush straight back. Now I am able to look at my workload and see what I can move around to incorporate motherhood without the added stress.

Travel Costs

Living in London is quite expensive to live in, compared to some of the other cities in the UK so saving on travel is great. London transport (TFL) put their prices up each year and most of my employment have been spent working in and around Central London, sometimes it felt like I was just paying for the privilege of working in Zone 1.

Location

I work from home so the perfect location for me. Prior to the world going into lockdown, I would spend many days out and about sitting in cute coffee shops, and just working away for hours. My client base has increased dramatically since then, with so much variety. I got myself a new desk and now have two monitors to keep me on track………two screens are priceless (thank me later).

Although we are able to roam freely now, I still enjoy working from home but try to pick one day a week to head to a co-working space. I signed up to &Co. Life who has some gorgeous co-working spaces dotted around London. This also allows me to network with other members and create new relationships with those whether in or outside of my industry, I actually met a client at a co-working space.

Productivity

My day begins at 5:00am every morning. Chaos normally begins at around 6:30am so it is nice to be able to get up, have a hot drink and collect my thoughts on how my day is going to run while the house is peaceful.

I always write my to-do list the night before or on a Friday afternoon before I sign off, so I always know what needs to be done when I sit down at my desk. I have failed once or twice in creating my to-do list in advance, this never ends well if truth be told!

Overall, I think the best thing for me about working remotely is my work/life balance. I have a much better handle on things in regard to work, family and friends. I can choose my own hours ensuring I never scrimp on the quality of my work. I have managed to build strong working relationships with my clients who really trust me and the things that they want my support with.

For that I am extremely grateful and love what I do, knowing that I am contributing to another business’ growth in a small way, fills me with content and gives me that lil pat on the back, that I made the right choice.

Let’s Create That Level Playing Field, It’s Overdue

Let’s Create That Level Playing Field, It’s Overdue

I often say to myself, where would my children be without me, they look at me as though I am superwoman and some days I really feel that I am. Walking tall, chest puffed out. Dad is on hand but mum, there is something about mum, she knows everything. Truth be told and we have all been there, here are some days when I just want 2 minutes to myself and other times (more often than not) where I am falling over backwards to please them.

We owe so much to the women in our lives whichever role that they play, mother, auntie, sister, cousin etc. Today marks International Women’s day and it is a day of celebration for the accomplishments, the determination and the doors which are being kicked down.

Today marks International Women’s Day and it is a day of celebration. We are celebrating the incredible women that juggle it all, and usually juggling it all with a smile on their faces.

I love offering the services that I provide and supporting great women in leadership roles. I could not imagine doing anything else.

I admire many women, including:

  1. Rosa Parks, the American activist
  2. Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul
  3. Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of USA
  4. Brené Brown, Author and Public speaker
  5. Malal Yousafzai, Young Activist
  6. Nadene Martin, the author of this blog (yep, that’s right!)

These women should be celebrated daily as they have all inspired so many of us, to reach for the stars and be unapologetic about being a woman.

How will you be celebrating today? I have organized an e-coffee date with some girlfriends over Zoom, we are going to share some good news stories and things we are most proud of. There will be no apologies here, did somebody say big up yourself sis?

Although things are changing, there is still a long way to go for many across the globe. In various countries, women are seen as not equal and it is really about creating a level playing field for everyone regardless of your gender.

Taken from the International Women’s Day website Imagine a gender-equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Celebrate women’s achievements. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

My favourite quote is from Michelle Obama, it goes:

Here’s to Strong Women
May We Be Them
May We Know Them
May We Raise Them

This resonates so much with me. I admire each one of my clients in very different ways and you can tell I do, I am one of their biggest cheerleaders when good things happen. My client base is full of hardworking, creative female leaders who put their heart and soul into growing their businesses.

For the next 24 hours, I am offering 15% off my 10-hour package to women in business. Book in your slot today.

 

Farewell 2021

Farewell 2021

Gosh, what a year, I cannot even begin to think about 2022 as it feels like a massive gust of wind came along and swept the year away. It feels weird to even be writing one last blog post that will close 2021.

I have been thinking about how I have spent my year and I have done so much despite the pandemic. There are so many others within the VA industry doing what you do out there and that should not make you feel inferior to anyone, so focus on yourself and go at your own pace. I joined so many groups on Facebook and followed profiles on Instagram wanting to drown myself in knowledge and truth be told, I overdid it. Everyone is going to do things differently and that’s OK. Nobody is me at the end of the day, my clients work with me because I am awesome (obvs) and have the skills that they require. We often find ourselves selling our services when people ‘buy’ from people, shine bright like the diamond that you are!  

Throughout the year, I understood that to move forward within the business I had to really drill down on what I love doing as opposed to what would bring in the most money. If you don’t love what you do, why are you doing it? I refined my packages, added new services, removed some services, said no to various work that did not bring me joy and it felt so good within my heart.  

I am 110% confident in all the packages I offer, my rates and the value that I bring to my client base. Having the right skill set to support overwhelmed business owners is such a great feeling. Knowing that I have contributed to their growth and sharing the same vision in even a tiny way, makes all the difference.  

Small business owners usually take on Virtual Assistants as soon as the workload increases or the overwhelm is too much, you do not have to wait until the eleventh hour to grab yourself some support. Since the pandemic struck, we have (Virtual Assistants that is) been in popular demand, this has continued throughout, and I love that we are no longer seen as an unnecessary expense. As I tell all my clients, see us as an investment for your business and believe me we really are. Each VA will bring something different; some are traditional like looking after your day-to-day affairs, and others may be techier whereby they can take care of websites, podcasts etc. Whatever your needs are, there is someone out there for you.  

If you have been thinking about it for a while, or are ready to take the leap then feel free to book a discovery call with me to discuss your needs. If you are unsure, we can brainstorm together, two heads are always better than one.  

See you on the other side!