Canadian winters are long, and you can usually find me in my office, wrapped up in a large blanket working away until the early hours of the morning. The sun doesn’t come out much so who can keep track of time? But it seems we are (usually) rewarded with incredible summers and falls. Let’s hope this year is just as warm and sunny as last year!
When summer comes around, I am especially thankful that my career allows me to work remotely from almost anywhere. Even from the cottage or on the dock, I can hot-spot my cellphone and work from my laptop. With modern technology I can manage my business from anywhere.
What Does a Virtual Admin Do?
I’m a Virtual Admin, or Virtual Assistant. I specialize in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses with some of their day-to-day work that can be done remotely. This helps reduce their workload so they can concentrate on running their business. I am also a WordPress website developer, building affordable websites for small businesses. And other work that can be done remotely like social media marketing, blogging, newsletters, etc.
Benefits to Working Remotely:
Limited Time Spent in Traffic:
- Less emissions
- A happier, healthier me!
Limited Costs on Expenses:
- Automotive repairs
- Take-out food & packaging
Limited Use of Utilities:
- I rarely use lighting during daytime, and only light one room during the evenings
- Make a habit of turning lights and power bars off when not in use (even for a few minutes)
Because I am consuming less I am reducing my environmental impact. I use less gas, less parts & chemicals for automotive repair, less plastic and waste from take-out food containers, less utilities, etc. Less really is more!
Potential Downsides to Working Remotely?
I know you’re thinking there have to be downsides to being a Virtual Admin and working remotely, and I’m sure there could be unless you get a little creative.
I agree that even for a Virtual Admin, the first few initial meetings with clients should be in person. Face to face meetings strengthen the connections necessary to work together remotely. You can reduce travel time by planning your meetings at off-peak rush hour times, meeting halfway, or taking public transit. Once you’ve made the personal connection, there’s no reason not to continue to work remotely together.
Utilize Free Remote Conference Tools: Skype, Zoom & Join.Me
Instead of driving to a coffee shop for a one hour meeting several times per month, use virtual tools like Skype or Zoom for conference calls. If you need to share the screen so you can both look at your work, Join.Me is a great free resource which lets you do just that and even control the other user’s mouse.
I have had great success with these methods in growing relationships with customers, and being more efficient. No more time lost sitting in traffic after the meeting – you can get right back to work!
Work-Life Balance – Finding What Works for You
The biggest plus for me in regards to working from home is the freedom found in my work-life balance. My typical workday is from 8am – 10pm. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m working the whole time. I usually take 1-2 hours off in the middle to exercise and eat lunch. Then another 1 hour in the evening for dinner. If you think about it, these 3 hours are just over the amount of time I would spend sitting in traffic trying to get to/from an office.
Thoughts for the Future – Mandatory 1 Day Remotely
In the future, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more careers with remote capabilities. If organizations could structure their positions in such a way that maybe one day per week is dedicated to data entry – this way, one day per week could be spent working remotely. Imagine that just this one day of remote work could have such an impact on reducing emissions, waste, and improving people’s overall quality of life. I’m not saying we need a three-day weekend (although it would be nice) but just a day when our office comes a little closer to home.
Wouldn’t you love to work remotely one day per week? I’d love to hear how this could change your work-life balance in the comments below.
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Until next time,