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With the current Corona virus outbreak and recommendations to self-isolate, working from home may become more and more common practice among businesses. As with any change, some find it hard to adopt but some are willing to embrace it and give it a go. Who knows, they might even think it’s fantastic and be more open to flexible working in the future. Let’s be honest, not everyone can work from home though. We still need shop assistants, nurses, doctors and others in customer facing roles. Unfortunately the same people are also the most disadvantaged and in danger of being infected.


For those who are freelancers or self-employed, this is what their Monday to Friday looks like every week. There are a number of reasons why working from home can be a great option for small business owners.


Some people love working from home, including me. I quite enjoy having no one around and getting things done. I am a morning person and love working in the morning and getting things done in the first half of the day. I hate commuting to the office. Especially when I do not live that far from the city and my journey from door to door normally just takes me 35 minutes but with disruptions in the train service, it can take me over an hour or even two hours. Let’s be honest- that is complete waste of time. The time I could spend on getting stuff done. The time I never get back.


Let's look at some of the pros and cons of working from home.


Pros of working from home:

  • As mentioned before, one of the biggest pros about working from home is no commute to and from work. Personally, I spend at least an hour and half commuting daily and that’s a short commute. On average, it works out 7.5 hours a week which is actually a whole working day. So technically, if we wanted, we could fit in another 7.5 hours work a week or increase our own personal family time.

  • Flexibility. You can fit your work around your personal life. You can put a washing on when you grab yourself a sandwich or you are having a break. You can pop out for 10 minutes to take your furry friends for a walk or do your shopping online. You can decide to work when you are most productive and when you don’t feel like dressing up, you can work in your pyjamas and no one judges, unless you have a virtual meeting. Then you better put a shirt on.

  • You can save money. Without commuting to work Monday to Friday, you can save at least $160-200 a month. Not to mention, all these coffees or lunches you have on top of your commute. Plus all the money you spend on work clothes. I spend $40 a week on commute and probably around $30 on coffees and lunches. That will work out $3360 a year. Well, it’s not exactly a big overseas trip but could probably stretch to a week in South East Asia for sure.

  • Better work-life balance. Some people may find hard to balance their personal lives and working lives and having enough time for both. Working from home may help you find that balance, especially if you can do some personal tasks simultaneously to your work tasks.


Cons of working from home:

  • As already mentioned, you need a lot of self-discipline to get things done and keep yourself motivated when at home.

  • It’s hard to separate personal time from work time. Whilst working from home, you should still stick to your normal breaks: take 10-15 min every now and then to just walk away from your desk, get some fresh air, rest your eyes, have a lunch and finish work on time you would normally finish.

  • It can be lonely- people who are used to being surrounded by people and talking to others around them, may find it isolating and quite hard to adjust to being on their own. You can ring people as you would ring them in the office. Utilise Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime. You can still participate in meetings by using technical solutions and your electronic device.

  • You lose living space. As much it can be quite good sitting on the sofa with your laptop in your pyjamas, it’s probably not a good idea in long term. You should have a dedicated work space at home or an office space where you can focus on getting things done and feel productive. You should not mix your living area with your work space. Even though hanging around in pyjamas whole day may sound good too, and sometimes you may even do that, it’s probably best to get dressed into somewhat casual Friday outfit that will make you feel like you are actually at work.

  • Relationships are harder to form. When working from home, it may be harder for you to communicate with your colleagues and build those vital relationships.

As you can see- working from home has some advantages and disadvantages and whether this is for you in long term, depends on the person.


In meanwhile, with the pandemic when everyone is in lock down or self-isolating, this is the way forward.



I initially thought about becoming a virtual assistant a few years ago but then I got a new exciting job and I continued working full time.


Last year I revisited the idea, did a quick course and joined the network of other likeminded people out there on this journey.

I had been working as an Executive Assistant for years so why not continue to do what I like, I thought.


"Who is a virtual assistant (VA)?” you ask. VA is a freelance business support specialist offering businesses a variety of administrative services remotely from home.

VA is technically part of your team but they are not your staff. You don’t pay their wages nor contribute to their super fund. You are not reliable to pay them when they are off on leave or when they are not well. You literally just pay them for the hours they work for you. Did you know there is also no office related expense: no phone or a desk space, no PC or a laptop. VA has their own home office and looks after their own equipment. You even sign an official working agreement.


Virtual Assistant can help you with regular business tasks or with a one off project. Do you need someone to help you organise that exhibition or a conference? Do you need someone to look after your books, manage your social media accounts or take care of your calendar and emails? Maybe you have an Airbnb listing(s) that require looking after. VA can do all that and more.


Not sure how many hours you need a virtual assistant for? Perhaps start by writing a list of regular tasks you need help with and how many hours would this give back to you to focus on what you love and what you really need to do to take your business further. It can only be as little as 3 hours a week or maybe you need a little more and for 10 hours a week someone can take of all things admin.


Virtual Assistant is ideal for a sole trader and an entrepreneur who is a Marketing Manager, CEO, Finance Manager and a PA all in one.  Instead of losing sleep and never having time for friends and family, you could outsource some of your tasks. You will probably feel happier and more productive and you will love being your own boss.


In Australia, majority of business consists of sole traders and small businesses. I see the percentage of businesses using a VA in the future go up significantly in next few years. Hiring a VA is a cost effective solution to outsourcing without employing and training staff, spending time on supervision and following work place regulations.


Where do you find a VA? I recommend starting from Instagram and Facebook, Many VAs are online and on social media. Or you can just contact me to discuss more. 😊


I just thought, it would be nice to start from the beginning and tell you a little about myself.

Originally born in Estonia, lived years in London and now an honorary Aussie, somehow I have always loved to organise or a project manage. It’s like baking a cake- eventually you see the end result, the finished product, the goal, and when you do it properly, you get to be proud of yourself and it makes you feel good.


I love the Monday to Friday routine and weekends off to enjoy my life. I wouldn’t change the routine. If anything, I would like to increase my free time but hey - I am working on it.

Throughout the years, I have worked in a variety of administrative roles from real estate advertising portal to national non-profit organisation and higher education institution, with my latest role being the Executive Assistant to the GM and some Associate Deans.

I like to consider myself as an entrepreneur and in addition to my full time role, I have always had a side hustle. Amongst other things I have ran a catering business and managed an online wedding gift business, so I have an excellent knowledge how to set up a businesses from the scratch and processes involved.


I am very organised and efficient at doing things and always deliver positive outcomes. People know me for getting things done. I love helping others to reach their goals.

I am big supporter of continuous change and innovation and embrace a new technology that makes our lives easier.


Despite my experience being mainly in a corporate type of organisations, I am more passionate about working with individuals and small businesses and helping them grow.

I am a lover of all things food and wine. Would absolutely love to work with people in the industry. I also love flowers, photography, traveling and I am big about health and fitness.




Regards,

Kairi









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