Working from home online as a freelance Virtual Assistant can be amazing. The school run is done and you’re straight home with the kettle on and laptop powering up. No time is wasted and the extra hour which might have been spent on a commute is put to much better use. It’s earning you some Virtual Assistant fees!
But some days it feels too much! When there are piles of washing everywhere, the breakfast dishes on the side, beds still to make and toys in disarray, staying in the same four walls as all the mess, to work from home can feel completely overwhelming.
I have worked from home online as a Virtual Assistant for nearly seven years now and have mixed my workspaces up in that time. It all depends on the mood I am in and what I have going on. In this blog, I am going to share with you my favourite alternatives to working from home online…..
I was a trainer in the hospitality industry for a number of years before I started my Virtual Assistant business. My time was spent travelling around the North-West, visiting learners in the workplaces. I was accustomed to sitting in bars, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, pubs, cafes, nightclubs, even chippies whilst having learner appointments and doing observations etc. I would be there with a laptop open and a coffee to hand!
Sitting in coffee shops felt like an obvious choice for mixing things up when I first had daytime hours available to me when my daughter started nursery. For the price of a latte, you have wifi, warmth in winter and access to a socket! Top tip – check the wifi is working before you buy a coffee and settle in! My client got caught out this week when she moved house. She went to a coffee shop to do some work. But she found out the wifi was down…..after she had paid!!!
The downsides for me are not being able to leave all my belongings unattended whilst I nip to the toilet. And some days, I just need quiet and can’t ignore the noise. However it’s a great option for if I have a few life admin jobs to do locally. I’ll drop the kids off at school, head to a coffee shop in my local town and do a couple of hours work before running the errands.
I am such a huge fan of this. I am lucky to have some great options within just a few miles of where I live.
My favourite is a local business centre. It comprises of a number of serviced offices plus two micro pod hot desks. The pods are located down the end of a corridor and I choose to speak to no one all day! Yes there are people around if you use the kitchen etc, but whilst in your pod, you are out of reach and I LOVE it! Time is so precious in my two freelance days per week. Whilst the kids are in school, my priority is to blast through as must as I can so I am free for running them to their activities in the evenings. I want to focus and the complete lack of distraction enables this for me!
I had previously tried co-working spaces which consist of a number of hot desks in a big open-plan office. This was lovely but in a different way. It felt very inclusive and I could see work opportunities coming from the connections you would make with the other people sharing the space. But on balance, it was not ideal for my own personal circumstances. You see I am a chatter and need no encouragement to get involved in conversations around me! But when I am doing my Virtual Assistant work, I really need to work and not chat as time is most definitely money when it’s your own freelance business.
Anywhere there is Wifi!
Ok so this is a bit broad I know, but I’ll explain!
The flexibility of working from home online means that really, wherever there is wifi and a socket, I can work! I have been known to work whilst I house-sit for family when they are out at work/on holiday and expecting a delivery. I am also able to sit in a cafe at soft play during school holidays and crack on with some emails whilst the kids burn off energy. Most frequently I am to be found in the cafe at my daughters’ dance school. We are there five days a week and it makes sense to get on with some light work whilst they are in lessons!
You may prefer a combo!
Do you prefer to sit in different places at home depending on which tasks you’re doing? Some tasks demand a desk whereas others suit the sofa best! Choosing a workspace outside the home is similar. It’s going to largely depend on what you have planned in and what mood you are in. Some tasks need silence, others will feel better with background noise.
BUT isn’t that just in a nutshell the beautiful thing about working from home online for yourself. It’s your business, you get to choose!
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