It is vital that we develop the best possible structure and environment to be able to support those who seek our assistance
The Travelling Assistant
This last couple of months have been interesting in terms of planning and developing the service; forms, insurance, bank accounts.
Constantly reading and trying to keep up to speed with life as a virtual assistant (VA), learning new things every day, joining VA groups, watching webinars for ideas, support and encouragement. It’s all very surreal but exciting at the same time.
Also, supporting other VA’s who, like me, are starting up. It’s a nice feeling when you can help others, or give encouragement when they are not quite ‘on-board’ with everything. There is a lot to take in, but working as a community is very comforting and also reassuring that we are on the right track.
Marilyn explains why she decided to set up The Travelling Assistant…
Working for a global company has its benefits, although has its drawbacks too. The connections to, or even working for company leaders across the world may sound impressive but not if you remain at your local office with no option to meet face-to-face. Every task you do connects you via the technology and any human contact is limited, and restricted due to time zones, particularly if you have a 9-5 contract. I have always enjoyed travelling and my annual leave gives me the opportunity to travel to interesting places. But all too soon, it is time to return, already thinking of the next destination and the next break.
During 2020, however, we were all forced to work from home and even the local office was out of bounds. Yet the work continued remotely, with both leaders and their team members separated from the working environment. This way of working became the new normal, although in many ways it stayed the same as only the location changed. Some people were not so lucky and found working away from the office extremely challenging, and that’s when I started putting my plan into action.
I liked the idea of being virtual, and the freedom to choose my hours. With this type of flexibility, I could be anywhere in the world completing tasks and helping me to achieve the much desired work-life balance. We found that with modern technology, it is not necessary to be in a physical environment, using valuable time travelling to and from the office. A number of clients already knew me, were interested in what I was trying to achieve and excited by the prospects of being able to seek admin support as and when required.
The Travelling Assistant was borne out of a crisis, and the need to consider new ways of working – and offers opportunities for collaboration with associate assistants seeking job satisfaction, flexibility and an interest in enhancing their skills and working environment.