Life as a virtual assistant – the benefits of flexible working
The team at Get Ahead VA have been working flexibly for a decade. Get Ahead VA was founded in 2010 by Rebecca Newenham, who was aware of both businesses’ need for flexible workers, and the workers’ need for flexible opportunities. Here in 2020, the agency meets both these requirements, providing businesses with scalable support and the virtual assistants with a manageable workload.
Rebecca and the team have learned a lot about flexible working in the last decade. In this blog, we look at the benefits of flexible working, and what a difference it’s made to the people who do it.
Choose your own hours
We never mind what hours the VAs keep, as long as the work gets done. Early birds might start at 6 am, while night owls prefer to burn the midnight oil. Crucially, there’s no pressure to stick to office hours, stopping work when you’re just getting into it, or turning up before the building has opened.
Many of the VAs are parents. Those with tinies often choose to work at nap time and in the evening, while those with teenagers work in the morning before the kids surface at noon. Being able to work around our families is one of the main reasons our team members have turned to flexible working – they’ve found a way that works for them.
Improve your work/life balance
Work is important, but so are life, family, health, exercise and interests. Flexible working gives us time to be fulfilled by life as well as by work. If we want to squeeze all our work into four days and then spend a day with a friend, we can – and we can do it without feeling guilty about it. We can start the day with exercise or meditation and work more productively because of it. We can go to the school play, support our partners at hospital appointments, play with our pets and generally be there for those we love best.
Working is supposed to be what we do, but it’s easy for it to become who we are as well. When we work flexibly, however, it is easier to find time to do the things that make us who we are. We can discover ourselves through interests, hobbies and voluntary work and find our place in the world. A strong sense of self will build resilience and protect us against burnout.
Flexible workers win in life. Why? Because they make their own decisions: they are in control of hours, rates, workload and free time. This is very empowering and can help us grow in confidence. Once we have realised we don’t just have to follow the herd, we start to see what we’re capable of. And if one of life’s storms blows up, we have all the skills to deal with it.
Increase your productivity
All of these benefits help our work too. When our life and work are in balance, we can keep a sense of proportion – this means reduced stress and increased productivity. Flexible workers are usually more relaxed and more interesting – sought after by clients and an asset to any team.
At Get Ahead VA, we are great believers in flexible working – not as a sacrifice but as a positive career decision. We have seen how working flexibly has not only helped talented people with real lives but also how it’s translated into a high standard of work for our clients.
Rebecca Newenham founded outsourcing agency Get Ahead in 2010. After 7 years of successfully growing her award-winning agency, she welcomed her first franchisee in 2017 and is growing her regional franchised offices across the UK. To learn more about the franchise visit getaheadva.