Interview to Lisa Tennant

Lisa Tennant is the CEO of a Virtual Assistant Agency and works for L.T. VA Services as a freelance. You can find her on Linkedin and Instagram.

Lisa Tennant1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?:

During the September lockdown of 2020 I realised I wanted to take back control of my life. I asked myself what would make me happy and I decided I wanted to travel. In order to do that, I needed a job I could do from anywhere so I became a virtual assistant. In 2021 I started my own company. I homeschooled my boys, put my house on Airbnb, and moved into a static caravan to free up funds to travel. Since then, we’ve toured the UK for 3 months in a touring caravan, visited Croatia and Belgium, and spent 5 months touring South East Asia with my husband and children all whilst working remotely.

2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?:

The freedom to work from anywhere. I worked 8 hours ahead of the UK for 5 months and found that I had so much more freedom because I got to enjoy whole days with my family, whilst the UK was still sleeping, then, I would start work in the evening. I love how you can choose your hours and swap and change to suit your life, nothing has to be rigid.

3. Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?:

I think the biggest disadvantage is not having other people around you, there’s no office jokes and banter. It can be a lonely place but it depends on your personality too. I’ve worked remotely for the last 20 years and by nature, am quite an introvert so it really suits me.

4. From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favorite ones?:

The list is very long! I’ve worked from cities all over the UK and then from countries:
Belgium
Dubai
Thailand
Vietnam
Cambodia
Singapore
The Philippines
Indonesia
Japan
Los Angeles
Paris
Malaysia
Spain

Bali in Indonesia was my favourite

5. From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?:

I’ve literally worked from so many locations. I love working from home but also I have a favourite coffee shop in my hometown. I’ve worked from beaches and really enjoyed that, from a touring caravan in the awning which was good fun, and sometimes if I take my children out for the day, from picnic benches.

6. What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?:

South Africa would be next on my list but we are also planning a road trip, touring Europe.

7. What advice would you give to overcome the main challenges of working remotely? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!:

I bought an iPad mini for travelling so that I could plan day trips during a normal working day without taking time off and then could work during journeys to destinations, breaks, and lunch breaks. This would often mean less work to do in the evenings but it also gave the impression to my clients who were on the other side of the world, that I was still responsive. if travelling to places outside the EU, invest in a sim or esim which you can use for data so that you can hotspot off your phone and have wifi wherever you go. When working from home, create a space that feels separate from the rest of the house and be strict with yourself. Don’t be tempted to go off and start doing housework. Explain to your family that when you’re in the office, that means you’re at work so they should pretend you aren’t even there. This helps prevent blurring the lines between home and work life. Invest in a good organisational system. I love using Asana.

8. What tools do you use and are your favorites to work remotely?:

I couldn’t live without Asana, I do everything with it. Canva would be next on the list followed by ChatGPT and Zoom. I use Active Campaign for my CRM and automate as many of my processes as possible.

9. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?:

I hired an accountant from day one and they deal with all of the finances. I try to plan one and a half days per week to concentrate on business growth and strategies, whilst the rest of the time is spent on working for my clients.

10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?:

If you’re a company, make sure to keep in regular contact with employees and have a well-being centred approach. Check in often and arrange face-to-face meet-ups. For solopreneurs embrace freedom. If you like to be around people look at co-working spaces. If you don’t mind being alone, mix up your environment by working from various locations. Enjoy the freedom of being able to work from anywhere and take full advantage of it.

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