Franchisees share how they are adjusting to the new normal
As more of the UK turns to self-isolation and social distancing, balancing personal and professional lives with home-schooling and other duties, remaining positive through these trying times is paramount.
In this new series, we speak with franchisees and franchisors from across the UK to find out how they are coping with “the new normal”.
We speak with Marie Peters, Get Ahead VA franchisee West Surrey, about flexible working and virtual collaborations.
On working from home with children
“Working from home with kids around is definitely a challenge – balancing both work and personal lives, all within the same space. Our kitchen is no longer just somewhere we eat but an office space and classroom too. I am amazed at how quickly we, the businesses and our families alongside us, have adapted to the new normal.
“Workwise, I have been busy sharing our expertise on home working to those recently adopting it and helping clients with video conference software, managing social media content, customer communications and other projects. Get Ahead VA founder, Rebecca Newenham, has also introduced a weekly call on Microsoft Teams for the entire Get Ahead team of over forty virtual assistants and seven franchisees, so we can all catch up, share what we’re working on and how we’re feeling and generally support each other during these challenging times.
“For me, being organised is important, planning out time for both work and the kids during the day and then maintaining the boundaries between work and school. I do try and write a to-do list the night before as it helps me keep on track. I am a believer in tackling the hardest job first where possible as getting it done makes me feel motivated for the rest of the day. I make sure we regularly reward ourselves for tasks achieved, whether it’s work completed, or school projects finished.”
On staying positive
“To stay positive, I have been making the most of the beautiful sunshine this week on our daily exercise and in the garden. Stepping away from the desk is so important to maintain a sense of perspective. Although these are difficult times, it has been uplifting to see so many small businesses adapting their service offerings and products, demonstrating how agile and forward-thinking they can be. I really hope that some good can come out of this crisis and it becomes a turning point for flexible working. There is and always will be a need for quality face-to-face meetings and interaction, but virtual collaboration is becoming more commonplace and valued.”