I don’t wish anything bad upon you at all, but I do wish to share my own experience with you, and the reason why my posts suddenly stopped their usual 2-3 times a week. I had preposted when my husband and I were away on holiday with intentions to write more once I was back in my office. However, my husband had a serious accident at the end of Easter and ended up in hospital and I was in somewhat a stressed state – understandably. The past week has been a blur of visits in and out of a hospital which is 50kms away, meaning that some days I was travelling up to 200kms a day just to go in and out of the hospital.
He was just shifted to rehab last night but on Friday when visiting him we discussed the need for me to continue in my business and also the need to see him every day.
One of my Virtual Assistant team members also has a husband in hospital. He’s been in for many weeks and has ongoing medical needs that takes him in and out of hospital. I asked her how she coped with running her business and seeing her husband regularly. She shared with me how she works from morning through to mid afternoon and then makes her trek to the hospital each day to spend the evening with her husband. This made sense to me and I plan to do the same from today (Monday) onwards.
With respect to my husband’s injury, it relates to his spinal cord, and while we’ve been told 95% of people with this type of injury do recover, we’ve also been told it can be weeks or months. So I have no idea how long it will be before he is back home, let alone allowed to return to work. It would seem I will be in for at least 2 or 3 ‘new routines’ before life returns to some sort of normality for us.
And so, working at home means that I am able to make the time, or take the time, to visit my husband each day, without also having the need to travel to a job, explain to a boss, or stress about how much compassionate leave I might be entitled to. However, given that last comment, working at home for myself also means I don’t have paid leave available to me and I do have clients who need me to be available, so it’s important to ensure I manage my time and keep people informed of when I might not be available.
If you’re running a Virtual Assistant business it is important to make sure that you keep control of the number of hours you put in and that clients can depend on you when it counts. When you have a need to take back a bit of time for yourself, ensuring that your clients are still being looked after is important and having a team of VAs to lean on is important. I am grateful that my team are there for me to handle the phone, look after emails, and ensure that things were being tended to, in my sudden urgent need to be absent.
Don’t wait for an emergency to happen before you set systems in place – do it now and make it a habit. Systems will help you keep your business running when something out of the ordinary happens and you need to withdraw for a period of time.