Work contently, work smarter with a VA

By Fiona Portway, Bay Tree VA
Since joining Bay Tree VA, my role has evolved from being a virtual assistant to a broader, managerial role which includes shaping the team with the right skills, experience, and personalities.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Spring 2021
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Bay Tree VA: Work Smarter

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive shift to remote working for a lot of people.  At Bay Tree VA, this style of work was the norm for us, so our working life did not change but the perceptions of others to remote working did.

Being a VA can be a lonely experience

When someone new looks to join us, our first question is ‘why do you want to be a VA’?  Usually, the answer is around flexibility and the opportunity to work around other responsibilities or projects. However, flexibility can have a flipside of peaks and troughs in workload, so we have to make sure our VAs are in a position to cope with that.

If they are used to working in a large organisation where they have support and companionship, then being on their own can be harder than they expect.  That is why we provide our VAs with IT support, training on new systems, processes, and good practice which they can then share with their clients.

Being there for each other

We have an ethos of supporting each other and Sharon, our team co-ordinator, is available for them to contact at any time.  But for our VAs to be truly content, matching them with the right clients is key, which is why we look for certain characteristics that we know our clients will value. This then makes for a gratifying working relationship for everyone. 

But more importantly than all the above, is the feeling of being part of a team, so no-one feels isolated – we have done boot camps, pub quizzes, drinks, dinners and even goat yoga!   We have become friends.

Photo of Fiona taken by Warren Page

Fiona Portway is Director at Bay Tree VA. For more information on how their team can release time for you to develop your business get in touch at E:  
T: 01284 828974
or visit

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