Remote Work Story of A Freelance Virtual Assistant: Ma. Clarissa

Remote Work Stories
1 August, 2021
Ma. Clarissa Halili

Key Highlights

  • Ma. Clarissa Halili is able to manage a team of 15 people while working remotely.
  • Ma. Clarissa Halili shares that focus is very important for working remotely.
  • Ma. Clarissa Halili has traveled to Singapore, Philippines (Manila, Cavite, Laguna) while working remotely.

Ma. Clarissa Halili has shared her remote working experience with us.

What’s your profession, what do you do?

Project Coordinator - Virtual Assistant

What company do you work for? Are you a freelancer or Digital Nomad?


How did you start with a remote work journey?

I had to resign from my BPO job because of health issues. After 2 months I got pregnant with twins. I already had one kid at that time so I opted to try to work from home instead since I have no one to help me take care of them and it’s hard to get a job when you are an undergraduate with a medical condition.

What do you think are the main benefits of working remotely?

  1. Time and money savings: No need to spend time and effort commuting in traffic and there’s no need to prepare or spend for lunch.
  2. Ability to choose projects or clients to work with
  3. Having the freedom to manage your time like when you want to start work, how long your break should be and when to end your shift.

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

  1. Network connection is slow especially when there is a typhoon.
  2. Feeling socially isolated

From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favourite countries or cities to work from?

Singapore, Philippines (Manila, Cavite, Laguna)

From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, co-working spaces, coffee shops or others?


What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?

Japan and Coron, Palawan

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!

Loss of work-life balance: You need to be really good with managing your time and multi-tasking. Make sure you are focused on work 100% even if your time is flexible. It would be helpful to have your own workspace to avoid distractions such as kids, pets, TV and noises outside your residence. However, when your timer is off, make sure you are mindful and present for your family and yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating at the right time so as not to affect productivity.

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What tools you use to improve productivity and manage work efficiently?

Basecamp, Hubstaff, GSuite

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

Not all freelancers are obliged to pay taxes in the Philippines. There are clear conditions that determine a freelance worker’s required tax compliance. I am exempted because of the Additional Personal Exemption rule.

What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely?

  1. Be open. Don’t be afraid to try. Hope but don’t expect.
  2. Listen. Appreciate constructive criticisms and feedback.
  3. Be grateful. Never burn bridges with clients/colleagues for you’ll never know when you’ll cross that bridge again.

Would you like to share any interesting stories while you worked remotely? Please share if you can.

I learned to manage my time well and also my work ethic improved compared to when I was working in the office. I knew nothing when I first started working remotely, I even got scammed. I learned by self studying tools & apps and I had a client who was very patient and cared enough for me to learn things at my own pace. Learned a lot from all his constructive criticisms and feedback until eventually I was able to handle a team of 15 people and also became a trainer for other Virtual Assistants.

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Keywords: remote work success stories, live remotely, tips working remotely, work from home tips, working from home tips for success, wfh tips, work from home productivity tips

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