Remote Work Interview with Ingrid Bayer

Remote Work Stories
19 February, 2022
Ingrid Bayer

Hi, Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi, I'm Ingrid Bayer.  I live and work from my home-based office in regional Australia in a small coastal town called Taree.  I've worked remotely (or virtually) since 2008, and I absolutely love the lifestyle and freedom I've been able to achieve.

What’s your profession, what do you do?

I am the CEO and Founder of VA Institute, and I help Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Admin Professionals build and launch successful and profitable Virtual Assistant businesses.

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

I am self-employed (and loving it)!

How did you start with a remote work journey?

My remote work journey is probably echoed by many others.  My background is business administration - something I have always enjoyed.  I had a fairly traditional employee background in the admin field.  I worked in a variety of industries, but I was particularly happy as a legal secretary.  After moving to a regional area in NSW, Australia, with a young family, I felt really fortunate to find a role with a large law firm.  Unfortunately, that role turned into a nightmare due to workplace bullying.

The experience was debilitating, and I knew I had to get out. I spent hours on the internet searching for other options, and literally stumbled upon Virtual Assistant work which I thought could be a solution.  So, in 2008, I registered my own small business and began building my side-hustle after hours and on weekends.  Within 3 months I had enough income coming into my business to facilitate the move from full time employee to full time VA - and I've never looked back!

Here's a link to my story:

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

For me it was all about choice... I was able to choose who I worked for, how I worked, where I worked from and when I worked.  I could travel and work, and I could be there for my growing family.  

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

I've honestly never missed working in a traditional ''bricks and mortar" office setting.  I love being self-employed, and would never go back.

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

Lots of cities around Australia - my laptop is my office, so I can work anywhere.  My husband and I love camping holidays, and I have often worked from campsites while holidaying.  We have travelled also, and I have worked from Los Angeles, Dubai, Barcelona and Germany... the hours are a pain, but I manage!

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

I am a homebody, and I absolutely love working from home.  We have set up an amazing office space at the back of our large, rambling home which opens out into our back yard which has abundant bird life, chickens laying eggs, and our much loved cats who are never far away!

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

We eventually would like to pack up our camper trailer and travel around Australia, so that would be my ultimate remote working experience - so watch this space because it will happen eventually!

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

Communication tools are vital to remote working success.  I love Zoom for meetings and training.  We also have a fabulous CRM now that the whole team uses very effectively, and this means we can easily see what's happening with various projects at any given time.

What tools do you use to improve productivity and manage work efficiently? is our CRM - love it! Zoom for remote face to face meetings and training

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

I use the services of a qualified bookkeeper now (although in the early days of my business, I did it all).

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

Set yourself up properly from the get-go... that way people will view you as a professional, and you will be in a better position to succeed.

Ingrid's Website:

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