“Our team is made up of exceptional individuals and we would not be able to attract such high calibre staff if we worked with a traditional office based structure.”
We recently caught up with Jane Braithwaite, Managing Director of Designated PA, to find out more about their fully remote team who maintain rewarding careers while working from home and enjoying work-life harmony.
Launched in 2013 in the UK, Designated PA is a 100% virtual company providing dedicated administrative support to clients who are typically small to medium sized business owners, consultants and portfolio directors.
As Jane explains, clients of Designated PA benefit from working with a dedicated Personal Assistant who develops a strong relationship and deep understanding of their business objectives. All PAs are based within the UK and are highly experienced so they can be trusted to undertake complex projects while working remotely.
The client pays only for the time they use their PA whether that’s 2 or 20 hours each week. Designated PA also make managing remote staff easier for their clients by looking after the payroll, HR processes and holiday cover.
The company has grown steadily over the last three years as they work with more clients and add more PAs to their team.
As Jane explains, “as the team has grown in size we’ve created pods of PAs which are smaller teams that work closely together and arranged geographically around the UK.”
“The pods idea has greatly improved morale and day to day support, and allows our teams to meet up in person on a regular basis. Each pod has a whatsapp group which is used on a daily basis to share experiences and ask for support.”
Jane says the team structure of small pods has also helped enormously with onboarding new staff, as it gives them a small team they can rely on for support in those early weeks.
In addition, the company gets together twice a year in May and December to conduct a full review of the business and give team members the chance to unwind and discover more about one another.
“Our twice yearly get togethers are always a very upbeat affair. Mingling with the whole team face to face and celebrating our achievements is a lot of fun.”
When it comes to hiring staff, Jane says the most important characteristic she looks for is a proactive and can do nature. She explains how working from home and alone requires a resourceful nature although they work very hard to provide the support that is needed, such as providing access to immediate IT support to maintain productivity.
They use several cloud applications to stay connected, share documents and keep track of tasks including SharePoint, Activ Collab, Skype, and Pow Wow Now.
Jane points out that the team have a very relaxed but professional culture where everyone takes pride in what they do and respects everyone on the team. The primary measure of success is client satisfaction and the positive customer feedback Designated PA receives speaks volumes.
“Our clients are happy when their PA is delivering exceptional work and that’s what we aim for.”
The company has also been recognised with an award from the local Chamber of Commerce. Jane said, “this was a wonderful feeling, but the greatest achievements are the messages from clients saying how we’ve contributed to their success.”
And let’s not forget the cost savings these companies are benefiting from with having a remote PA. Not every company has embraced this new way of working with staff, but many have and they are continually reaping the rewards in many ways.
From the team at Remote Work Hub; thank you Jane for providing some insights into your wonderful virtual company. We wish you and the entire team at Designated PA continued success in the future.
If you’re keen to learn more about Designated PA be sure to check out their website for more information.