Founder of Social Cactus Business and mindset coaching, Amy Crumpton, 35, quit her desk job five years ago to set up her own company.
The prospect of office-life post-pandemic was enough to give Amy - a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, Business and Mindset coach - the final nudge to make her business totally remote.
She helps other businesswomen to reach and see their own potential, and to help them grow their own online business that allows them to live a freedom lifestyle too.
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She is celebrating the four year anniversary of her business Social Cactus this month, having helped over 350 women realise their potential in business.
Now, her diverse 10-strong workforce are working from across the world - including in a campervan around the UK and Europe, in South Africa and in Austria.
Each member of the team is given licence to work from their own time zones and their hours vary depending on what suits them.
Amy's business is flourishing and she believes she can be successful despite managing the team across the planet.
“I quit my desk job five years ago to go travelling, and it was while I was living out of a backpack with only my laptop that I first started my own business", Amy told the YEP.
“I have always been pro-remote working because I was able to do my job and be successful doing it, without having to go into an office.
"You can be just as productive, as long as you have a laptop and some good WiFi.
“The freedom from remote working means that Social Cactus Head Coach Chris - my fiancé - and I were able to move to Marbella last month, instead of returning to office-based work in Leeds.
“We plan to live a freedom lifestyle, so we are treating this initial three months in Spain as a trial, before returning to the UK ahead of Christmas to catch up with family, friends and our clients.
"We will then be heading to Dubai in the New Year, before going to Thailand where we will base ourselves for two months."
A poll by YouGov in 2020, found 44% of people were anxious about returning to the office.
Improving the mental health of her staff has always been a key factor in Amy pushing to work remotely and as long as her team and clients are happy, Amy is happy for it to continue.
She works with over 10 people at Social Cactus and fully supports all her team working from wherever they feel most comfortable.
“Our business manager at Social Cactus works out of her campervan and works from all over the UK, she’s even worked from her boat in the Lake District,” adds Amy, originally from Morley.
“As well as working from Spain, Chris and I also plan to go to Thailand travelling for two months at the start of the new year, before heading back to Spain in April.
"Instead of taking time unpaid and totally out of work, we will continue to work and support clients from a laptop while on the other side of the world - because we can!
“Some people may think working from home is simply a cost saving measure, and while that is also a huge saving for small businesses like my own with few overheads, the flexibility remote working gives people to go to family events, do the school run or work from abroad is absolutely invaluable.”
Laura Greaux, Business & Mindset Coach for Social Cactus, works for the business from wherever her caravan Dolly is parked up.
"Working remotely has given me my life and freedom back", Laura said.
"As long as I have my laptop and internet connection, I can be earning money from literally anywhere."
For those who are returning to the office and are feeling unsettled about it, Amy has offered these tips:
"Transitions are scary - when we are familiar with a situation we let our guard down and relax. When we are facing a change in circumstances, we naturally have a heightened awareness of what is happening around us, which puts us on edge. Try and find out as much as possible of what ‘life will be like’ back in the office so you won’t encounter any surprises, and it will feel familiar before you even step out of the lift.
"Have compassion - you won’t be the only one who is struggling with the move back to your old office space. Make sure you check in with colleagues and try to keep the mood light. Instead of talking about the worst aspects of the transition, focus on seeing your colleagues again and the social and enjoyable aspects of being back in an office.
"Don’t be afraid to communicate your boundaries - if you aren’t happy with the social distancing in place and it is making you feel unsettled or uncomfortable, speak up about it. If you would rather move your desk or work from a different room, then your company should have contingencies in place to allow you to move to where you would feel most comfortable, and if they don’t, don’t feel guilty about returning to the spare room until you are in a position that you feel comfortable."
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