Home Office Life: Natalie Butka – VA, SMM and language teacher

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This is a series of interviews with people who work from home and share their great (and not so great) experiences. If you would like to get featured, please fill out the short questionnaire here.

What’s your name and where are you from? Where do you live currently?

My name is Natalie and I am from Texas, USA! I currently live in Madrid, Spain.

What is it you do?

I work as a social media manager and a virtual personal assistant. I also teach on Palfish a few hours a week.

How long have you been working remotely?

I have been working remotely for five years.

Are you employed or a freelancer? If employed, what is your arrangement and how did you convince your boss?

I am a freelancer.

Any project you want to share?

My work portfolio is here → www.nataliebutka.com/work. These are some of the projects I have or currently am working on!

If there is such a thing, how does a normal workday look for you?


I usually don’t get out of bed until about 9 am, then check emails and answer any pending projects, admin tasks, personal and business bookkeeping and daily data entry. Usually, I wake up with a few things to add to my to-do list for the day.

I eat breakfast and tend to my clients until about noon. 3x a week, I teach English to Chinese children on Palfish for about two hours. I have lunch and prepare for the calls that I make from 3-7pm for a client of mine. Around 7, I am usually given more tasks to work on for the day until about 10-11pm.

Every day is semi-similar but my busiest weeks are the first and last week of the month since I tend to my social media clients the most around this time.

Can you think of a time you were really happy to be working remotely?

Everyday! I really enjoy being able to work from home and having a bit of flexibility to my routine. I know I will enjoy this even more once I have a family. There are many pros to working from home but my biggest struggle is moving into a smaller apartment this year. Previously, I had a separate office room. I closed the door and work was done for the day.

Now, I work from the living room so it’s a little messier to separate work/personal life. I think this is my only current dilemma. I could easily solve this by moving but priorities at the moment mean paying cheaper rent!

What’s your biggest achievement/ milestone regarding remote work?

The fact that I actually created a business completely organically that allows me to work and live in a different country still amazes me. I make enough to eat well, have a roof over my head and I am able to save for my retirement. I also love that I deal with different sectors and people from around the world and of course, different challenges every day.

What is your biggest struggle with working remotely?

At the moment, not having a separate office space. Aside from that, I can’t complain. Many of my friends that work remotely miss working in an office with coworkers but I get out enough and have created a great group of friends here that I still get plenty of social time. I also work out at my boyfriend’s gym and he has a great community of people there too.

What do you do to deal with it?

The only way I can deal with my “struggle” is to move into a two bedroom apartment. I know this is in my future… just not today. 🙂

How does working remotely affect your stress levels?

I think I am a little… well, my dad says “a good bit” OCD and I’d have to agree so I can get a bit obsessive with everything that 1. A small business entails (book keeping, financials, managing different personalities and keeping clients happy) 2. Micromanaging the details. I only work with one contractor and I do not micromanage her work but I feel that I sometimes micromanage myself in that my monthly routine is very strict so if my routine moves a day or two aside, I can stress out. I like to keep my word and sometimes I burn myself out by taking on too much.

Was there a specific reason why you wanted to work remotely?

I wanted more freedom. I definitely feel that I have the freedom to move around but am happy I finally have a “home” somewhere too. Living as a digital nomad for a year made me appreciate having my own place to come back to.

What’s the most important skill that helped you make it?

Discipline and knowing my worth (not allowing clients to underpay me)

Are there any essential apps or tools you use daily?

Oh goodness LOL… I use Google Spreadsheets, Buffer, Instagram, Facebook, Agorapulse, Google Word Docs, Whatsapp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, HoursTracker, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Authenticator, Dialpad, Zoom… That’s all I can think of off the top of my head! It’s a lot!!!

Apart from your computer, what’s the most important item in your office?

My two phones – one iPhone 8 and one Samsung Galaxy S9. I wanted to try out something other than an iPhone last year but I’d have to say I’m team iPhone after using the two!

What’s your favorite 90s jam?

Spice Girls anything!

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