Posts Tagged ‘remote worker’

Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants

Since the advent of Internet there are so many changes that have taken place in the business world. People started upgrading their infrastructure and they have also made many changes to the way they work. Internet has played a major role in revamping the entire world and it is now the most widely used means of communication. E-mail, instant messengers, video chatting, etc have redefined the way humans communicate. Further to this advances in software and hardware have replaced the traditional manual processing and analysis of business data.  Today Business Intelligence (BI) and decision support systems are able to automatically collect correlate and analyse tons of information.

Virtual assistants are one such new innovation through which a company can make most use of their employees and available resources.

“A Virtual Assistant (or simply VA), is an independent contractor providing administrative, technical, or sometimes creative assistance to clients–usually to other independent entrepreneurs and solo and small business practices, such as that of a lawyer or realtor. Virtual assistants work from their own office (hence “virtual”), thus making it a fairly popular (and growing) profession. Source: Wikipedia “

Businesses both start-ups and established ones have a need for administrative employees to assist them in organizing their day to day schedule. Such assistants are really important to any business. They are able to receive the customer’s calls, answer to emails, and organise/cancel meetings schedules.  In many occasions a good, polite assistance is what can make a sale happen.

For International Businesses which have offices all over the world, employing good assistants, for every country they operate can be extremely costly. The same stands for start up businesses which usually operate on a small budget and thus the cost of employing good experience assistant could be prohibited

Virtual assistants came to reduce such costs. VA’s are people, which work from home, and perform all functionality that a normal corporate assistant will do. For example the virtual front desk Assistant will sit at his home and he will take calls from customers of a client company and answer them accordingly.  Customers will never know if the assistant is located locally or on a different geographical area. Technologies like Virtual Numbers, VoIP, IPBX and call re routing/diverting ensures that such operations are performed transparently.

Most of the virtual assistants are freelancers and they follow the fly in fly out kind of working. Freelancing has become the latest trend in employment due to the fact that is significantly improves improved the quality of the work done.  As a Virtual Assistant you will be working for a company, but you will not need to go to the office like the regular employees do. Such flexibility significantly reduces the expenses of the Virtual Assistant (i.e. car expenses, ) and thus reduces the cost to the employers. Further to this a Virtual Assistant may be able to work for more than one company (i.e. depending on the contract), and thus greatly increase his income.

This concept of virtual assistant has become so famous that now it is estimated that there are more than 50,000 to 80,000 virtual assistants in the entire world. These numbers are fast-growing, and it seems than in the near future most companies will employee at lease on VA. Being a virtual assistant has many benefits and also it has its own quota of demerits. The merits are in that you can work from home and select your working hours. This doesn’t mean that you will have the authority to think and act as you want but you will have a bit more freedom than the regular employees of the company. Another advantage is that since a VA works from the comfort of his home, productivity is usually increased. In short the advantages of working as a VA are:

  • Choice of working hours
  • Working at home
  • Better Salary
  • A better level of freedom
  • Ability to work for  more than on customer

Working as a VA has also its disadvantages. The worst usually is that they do not get the chance to socialise with co workers. In short the disadvantages of working as a VA are:

  • Have to work alone
  • Socialisation is a problem
  • No superior to guide you
  • Requires Self Motivation

Virtual assistants require higher levels of professionalism and motivation. They must have the ability to identify their shortcomings and mistakes and corrected by themselves. This is a vital requirement due to the fact that these persons do not have superiors supervising them no fellow workers to spot their mistakes. This is the reason why people with more experience are selected for the roles of virtual assistants.

Today many Companies do not hide their preference in working with Virtual Assistants. The reasons for this are many.  Most notably  corporations can save large amounts of money from the expenses required to accommodate for normal office employees (i.e. computers, offices).  The amount of money saved can be invested to improve the quality of the services and/or products they provide. Further to this, reducing the employees’ operation expenditures means that more money can be invested in deploying marketing and sales campaigns.

Working with VAs’ also greatly helps corporations and reduced the training expenses required without sacrificing the quality of their offered services. Instead of spending thousands of Euros to train people on specific technologies (or processes) for a project, the company can easily hire VA’s which are already competent with the skills required by the project.


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