The Rise of Virtual Assistants
Over the last twenty years, the notion of working does not only revolve around 8-5 day jobs at the office. Thanks to the more connected world the Internet and the ever advancing technology has to offer, workers can perform tasks wherever, whenever.
This phenomenon came along with the rise of virtual assistants, which may be classified as an employee, freelancer, or independent contractor who works online and performs a variety of tasks to help individuals or businesses. Virtual assistants can offer a lot of the services an in-house secretary would traditionally handle: data entry, transcription, scheduling, copywriting, programming, design, and other services. They usually work at home and in fact, may never meet their clients in-person.
The rise of virtual work and virtual assistants have demonstrated a steady growth in the previous years. Undoubtedly, it has become increasingly popular among employees and employers alike. In fact, in the US, a boom of 79.7 percent increase in the number of telecommunicating employees who have identified themselves under the category of virtual workers. Moreover, websites hosting job postings for aspiring virtual assistants have recorded over a hundred thousand job postings across the world.
However, there is a common misconception that virtual assistants are some kind of “luxury” only affordable by the big companies to outsource projects that require less management but are considered an overhead. The truth is, it is quite the contrary.
Small companies and start up businesses resort to hiring virtual assistants as a solution to the limited time they have available.
But why is there a sudden boom in this industry? Here are some of the trends why hiring or being a virtual assistant may be a good idea:
For the Business Owner:
Lower operational costs
Companies that hire virtual assistants benefit from lower costs because they are not required to provide any benefits, equipment, paid training, or bonuses. Companies also save money on taxes by hiring freelance virtual assistants instead of full-time employees.
However, this may not be a pro for the VAs who wouldn’t get the benefits of their office-based counterparts. However, some companies are generous enough to still provide even if they are not mandated by labor laws.
Research shows that remote workers are more productive because they have a better control of their time and spend less time in traveling to the office. Harvard Business Review has conducted a study which confirmed this as a home based call center staff finished 13.5 percent more calls compared to those who worked at their office. Moreover, a study from TINYpulse found that 91 percent of remote workers feel they’re more productive at home.
Virtual assistants also benefit from fewer office distractions and the ability to work longer hours at home. They can structure their schedules around other responsibilities to complete more tasks.
For the (potential) Virtual Assistant
The office is wherever
One of the main benefits and selling points of working as a virtual assistant is that there’s no dependency on a physical location. This optimum flexibility allows a VA to work from home, coffee shops, libraries, or co-working spaces—or during their travels in or out of the country. The only requirement is an internet connection and a computer or phone.
The ability to work from any location also benefits the companies and individuals who hire virtual assistants. Another bonus: Employers don’t have to provide VAs with office space, equipment, or other essentials.
Controlled working time
Every person’s most productive time is different, as well as their preference when to work varies. Are you more productive during the morning? Or are you a night owl more alert during the night? Virtual Assistants have this benefit of having a more flexible time to work compared to office based workers, as long as they turn in they expected output for the day.
The workforce no longer clock in religiously for a eight to five, Monday to Friday. Most businesses and companies have opened their doors to hiring virtual assistants because of these benefits that goes both ways.