Imagine your specific office works getting done by practically no one in the office and having to pay way less for it. Sounds like magic? No, this is where virtual assistants come in. Relatively a new trend, virtual assistance services are gaining a steady stream of clientele around the world.
What is a VA? They are independent professionals who can provide you with administrative, creative and technical support for your business online using the Internet. There is no work profile as a virtual assistant. However, one can work as a freelance VA or work for a VA services provider company.
There are basically three types of virtual assistants
• Project based
• Task based
• Virtual employee
More and more startup companies are embracing VA services for various reasons such as not having to keep a permanent staff for a particular job, having to pay only for specific jobs and doing away with the hassle of managing employees. And for professionals who want to utilize their expertise from the comfort of their own idea of a ‘workplace,’ this option is a reality through the virtual world. Not to forget the benefits of not having to commute to the office every day.
However, there are the flip sides too.
Face-to-face communication is absent in this scenario and effective human communication cannot be replace through mails. Another important drawback of VA services is security. How much trust can a company afford to share its information with a remote assistant? VAs can provide assistance in the following: Research, plan an event, messaging, coordinate travel plans, create and manage database, legal/medical/business transcription, web designs, email promotions, answer letter and emails, maintain even calendar, write press release or articles
VA assistance is provided through many websites such as Elance, ODesk, Craigslist, Guru, iFreelance, etc.
The work of a VA can be easily monitored through tools such as Skype and Acrobat Connect for video conferencing, Basecamp/Asana/Activ collab for Project management works, Google web apps, drop box for file sharing and logMein or Team Viewer for screen sharing and remote access network.
Whatever the pros and cons, the VA services could easily be the work culture of the future, especially given the uncertainty of global economy.