Is salary the only cost you incur when you’re hiring a new assistant? Of course not, your cost includes the benefits you give your new employee and the facilities of your office premises. However, if you hire a virtual assistant, the salary is the only cost you incur.
Think about it – the term “virtual” itself means one not existing physically. In this case, it would mean that your assistant isn’t physically present in front of you. He/she is working from home, or may be another office and needs money only for the services you take.
Now, in the time of 2020, hiring someone who doesn’t come in direct contact with you is indeed a boon. Just imagine, if you could hire all your employees like that and you in fact had a virtual office. I see two benefits here – low cost and no difference in the middle of a pandemic or lockdown.
What do You Mean by a Virtual Assistant?
Also known as a virtual office assistant, the term refers to a person who works remotely to perform administrative, technical or creative tasks for a company or an individual. Even if you have a real office with plenty of employees, you can hire a virtual assistant.
Now, you need one explanation here – if a full-time employee chooses to work from home temporarily, he doesn’t become a virtual assistant. This is because you’re still liable to pay him all the employee benefits like rent, insurance and other allowances along with the taxes. However, these added expenses to the basic pay are not applicable for a virtual assistant.
How Does it Work?
A virtual office assistant usually communicates through email, phone calls and various chatting apps. Usually, many small conversations take place through chat bots of the site or app you use to hire them in the first place. Another common medium of making conversation is Skype or Zoom, if you need to talk face to face.
Depending on the nature of work your assistant has, he or she may use Slack or any other similar virtual workspace. These types of software make it easy to even track the work done by your remote worker. If you’ve hired someone for marketing activities like blog writing or graphic designing, then submissions may be made simply through email.
What are the Various Virtual Assistant Services You Can Avail?
Usually, this term is more closely associated with a virtual personal assistant or a virtual administrative assistant. The job for a virtual pa is to schedule meetings, respond to mails, make data entries, make travel bookings and other similar operations.
However, there are many other services for which you can hire a remote assistant. Some of the virtual assistant jobs you can offer include:
Marketing Assistant: There are plenty of marketing activities like handling social media accounts, blogging, SEO, content marketing and graphic designing that can be done from anywhere. It is very common to find freelancers as well as interns who can remotely do this for you.
Book-keeping and Accounting: By providing access to your accounting software, you can even hire an accountant to maintain your accounts remotely. All thanks to cloud computing, you’ll be updated real-time when your virtual accountant updates entries.
Real Estate Virtual Assistant: Mostly, this is for people into real estate business, who needs someone with accurate knowledge on the trends and status of the real estate market. The advantage of a remote assistant would be that he or she is updated with the latest technologies for the same.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
There are plenty of ways of finding virtual assistants. The medium through which your assistant will communicate and work with you is exactly the medium through which you’ll find him or her in the first place – the internet. Following are the ways in which you can look for virtual assistant services:
Go to a Virtual Assistant Website: There are many virtual assistant companies out there, who have created websites that have profiles of prospective candidates. You just need to sign up as an employer and post your requirement. Within 24 hours, you’ll have a flood of responses.
Using Social Media Sites: When looking for professionals, opting for a professional network service like LinkedIn would be more beneficial than Facebook or Instagram. However, posting on the latter has also proven to be beneficial, especially when you need someone urgently.
Checkout Freelance Sites: Usually, on sites like freelancer.com or fiverr.com, you’ll get freelancers who charge for every post or every hour. However, you can still ask for long-term services and offer fixed monthly rates here.
No matter what site you choose, you just need to post your requirement there. These websites are capable enough to bring you plenty of candidates in a day from all over the world. You can take a look at the candidate’s profile, ask a few questions and finalize a price over chat itself. If he or she has a skype ID, you can talk over video chat too.
Before you know it, you’ll have a remote worker assigned with whatever you need.
Benefits of Hiring a Remote Assistant
2020 is actually the time when many of us can actually see the benefits of having a virtual office assistant. We all are scared to move out and envy those who never had to for work. The job market has gone down too. However, when you offer someone a remote job in this scenario, you’ll get a flood of candidates.
So, following are the benefits you can possibly figure out:
- Costs lesser than a full-time employee
- No boundaries of time
- The process of hiring is quicker
- You can expect professionalism and quality work from a virtual assistant
- No training required
- You’re more likely to receive timely submissions
- There are no holidays to give – you receive your work anyway
Could You Also Become a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant can work from home or even office. Say if you are the owner of a digital marketing company or are planning to start a blog, it is no big deal for you to become one yourself. So, as a professional, you can hire as well as become a remote assistant.
What do you say, would it be feasible and convenient to open a virtual office?