Six reasons why you should have your remote Virtual Assistants in one place!

Virtual assistants, or VAs, are not a new phenomenon, but in the era of the gig economy, their ranks are growing in quantum leaps. Working as a Virtual assistant is one of the fastest-growing gigs in the world. After all who does not want the freedom to detach from the corporate world and have the freedom to work the hours that best suits one’s individual lifestyle. 

VAs can perform almost every clerical skill imaginable, from data entry and appointment-keeping bookkeeping to sales and marketing, managing social media and everything in between. Virtual Assistance is a broad scope of work; in this day and age, it’s easy to find someone skilled to perform the tasks of a regular office worker. A VA can offer as many different services as required that fits perfectly for the kind of work that your business needs. And because they work virtually, clients are not required to provide office space, equipment, and supplies for their operation. 

In fact, according to Forbes, about one-third of all workers in the US are in the gig economy. With the rise of Uber, Lyft, Etsy, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Freelancer.com, eBay, and others, more and more workers are doing part-time work and side hustles. That’s about sixty million people which is more than the population of a midsized country.

Virtual assistants work from home or from the nearest library or internet café, basically wherever they can access the internet from. All they need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection. They communicate with their customers using cloud-based communication tools like skype or slack. Technology is a big enabler of this mode of freelance work – with a smartphone and one of those ubiquitous unlimited data plans (or a good Starbucks or internet café with fast WIFI and a power outlet) – in a connected world you can work from just about anywhere.

A home-based Virtual Assistant is an independent worker who does tasks like your regular office staff, however; you can’t be so sure if work is done on time because you can’t see the actual work in progress physically, they work in a virtual office and they manage their own time. The only assurance you have that your VA is worth their hourly rate is when results are delivered. You’ll be lucky if you can get someone that can be trusted and does things you require without having to worry about supervising them or getting them monitored. There is always that nagging feeling that you are not their only client and truth be told they usually have a side hustle.

Most employers of VAs are attracted to by the cheap cost i.e. US$5 per hour, but ask yourself this, could you survive and feed a family on five dollars an hour , and irrespective of labour arbitrage considerations and the lower cost of living in outsourcing hubs like the Philippines or India, it stands to reason that they would look to improve their yield per hour if they can.

 A home-based Virtual Assistant works alone. They’ve got no one to turn to during downtimes and power outages, no one to be there instantly to troubleshoot the software, and most of all, no one to provide proper one-on-one training to complete the task precisely as required. 

So, the question is which is best ? A VA working from home or a VA working inside an outsourcing facility.

Humans by nature are herd and social animals and countless studies show that we perform best when we are with other humans and we can quickly get help or support when required.

Virtual Assistants working in a modern fully equipped facility is an ideal working environment to perform certain tasks like making phone calls without unnecessary background noise, and it is totally different from a situation at home where the VA might be distracted by family members (Crying Babies), barking dogs or loud neighbours or even traffic.

There is a big difference in hiring an in-house Virtual Assistant than hiring a home-based VA. It’s important to ensure the quality of work and scheduled compliance of each task by using the most updated and advanced software and technology. Also, an outsourcing service provider will provide all of the HR hygiene factors like a nurse on staff, IT support, subsidized meals, time and attendance management, subsidized transport to and from work and a sense of community.

These facilities also provide the very latest communications platforms.

So, here is a summary of reasons to have your team in one location under one roof.

  • You can elbow someone who doesn’t pick up the phone
  • You know if someone came to work that day and if they are sick then other team members can cover for them.
  • It is easy to coordinate meetings and training because everyone is already there.
  • If they are managing others or being managed by others, it is easier if they are close by.
  • The cost of software licenses, as the cost can be shared across many clients
  • It looks more professional to clients who might want to visit you or see the team via CCTV

Sure, it is hard to get a bunch of people all in the same place. But, running an outsourced team is hard, and you need all of the advantages you can get. Being under one roof offers more advantages that having home-based workers does not!

Author:

Martin has been well recognized as one of the leading voices in the global outsourcing industry and its role in facilitating outsourcing success throughout the Asia-Pacific.

 In November 2014 Martin was voted into the top five most influential and respected people in the global call centre outsourcing industry 

 Martin was a founding member of Standards Australia subcommittee which had a remit to create standards and best practices for the global ICT/BPO industry

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