Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Virtual Assistant: Getting To Know the Unseen Worker

“It is quite interesting that whilst there are tremendous theories, in the 1960s when IT was born, everybody was supposedly going to their cottage in the countryside to work in a virtual way.” ~Richard Rogers.

The world is getting more advanced as time goes by. Every day, new technologies are introduced in the market. The evolution of computers started in the 1960’s. It created a big change in the way people work. Computers had become reliable assistants in the work force because of its capabilities and efficiency in performing accurately tasks like what humans do in a timely manner.

Working with computers may be very casual but can still have a business-like tone. The convenience it brings has motivated other establishments and individuals to prefer working “virtually” with another person, whom we call now as a “virtual assistant” or VA. 

Many of us aren't yet aware what a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT truly is though.
Source: by WingedWolf

To have a glimpse of what a virtual assistant is all about, we could start by breaking it down into words. “Virtual” means "not physically existing but made to appear by software", whereas, “assistant” means "a person who assists or gives aid or support."

So basically...a virtual assistant is a person who works by means of a computer but is not physically present:
Get it?
The International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) describes a virtual assistant as an “independent entrepreneur providing administrative, creative, and/or technical services.” A virtual assistant acts like a personal secretary or a personal assistant which can be contacted through a computer. Most VA's work at the comfort of their own homes, although some also work at an office.

Virtual assistants work with a client on a contractual basis. It may also depend on their working relationship or agreement. They communicate through internet by means of instant-messaging clients such as Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat or Skype. The tasks are being given or submitted through email or fax. All are done through the internet without the hassles of travelling or company expenses.

Stacy Brice, founder of Virtual Assistant, started this whole thing in the 1990’s. It was a few years later in 1997 when she formally introduced Virtual Assistant in the public. On that same year, she also established the Assist University to help other women who are asking for her assistance. Many women that don't have full-time jobs work as virtual assistants to support their finances.

Unlike a regular employee, virtual assistants work conveniently with their own personal computer and deal with the client through online chat. Both the client and the VA are doing most of the transactions online which is unusual if you are in a working environment. Even though the method of communication is informal, the quality of work is nearly the same and sometimes even better than working with regular employees.

A virtual assistant cannot be considered as an employee since they are given project-based tasks. So, you wouldn't have to pay for tax from hiring a VA. This situation is favorable to small businesses because, with the nature of the job, they wouldn't have enough resources to rent an office or buy office materials.

There are almost 25,000 virtual assistants globally. The number is increasingly growing because of the many benefits of the job. This is beneficial to those physically handicapped individuals but have the ability to work creatively as well as the qualifications that are required by the job.

So, now that you know what a virtual assistant is, are you willing to hire an unseen worker?

* Please check our video about   Virtual Assistant Roles



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