What is a Virtual Assistant? How do they affect PAs?

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Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author stockimage

Virtual Assistants, or VAs, are often self-employed individuals or small companies that provide PA services remotely to their corporate clients. This is often run as a home business, by experienced PAs who have started working for themselves. The rise of this industry has been made possible through Internet and the ability to enable remote log in to systems and the growth of virtual meetings.

Why are Virtual Assistants becoming popular?

 

For small companies, there may not be a requirement for a full-time PA. Therefore, they can use the services of a VA on an hourly basis, in order to get the services that they require without hiring someone.

                                              Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and Author stockimages

Larger companies are also using the services of VAs to cover some of the administrative functions of their offices. In these cases, busy PAs will have some of their administrative functions supported by outsourcing tasks to the VAs. This can reduce headcounts by reducing the hiring of an additional office assistant for a PA.  

 

What does this mean for the PA Industry?

 

When an outsourcing movement presents itself to an industry, it can appear to be intimidating to many in the industry. However, the growth of VAs should not be looked at with disdain by existing or future PAs.

 

It actually presents a great future opportunity to any experienced PA. If you have ever fancied being your own boss, you can by setting up your own VA service. Or if you have children and need to find a means of adjusting your work-life balance or working from home, establishing a VA service for your own clients could be just the opportunity that you need.

                                            Author Nuchylee and Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Furthermore, if you intend to continue to work as a Personal Assistant and have no interest in VA work, VAs can still be advantageous to your work. In cases where Vas support the more functional administrative parts of your role, it can free up your time to focus on the more rewarding aspects of your work.
PAs and those training to become a PA should be aware that Virtual Assistant work is available as a future possibility, if that is what you prefer.

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