Virtual Assistants (VAs) are a growing tribe in the outsourcing industry. VAs are professionals who provide administrative, technical, creative or clerical support to businesses and busy professionals from a remote area. The global market for intelligent virtual assistants is expected to reach USD 3 Billion by 2020, according to a study by Grand View Research, Inc. VAs have become the latest craze in outsourcing with domain expertise and round the clock accessibility. They are virtually everywhere, online on their laptops, at home or at a coffee shop booking appointments for a small business owner, designing websites, organizing emails, creating templates, posting articles and ads. These are experts available for everything we can ask for.
More businesses, especially small business owners and busy professionals, are looking to hire VAs to fill their staffing and support needs. Virtual services will continue to trend upward as businesses continue to search for ways to stay lean without compromising quality.
We interviewed some professionals working as Virtual Assistants from the comfort of their homes. Given below is a radar chart that displays their response to our questions on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest) to measure their satisfaction levels as a VA compared to working as an employee.
Ayesha from Mumbai, India is one of the VAs we interviewed. She has been working as an independent outsourcing expert for over 5 years. She feels working as a VA is an attractive alternative to a regular job as it offers various advantages such as flexibility of working hours, international exposure and better work-life balance. However there are some disadvantages as well. The workload is not fixed and a VA needs to be available round the clock with a greater accountability compared to working as an employee. She also feels that as a VA, one needs to sharpen marketing skills and learn to handle administrative responsibilities. Ayesha acquires 80% of her clients through international freelancing portals while the rest 20% as a result of her own marketing efforts.