Virtual assistants are becoming more popular recently as companies switch to a more flexible option in employment. This is mainly caused by the pandemic which forced businesses to incorporate work-from-home culture instead of the usual office setting. Aside from that, there are many benefits that virtual assistants bring to the company:
- It decreases the company’s costs by 78%. Usually, you can have a virtual assistant for $10 per hour as the lowest price. Meanwhile, in Gabtech Global, the cost of a virtual assistant can go as low as $4 per hour.
- An 8-hour work can be done within 3 hours thus it saves time for the company.
- There is more work-life balance for both employees and executives.
- It is a growing community thus there are more opportunities and more options for both job seekers and employers.
- There is more flexibility in terms of work.
With all those advantages and more, almost 90% of businesses have switched to this kind of setup. During this time, the Philippines has provided a lot of support in terms of virtual assistance. In fact, the Philippines is the fifth-largest supplier of online labor such as virtual assistants worldwide. Among these, 34% are involved with data entry/internet research, 13% are virtual assistants, and 8% are customer service representatives.
What are Virtual Assistants?
Virtual assistants are people who provide assistance to executives online. Basically, they make the lives of the CEOs easier by providing assistance in different departments of the company. They will be doing the minuscule tasks such as scheduling and following up on tasks in place of the CEO. With that, there is no need for CEOs to waste their time and they can allocate it instead in more pressing matters.
Unlike typical assistants or secretaries who are in the office, virtual assistants work in the comfort of their homes. However, this doesn’t lessen that their workload just because it’s online. The number of responsibilities and tasks are still the same. In addition, they would use software such as Google Calendar, Zoom, and Xero to conduct business.
Aside from the typical administrative duties, they sometimes do minor bookkeeping, graphic design, and content writing. They may not be focusing on those matters but they would still get involved during the process. This is important as the virtual assistant deals with other departments in the company. Being familiar with how certain things work helps the virtual assistant create better assessments and judgments. They may also do customer services and provide consumer-friendly assistance as well.
The Key Attributes of a Good Virtual Assistant
To know why Filipinos are special, let’s get to know first what are the good attributes of a virtual assistant. Being a virtual assistant is not easy at all, that’s why one must have these attributes to make sure they are qualified for the job.
Not all clients are perfect, that’s why it is important for a good virtual assistant to be patient. It is also equally important to have fair expectations and embrace those imperfections to make things work. Having impossible expectations and not giving room for flaws will only cause unnecessary conflicts between the virtual assistant and the client.
Just like all jobs, another main requirement to be a good virtual assistant is being hardworking. They must be able to withstand the huge workload while being able to catch up with the client’s needs as well. Although this doesn’t mean selling one’s soul to the company, going the extra mile will pay off as well. Employees must also show that they are worth what they are being paid for.
Quick Sense & Common Sense
While on the job, it is important to have quick senses and awareness of the surroundings. Always take note of the things that needed improvement, approval from the executive, etc. More importantly, a good virtual assistant must be aware and take note of the things the client needs. Also, being aware and taking notes aren’t enough, actions must be done as well. If a department looks like they lack something, it must be taken care of immediately. If the client needs something, it must be addressed immediately.
Another important factor here is common sense as not everything will be spoonfed to the virtual assistant. They must be able to pick up social cues and use their common sense to address the situation. This is important as they will be representing the client at times.
Wide Set of Skills
As mentioned earlier, virtual assistants will be dealing with a wide range of tasks. With that, it is important to have a wide set of skills as well to adapt. They don’t have to be actual experts since there are others who specialize in those areas, but basic knowledge will do. This is important because virtual assistants will be dealing with different departments and clients. With that, they must have at least the basic knowledge to know what’s happening and what they can do to help.
Willingness to Learn
In this ever-changing society, having the willingness to learn is an asset. Because with additional knowledge comes a chance to improve and evolve as an individual and as a company. When virtual assistants are willing to be trained, they can unlock their potential and open more opportunities.
With all those factors mentioned, it is obvious why Filipinos are the better option for virtual assistants:
- Filipinos have better proficiency in English. According to 2020 EF English Proficiency Index, the Philippines have a “high” English proficiency level as it places 27th out of 100 countries and territories.
- Filipinos are known for their unrivaled work ethic which is why they are some of the best workers in the world.
- Along with these come their willingness to learn new things (which is why they are on-demand in other countries) and their wide set of skills.
These two key points show what makes Filipino special in the world of virtual assistance as well as why they are on-demand. In line with this, Filipinos will continue impressing foreign clients and represent the country in this industry.