Just imagine, the birth of profession virtual assistant, that sounds so present-time, so twenty-first-century, dates back to early 1800 when Sir Isaac Pitman invented the shorthand method. Sure, it has since evolved, incurred drastic modifications along with technology and advanced further until virtual assistant services have turned into a growing tendency, global preference of business people.
The professionals nowadays are called virtual assistants for a few reasons.
For a start, virtual assistants are specialists who mostly handle non-core business tasks including data entry, web research, word processing (translations and transcription), customer communication flow facilitation, planning and coordinating meetings, making travel arrangements, social media management, SEO, website content writing and updating, web development or other back-office duties (read more here). While it’s possible that virtual assistants offer additional virtual assistant services, those who accomplish limited, or non-administrative tasks are not administrative assistants. Of course, none can be treated as Jack of all trades but when a task is beyond administrative assistants’ competence they still ensure that it is done and done up to the mark even if it means engaging other specialists.
Secondly, but definitely, more importantly, hiring a virtual assistant is a step towards making your workweek far shorter. Your web companion gives you a hand with all these overwhelming assignments that put a strain on your nerves and steal your quality time. When you are engaged with family matters, away on a business trip, crazy busy having different professional or personal issues going on in your life you need a back-up who will complete your projects on time, keep you apprised of your scheduled tasks or appointments, ensure no important detail skips your attention.
Thirdly, maintaining interpersonal business collaborative relationships with clients, virtual assistants provide both technical support and creative assistance from an off-site location. As a rule, they are miles away working remotely and staying in touch with their clients by phone, skype and e-mail or certain software tools developed for collaboration with clients. The model of office work has evolved as well and an increasingly higher percentage of people work from home or nearby offices.
These three aspects of virtual assistants’ identity make them literally life-savers in the eyes of busy entrepreneurs, self-employed professionals and small business owners. Right, even the third aspect is a crucial one. Some argue there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact and, yes, it’s hard to get ‘face time’ when your face isn’t actually there. But how about new powerful technologies and how about having someone to handle your tasks without being constantly in front of or even in your face?