Since the event of the pandemic (Covid-19), a lot of people, organizations and companies have been forced to adopt new ways of working, for their staff. Some of those ways are to ensure their compliance to government regulation for Covid-19, such as; the number of people expected to be in a particular room at a time, social distancing, wearing of face mask as well as expected time to be in the office.
The coming of the pandemic brought about its fair share of death, doom and gloom but with that came a measure of hope and a switch of job roles for so many. A lot of workers have had to learn new ways of adapting to life changes as well as performing their duties from home. The role of virtual Assistant is one that has seen gained a lot of acceptance since the pandemic, most people have learnt to work more from home as freelancers and as Virtual Assistants. This is not to say that the role of Virtual Assistant has not existed prior to the Covid-19 era but that the pandemic has made a more wildly accepted role than it was before.
Top CEO and companies are ever eager to recruit virtual Assistants as it solves a lot of problems for them as a result of not having to spend more on office space and gadgets to make them comfortable enough to deliver on their job.
Before we go on to discuss more on the current acceptance of the role of a Virtual Assistant (VA), the job description and the salary scale of a VA, I would like to define who a VA is for clarity purposes.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual office assistant, in the most basic sense, is a freelance contract worker who offers administrative, creative, or technical services. Often, this entails performing the same responsibilities as an office secretary or manager, but from the virtual assistant’s own home office, utilizing the virtual assistant’s own computer equipment, software, phone, and Internet connection.
Furthermore, Administrative assistants work remotely, VAs generally operate from home, completing activities that would ordinarily be performed by an administrative assistant or secretary. They may, for example, organize appointments, make phone calls, plan trips, manage email, do social activities (such as writing thank you letters to customers), or enter data into a database.
Based on their skill sets, some virtual assistants operate in more specialized jobs. A Virtual Assistant, for example, may handle bookkeeping, internet research, or build presentations from raw data.
They also often possess prior experience as an Office Manager or an Administrative Assistant. Experienced virtual assistants in social media, content management, blog post writing, graphic design, and Internet marketing are in great demand. Working from home is becoming increasingly popular among both employees and companies, thus the demand for professional virtual Assistants is likely to rise as initially stated at the beginning of this article.
The Idea of a VA and How It Works
Virtual assistants are growing more popular as small businesses and startups utilize virtual offices to save costs and companies of all kinds increase their usage of the Internet for day-to-day operations. Because a VA is an independent contractor, a firm is not mandated to provide the same benefits as full-time staff or pay the same taxes.
Furthermore, because the virtual assistant works from home, there is no requirement for the company’s headquarters to provide a desk or other office. A virtual assistant is responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own computer equipment, as well as a high-speed Internet connection and software packages.
We shall now dig deeper into the job description and functions of VA’s.
Job Description/Functions of a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant’s precise responsibilities/functions vary depending on the demands of the client and the conditions of the contract. Some virtual assistants do secretarial and bookkeeping chores, while others may make social media updates on a regular basis or write blog posts. Travel reservations, appointment scheduling, data input, and online file storage are all tasks that a well-rounded virtual assistant may undertake.
So, let’s assume you are interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant or you are thinking of hiring one, these are the skills you should look out for?
Competencies & Skills of a Virtual Assistant
Many of the abilities required to be a virtual assistant are also required to be an administrative assistant or secretary.
- Superior organizing skills: VAs must be organized in order to keep track of tasks for many clients.
- Communication skills: Because VAs work remotely, they must be proficient in communicating via email and phone.
- Tech-savvy: The finest virtual assistants have a broad variety of computer abilities and are well-versed in the most widely used software applications.
- Multitasking: VAs must be able to transition from one activity to another as individual customers make new demands.
However, if we are to itemize the necessary skills of a VA, they should be; Good computer abilities, outstanding attention to detail, exceptional organizational skills, independent workability, strong interpersonal skills, understanding of basic office equipment, initiative.
The Advantages of Using a Virtual Assistant
One advantage of employing a virtual assistant for the customer is the ability to contract for only the services required. Some virtual assistants may be paid by the job rather than by the hour, depending on the conditions of the arrangement. Employees in a regular office setting, on the other hand, are typically compensated for a certain number of hours each day.
Hiring a virtual assistant may help small company owners free up important hours to focus on expanding the firm and producing income. It can be easier and more cost-effective to outsource complex and time-consuming tasks to someone who is skilled in them.
At this stage, I believe you would like to know the salary scale of a Virtual Assistant.
Cost of hiring a Virtual Assistant – Expected Monthly Salary/Earnings?
If phone calls, research, paperwork, data entry, and other time-sensitive duties take too much of your workday, free up that time by assigning tasks to a virtual assistant (VA). You can “set it and forget it” with a virtual assistant, enabling them to handle many of the day-to-day clerical, scheduling, and technological tasks that keep your business running smoothly. The goal is to select a VA who has the perfect blend of expertise and abilities to fit into your schedule and be as helpful as possible.
So, how much does it cost to engage a virtual assistant on a freelance basis? That will be determined primarily by the size and duration of your job, as well as the fee and skill of the virtual assistant you select.
The most crucial characteristics to seek in a virtual assistant are dependability, resourcefulness, efficiency, and excellent communication skills. The more skilled a VA is, the more inclined they are to be up to the task—and the higher the cost they are likely to charge. Freelancing virtual assistants charge an average of $12-35/hour on freelance websites such as Toptal, Upwork, Flexjobs, SimplyHired, Freelancer.com, and even Linkedln, based on abilities and experience.
However, according to Payscale, the average hourly pay for Nigerians is between N2,250-N4000. Most Virtual Assistants prefer to be paid based on the agreed number of hours they are to work, in other to maintain a flexible working calendar.
As enticing as the Virtual Assistant job may look, it has its own challenge just like any other job and we would be discussing some of these challenges below.
Challenges Faces By Virtual Assistants on The Job
The two most difficult problems that most virtual assistants encounter are both connected to customer retention. One is the significant potential for conflict that comes with working remotely on a per-hour basis because it’s impossible to verify the number of hours worked.
Administrative assistants are usually at the bottom of the pile, so if your boss or client is having a bad day, you’ll be the one suffering the consequences, if you want to keep your clientele, you must maintain your calm, which might be tough in certain situations.”
Why do they do the work? Virtual assistants like the job’s high level of independence and flexibility. Those who pursue extra training in specialist industries are frequently committed to helping that industry.
Basic Misconceptions: The most common misunderstanding regarding virtual Assistants is that they bill for hours that they do not work. This sometimes results in unnecessary issues when it gets to payday. Some clients are going to have issues with the time. So, make sure you have a plan ahead on how to manage your time with proof of what you did within that time. Then if you are hiring a Virtual Assistant, always make sure to spell out terms clearly and the number of hours that would be required to undertake a particular function or assignment.
Summary: If you had the intention to hire a Virtual Assistant before going through this article before, by the end of this article, you should have a good idea of the job description of a VA, expected salary scale, the skills expected of a VA and the advantages of hiring one. Similarly, if you have an intention to become a VA then this article is exactly what you need to succeed as a Virtual Assistant.