working from home image 1

What Are The Pro’s And Con’s Of Working From Home

With companies wanting to provide their employees more flexibility, and save money, more people work from home. Companies are finding innovative ways to save money and this is the biggest contributor.

The company doesn’t need to hold office space for the person or any office furniture or pay any type of stipend contributing towards petrol or parking. People have become accustomed to it as well.

The millennial generation wants flexibility and opportunity to do more, so why not have the opportunity to work from home too?

Why People Choose to Work from Home

On the flipside, there are people who prefer to work from home as well. There are several reasons that they may choose to do so. One of the main reasons is cost. They do not have to pay for transport every single day to the office especially if the office is far from home.

Closely tied with that cost is the stress of commuting. Whether sitting in packed to the gills train or in the car on the freeway not moving anywhere, it is stressful and a waste of time. The time lost in productivity on the train or in the car means that work continues to pile up. The is continued pileup also causes stress for the employee.

Another reason someone may want to work from home is to be closer with their children. They want to spend more time with their family which makes sense. We can lose so much time commuting back and forth to work on top of the usual work day.

One of the other important reasons is to have some flexibility. This flexibility can include sitting in a comfortable chair or lounge chair to take a call. Being comfortable is the most important. Part of being comfortable may also include having faster internet at home that works better than in the office.  It could also include eating your lunch when you feel like. Or, how about that mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack? They can take that snack when you like and have with it water, coffee, tea, or something else that fancies your taste buds that day. What about even doing a little exercise at home?

Yes, that’s right! They can spend some time doing exercise at home when you ordinarily would commute. It’s quite nice that you have that hour or two to yourself extra. If you don’t want to do exercise, what about giving your office, living room, or bedroom a quick vacuum and wipe down? Well, now you would have that time at home in to do that. What about if they are feeling a little down with the flu?

People can often work from home even if they are a little sick. They can take some medication and still feel well enough to work. This is an increased boost in productivity. The productivity generally can be higher as the person feels more comfortable and with potentially less distractions at home then in the office. Now let’s take a look at some broad Pro’s and Con’s.

Pro’s of Working From Home

  • Reduced cost for the employer
  • Reduced costs (i.e. transport costs) for the employee
  • Increased flexibility for the employee
  • Software to detect productivity and working hours is available
  • Employee feels comfortable working in their own home
  • Increase productivity
  • Less unproductive meetings
  • Builds employee trust
  • Potential positive PR
  • Can attract new employees / recruit from across the globe

Con’s of Working From Home

  • Limited social interaction
  • Potentially less help readily available
  • More distractions while working at home
  • Some people may actually prefer to work from an office
  • Can feel motonomous
  • Potential to overwork

Working From Home Overview

There are many Pro’s than Con’s for working from home. It is for this reason that companies have decided to provide people that opportunity. Sometimes it may not be on a permanent basis, but certainly a number of times per week.

One of the biggest Pro’s for the employer is the increased productivity, and for the employee is not commuting to work every day. On the other hand, the biggest Con for the employer is providing less help available, and for the employee is interacting less socially every day. All in all, the Con’s can be mitigated with the correct action. This is the new age of working in the corporate environment. There is an increasing trend that suggests this will continue. What if working from home becomes the mainstream 21st century way of working going forward?



what are challenges managing remote team

What Are The Challenges Of Operating A Remote Team

As more and more companies look to save money, or reduce their startup costs, they are setting up remote teams.

Some big companies like IBM encourage working remotely, because they don’t have to prepare facilities or office space for the person.

On the other hand, some entrepreneurs who have start-ups will work from home too. They may need a developer, and this person can work from home rather than coming to an office.

Whatever the context, having a remote team has its advantages and disadvantages. There are also some potential mitigating actions against these remote team challenges.


  • On call when needed – You can organise your team in such a way that they are on call when they are needed. If you have them working in different time zones, then you could have 24 hours coverage.
  • Reduced Cost – You don’t need to pay their internet costs, or even their facility cost. The facility cost would include furniture and other amenities that an employee usually receives in an office.
  • Higher Productivity – Your remote team can be more productive when working remotely. Part of this reason is due to the fact they are working in their own environment. This environment is something that they know and that should make them feel comfortable
  • Matrix structure – You can setup the team in such a way that they are working in a matrix. This matrix can include various personalities and skill sets that together provide a great team that achieves results. It would really depend on your choice of structuring them.
  • Faster Incident Response Rate – If you are working remotely, then a team could potentially respond to an incident much faster. Since all the team members are spread out, they can have the tools needed to respond to situations.

Challenges of a remote team

managing remote team challenges image 1

Tracking their work

It’s quite difficult to see what each team member is doing on a daily basis. You cannot just walk to their desk or into their office to ask them for an update.

Ways to mitigate this include:

  1. There are software applications out there that provide work track solutions. You may have to invest some money into buying the software. However, consider the initial investment may prove to a great benefit in the future.
  2. You can have regular meetings with the team member to assess their progress to specific deadlines/goals.

Startup Person ≠ Remote person

A person that looks like they could really work well in your startup may not have the personality needed to work remotely. For example, they may not have the discipline and focus to work on their own outside of regular supervision and the office.

To mitigate this you could:

  1. Conduct an interview. The interview is a great way to ensure that you can identify the personality and work habits of the candidate. You should take the time to understand if they have previous experience working from home and in what capacity.
  2. You should also consider to potentially give them some remote task as part of the interview process to see how long it takes them and if they deliver the quality that is expected.

Lack of team building

remote team challenges image 2

If the team is working remotely, then it can be very difficult to organise team building activities. It means that the team cannot get together and get to know each other on a more personal level.

To help mitigate this you can:

  1. You can offer to organise an annual team building in a location to which everyone agrees. It’s an opportunity for them to decide collectively what they want to meet.
  2. You can also offer to have regular weekly meetings to discuss what is going on within the team.
  3. Suggesting team members interacting with each offline, if possible, may also encourage them to work together more and getting to know each other.

Difficult to communicate

With everyone being so far apart, it can be really hard to communicate clearly and that everyone understands what is going on. The team manager/team leader and/or team members can experience this difficulty. This is especially true if the team members are working in different time zones and will not have an opportunity to talk in real time.

To help mitigate this situation you could:

  1. A regular, weekly team meeting may help solve this issue as the team can speak with each other. During the meeting, the manager/team leader should ask what is working for everyone and what is not working. This is an opportunity to resolve any issues and build on what is going well.
  2. Some rules should be in place that sets priority to different tasks and communications depending on where they are located and what is needed. This can really help manage the difficulty if team members are working in different times. For example, team members should look to resolve those queries first which are coming from a different time zone.

Work/Life Balance

People may have difficulty distinguishing between working and private life especially if they are working at home and not in a co-working space.

To mitigate this you could:

  1. Ensure that you have a system in place to monitor people’s working hours
  2. Have regular follow-ups with them if you notice that they are working beyond normal hours or you believe there is a risk they may be working too much
Top Tools For Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Top Tools For Managing Your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant can significantly increase your productivity and what you can achieve in a day. Once you outsource work to a VA however, you need a way to manage it. Especially if you end up bringing two, three or even four Virtual Assistants to help you get through your workload.

So how do you keep on top of everything?

We put together our collection of top tools for manage the workload of your Virtual Assistant

Task Pigeon

task pigeon cover

Task Pigeon is a free task management application for teams of under five, with a paid tier for larger teams.

We have found Task Pigeon an effective way to manage work with our VA’s because it is simple and easy to understand. This reduces the need to train your VA on how to actually use the tool and you can just get on with assigning them work.

Task Pigeon allows you to create categories to keep everything organized. For example categories we use here at First Class Office Assistance for our own VA’s are:

  • Email Outreach
  • Marketing
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Administration

This helps keep tasks organized. When you create a task you can then assign it to one or more of your VA’s and they receive an email notification so they will never miss a new task.

On top of that Task Pigeon allows you to leave comments directly in tasks, attach documents from Google Drive and Dropbox and mark tasks as in progress so you can see what your VA’s are currently working on.


Slack Cover

Slack is a team chat and collaboration tool that is great for ad-hoc communication. We use Slack for general daily chat that isn’t necessarily associated with any particular task or project.

It is also a great replacement for emails that only need a quick reply, rather than an ongoing and length response.

The great thing about slack is that there is a free tier that will suit most, if not all teams. There are also iOS and Android apps available so that your team can keep in touch with one another even when you may not necessarily in front of your computer.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts Cover

Google Hangouts is the ideal for solution for team chats when one or more people need to be on the line.

While you don’t need to speak with your Virtual Assistant face to face if you choose not to, sometimes speaking with someone when you can see them helps get on top of problems/issues quickly.

Google Hangout works really well for teams as you can provide a central link that everyone can click to join.

This may suit companies have more than one VA or where two or three employees of the company need to be on the time when speaking with the VA.


Skype Cover

We also use Skype for communicating with our Virtual Assistants. Skype is ideal for one on one communication. While you can do group calls with Skype the ability to just quickly click and call your Virtual Assistant is where it is really effective.

One of the other good things about Skype is that with the dashboard you can see who is available or has their status set to away.

Skype is also free is you are calling another skype user. This makes it ideal for teams looking for a free communication tool.

These are the key tools we use to manage tasks and communicate with Virtual Assistants. It helps keep both our business and the VA on track and ensures that there is a communication style that will suit almost any team.

And the best thing about each of the tools above, a free plan is available for each tool, so you can get your team up and running for literally no cost.


5 Mistakes That Are Easy To Make The First Time You Hire A VA

Hiring A Virtual Assistant is meant to take the pressure off you. Too often however people make simple mistakes that lead to the VA causing them more trouble than they ever expected.

Not only does this actually decrease your productivity, but it costs you time and money as well. We have put together our list of the top 7 mistakes that are easy to make the first time you hire a VA so that you can avoid them.

Not finding a VA with the right skills

You think this would be easy to check for, but a lot of the times VA’s will list a broad and generic set of skills. For example you might want someone who is good at writing to craft an email outreach campaign. The VA you look to hire may however only ever prepared social media posts.

It’s a subtle difference, but it can make a big impact on your business. Especially if you need the email to be written in the write tone of language.

Not considering time zones


While it is great to be able to find a VA at a cheap rate if they work on the other side of the world and are never available during your standard business hours it makes communication difficult.

You should always try and find a VA who is closely aligned to your own time zone so that you can maximize the time you have to communicate with them.

Not setting expectations

Many VA’s juggle multiple clients or other jobs. When hiring a VA its important that you are very clear in what you require. If you need someone from 9am to 5pm, then specify that in your job ad.

If you are not clear with both the skill set and availability you expect its easy to fall into the trap of hiring someone who can’t live up to your expectations.

Not setting any trial tasks

While it would be great to take everyone’s profile on face value unfortunately people tend to stretch the truth, especially when they are pitching for business.

Once you have found a Virtual Assistant that you think is appropriate for your business set them a few trial tasks to see how they perform. These tasks should not involve them interacting with your customer, but should try and test a few of the skills that you require them to have.

Not tracking their progress, especially in the first weeks


Once you have hired a Virtual Assistant your job doesn’t stop there. You really need to track and monitor their progress. This is especially important during the first few weeks where you need to make sure they are performing their job at the required standard and are doing so in an appropriate time.

You should also take notice of any increase in customer complaints or misunderstandings that occur if any of your email correspondence is now handled by your VA. While its great to save money and take some pressure off your workload it should not come at the detriment of your business.

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Featured

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant

One of the key factors that businesses consider to market their brands and increase on profits is the use of social media.

Research indicates that more than 90% of top brands are in social media and 80% of SMEs use social media to market their products and services.

The top platforms used are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram.

Importance of social media marketing

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Important of Social

Marketing on social media is easy and beneficial. You are able to get more knowledge on the target group and categories of people who like your brand. Furthermore, you understand your customers better and adjust to products that most suits them.

A business owner is also able to know current trends, monitor competition, market products and know the things they are not doing right as a business since your customers will always correct you. Additionally, a company is able to have a large customer base from all over the world.

Why should you outsource your social media marketing to a Virtual Assistant?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Why outsource

As a business owner, you can’t get enough time in a day to post updates on those platforms at the same time manage your business.

This is the reason why you should delegate these duties to a reliable social media Virtual Assistant. Outsourcing your social media will not only relieve you on some duties but will also expand help expand your business by marketing it more effectively.

On top of that if you personally manage your social media accounts, you may end up spending more time online since you will be tempted to view some ads and get updated on the current affairs (The social media addiction thing).

A social media VA can operate those accounts at any time of the day since they don’t have official working hours. Delegating also saves costs you will incur when using marketing companies to promote your brands.

How do you hand over your accounts to a Social Media VA?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Social Media Passwords

To make a Virtual Assistant promote the online growth of your company through social media, you need to hand over accounts login details i.e. username and passwords. Remember your social media VA should be a very trustworthy individual.

You can easily do this by use of Lastpass. Lastpass is a password manager that saves passwords and can allow you to get access from other computers and devices.

Another alternative is to use Buffer, a social media management platform that allows you to easily schedule posts for social media accounts and automatically publish them.

Tasks that a social media VA can handle include:               

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Snapchat

Researching content

One of the most important tasks that a social media VA can handle is research and come up with suitable content that will benefit your business including getting useful information from the web that will help improve the performance of your business.

Carrying out competitive analysis

You will be updated on what your competitors are doing. A social media Virtual Assistant will help you monitor performance of your competitors and find out the strategies they use to make them successful.

They should have a look of what your competitors are doing and try to come up with more advanced ways to outdo or be at par with them.

Monitoring audience progress

A VA can help monitor the progress of your customers and confirm if they are really satisfied with the services you offer and if not, what their complaints are. Social media VA’s will help you find out the areas that you should really be working on to improve the business and increase profitability.

They can also ask for the customers views on your products and what they think should be done to improve on quality.

Answering customer questions

A social media VA can answer customer questions on social media and update them on products that the company is offering. A VA can operate your social media platforms at any time of the day, so your customers’ questions will be answered promptly.

Creating images and graphics

A social media VA can help you create a quality image or a logo of your new brand or update a current one to be something unique and attractive to customers.

Publish and schedule posts

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Facebook

Social media VA can publish posts on the current activities taking place in the business and keep customers updated on any brands coming up, what the company is doing to deliver quality products and the progress of your company at large.

Analyze and improve

A social media VA can analyze the performance of your business according to feedback they receive from customers on social media platforms. They are able to know the complaints that customers have and try to improve on area they think the business is not concentrating on.

They can create daily action plan and networking schedules that are designed to keep networking activities in line with professional goals. A social media VA will be able to know the strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats surrounding your business.

Update your social media profile

They can keep all your accounts updated on every current detail on the company, create Facebook pages and invite people to like your page. Moreover, a social media VA can create monthly reports to update customers and stakeholders how the company or business is performing.


When outsourcing your social media to a VA you need to provide clear guidelines on what you expect them to do/not do. To market your brand, a customer wants to see you organized. First, you need to have a checklist of the goals you want to achieve and how you will achieve the goal through social media marketing. Know the strategies to use and the type of social media platforms that are relevant to your target market.

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant does not really require a lot of hassle. There a variety of online websites where you can hire a VA from anywhere and whenever you want to.

The platforms are convenient in such a way that clients post for jobs and qualified virtual assistants make their bids.

These sites will not only help you hire a Virtual Assistant, but the best VA depending on your cost, the amount of workload you have and the length of your project.

Among the best platforms where you can get a virtual assistant are the following:


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Upwork

Upwork is one of the best platforms to hire a virtual assistant. It is a global site where businesses and independent professionals (freelancers) connect to offer services to online clients.

In Upwork, you can get a variety of virtual assistants with excellent communication skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office and excel among other skills, and also offer VA’s at a wide variety of price points depending on your budget.

Advantages of Upwork

  • Upwork gives clients an advantage of posting jobs for free.
  • As a client, you are likely to get the best VA by considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Basically, clients with the highest ratings in their previous jobs are the best.
  • It is easy to communicate with your VA. Freelancers can easily send and receive messages on the Upwork platform.
  • Upwork has secured payments. You can request for a refund in case your VA does not perform as per your expectations.


  • Applicant overload. When posting for a job, a client can receive too many applications, some from unqualified freelancers or are not related to your job.
  • High charges. Upwork attracts a 10% charges fee plus extra fee for those with premium membership. This fee is indirectly passed to the client with higher hourly and fixed price rates.
  • No privacy. All communication is done through the Upwork platform so you have to share private information concerning your business with third parties.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Freelancer

Freelancer is also among the best and popular freelancing sites to hire a Virtual Assistants. You can receive competitive bids from talented Virtual Assistants within minutes.  A client can hire a VA for specific projects or on ongoing basis.

Advantages of Freelancer

  • Freelancer only releases payments only when a client is satisfied with the work
  • The site has advanced chat system that allows you to freely communicate with a VA.
  • Freelancers take different skill tests relating to their area of specialization. A VA who has passed virtual assistance tests gives him advantage over the others.

One disadvantage of this platform is that there are a lot of spam projects that are posted on the site


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Guru

Guru is a freelance online marketplace for businesses and freelancers to connect collaborate and get work done.

It is a perfect site to find, hire and manage talented VAs around the globe. The platform does not attract a registration fee and it is also free to post your first project.

Other advantages of Guru include:

  • Payments are only released when the client is satisfied with the final work.
  • Guru does not disclose personal information to third parties.
  • The site offers dispute services to registered users according to the agreed term of services.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Fiverr

Fiverr is a marketplace where freelancers, referred to as sellers offer services to online clients beginning at a minimal cost of $5.


  • You can get a VA for as cheap as $5
  • As a client, you also get an advantage of working with experts who can do tasks better because they offer services in things they like doing.


  • Freelancers are not screened. A client can get a VA who pretends to have experience yet they don’t and they end up hiring an inexperienced and incompetent VA.
  • Fiverr has limited payment methods. It mostly relies on PayPal.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - PeoplePerHour

When you need someone to delegate your duties to, consider getting a VA from this site. Peopleperhour specializes in providing variety of virtual assistants who offer different types of skills on a flexible and efficient basis.

Businesses that use this platform are mostly startups and SMEs. Getting started is free. A client just signs up and start posting for jobs immediately. One disadvantages of this site is that it charges a high commission rate.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Zirtual

Zirtual is among the virtual assistant websites known for hiring VAs to work from home. It matches clients with highly qualified and dedicated virtual assistants.

All VAs go through a vetting process to test different aspect of virtual assistance including communication, web research and time management. Successful virtual assistants perform tasks for Zirtual clients.

365 Outsourcing

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - 365 Outsourcing

You can eliminate the need for an office space by getting a VA from 365 outsourcing.

Candidates are carefully vetted to make sure a client gets a skilled and talented VA. A staff is assigned to follow your business workflow and monitor the efficiency of your assigned VA.

The virtual assistants are able to provide a range of daily tasks including data entry, office administration, document management and transcription. An advantage of 365 outsourcing is that it offers free consultation services. A client describes their projects and requirements and is assigned a VA who perfectly suits their job description.

Virtual CoWorker

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual CoWorker

On this platform, clients are given an opportunity to work with Virtual Assistants from all over the world. It offers long term opportunities for both full time and part time virtual assistance jobs. Virtual CoWorker has a team that helps clients in managing daily operations. The site solves issues that may arise between clients and VAs. Virtual assistants have good communication skills and solid background experience in virtual assistance, are disciplined and can independently work from home.

Virtual Valley

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual Valley

Virtual Valley is a team building platform whereby entrepreneurs can hire virtual assistants. It has tracking software and a VA’s time is traced and invoiced to clients at the end of every month.


As much as the above sites will help you hire a virtual assistant, it is important to interview your VA once you get someone who has the potential, to confirm if they are the best suit for your job. As a client, you should create some time to train them in your area of specialization and increase their competency. Remember these sites only act as middlemen and are there to make money but the progress and development of your business entirely lie on your hands. If that all seems like too much hassle, we at First Class Office Assistance can handle the process from start to finish for you!

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Featured

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Can you make more money when you have a virtual assistant?  

Yes, you can!

Successful individuals are fully aware that their success depends on the people they work with. Among those people is a Virtual Assistant. When a VA gets into your business, they control almost every aspect of it and help you release that work related pressure. If you are looking to hire your first VA, check out the how to guide here.

A VA can be important to both you and your business and can benefit you in the following ways:

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Costs

  1. Reduces labor costs

A VA works at the comfort of their homes.

When you have a VA around, you do not need to worry about furniture and office spaces .You also do not incur costs on taxes, payrolls, sick leave and other employee remunerations. Furthermore, a business owner will not spend more on employee training.

A VA is very affordable such that you only pay for the hours they spent on your project, unlike full time employees who are paid for even the unproductive hours. It is estimated that a VA costs 3 times cheaper than an employee working in a normal office environment.

  1. Access to the best talents

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they come from different geographical locations and also have different skills from handling clients from all over the world.

Working with a VA exposes your business to the world’s best talents. With the expertise they have, a VA knows exactly what to do take your business to the top.

  1. Reduces work load

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Workload

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they reduce your work load.

You do not need to spend a lot of time in doing stuff that are not very beneficial in your business like typing letters and answering phone calls. A VA can help you with that kind of work. As a business owner, you only need to be a boss and do what bosses do, increase your business productivity.

Additionally, a VA can save you a lot of hassle by helping organize your work and ensure smooth running of your business. You do not spend time on learning how to use social media or train yourself on how to post videos on YouTube. You only focus on things that really important on your business.

  1. Helps you focus on core activities

When you hire a VA, you will start focusing more on how to make your business more efficient and increase profitability.

Your productivity increases since you only concentrate on things that require your attention more and what really matters in your business. You will be involved in more important things like finding how to get the best clients and ways to maximize your profits.

  1. Confidentiality of information

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Confidential Info

Basically, a VA handles almost every important details of your business, they read all your papers and know the decisions you make concerning the business. Good thing is that they work from home and their presence is not required in the business. And information cannot spread all over the company.

  1. Advanced skills

Having a VA means more work done in less time and with a minimum costs.

VA’s are specialized individuals who have experience in working with different clients around the globe and in various industries too. They are able to apply their experiences in your business and increase your productivity.

While researching through the internet, they can spot an area of opportunity get important information to improve your business. They know what your competitors do to succeed and can develop marketing strategies for you. VAs can also find ways to improve your business and make it more efficient.

  1. Provide quality service

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Quality Service

You do not need to spend more time on training.

A virtual assistant can start working immediately without making common mistakes that are made by new employees in the office.

Their success depends on satisfaction of their clients.

Satisfied clients means more job for a VA hence they will strive to deliver quality for the benefit of your business.

Virtual Assistants can even go to the extremes and over deliver. This means you will be working with a dedicated and concentrated VA. Due to their previous experience, they do what they are really good at and can apply the ideas they got from previous clients to your business.

  1. Have free time

When was the last time you ever stepped at the gym or took your family out for swimming?

Think of this, a VA will help you get enough time to be with your family and friends knowing that everything in the office is well taken care of.

You will have enough time to think about moving your business forward and different area to invest in. You also have the time to meet with other successful business people and share ideas.

  1. Help you develop management practices

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Management

This is especially if you are a sole proprietorship entrepreneur and do not have any physical employees at your disposal, you are able to develop management practices since you will learn to train, delegate, direct, organize and coordinate all the activities performed by your virtual assistant.

  1. Saves the hassle of hiring a full time employee

Hiring a VA reduces the stress that comes with hiring a full time employee that includes advertising, recruiting and conducting interviews to get a successful candidate, and after all that you still need to train them on the job. And all that costs money too!

A VA can save you all that struggle since you only need to go online, select a candidate with good reviews from previous clients and you are good to go.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Featured

How To Become A Virtual Assistant

Are you tired of being broke and willing to earn extra cash at the comfort of your home, then it is time for you to have a career as a Virtual Assistant.

Here’s how!

A Virtual Assistant is an individual who offers administrative and technical support to individuals and companies who do not have enough hours in a day to have everything worked out, and is recommended as one of the five ways to automate your business. A VA can work from anywhere and does not necessarily need an office space.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – The Benefits

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Benefits

  1. Flexibility and independence

By becoming a Virtual Assistant, you have the freedom to choose the type of work, clients to deal with and create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

Working as a VA gives you enough time to be with your friends and family and not worry about bosses who are always on your neck. A VA has the freedom to decide whether to work part or full time and who to work for (you are also free to select the pay rate you charge). In other words, you are your own boss!

  1. Ability to work from home

A Virtual Assistant has the privilege to work from home. You do not need to incur extra cost on transport expenses to and from work.  You are also able to work at the comfort of your own homes or anywhere you like, provided there is an internet connection.

As a VA, you do not have fixed schedules and you can select your own working hours by considering the appropriate time for you to work.

  1. Income potential

A Virtual Assistant typically earns a higher per hour wage than an administrative assistant performing similar tasks in a traditional office setting. Because businesses don’t have to pay any of many of the costs associated with hiring on site staff, these savings are reflected in the hourly rate that a VA can earn.

As a VA, you do not have a fixed income. You can decide select more projects and increase your income according to your availability.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Key Services

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Services

A Virtual Assistant is capable of handling almost everything in the office from basic duties like receiving phone calls to more complex tasks. Among the duties that you can be assigned as a when workings as a VA are:

  • Online research
  • transcribing
  • data entry
  • data mining
  • setting up linked in groups
  • social media and marketing
  • calendar and diary management
  • editing and proofreading

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – What Do You Need To Start

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get Started

As much as being a virtual assistant does not require one to have an office space, you should have some equipment at your possession.

First, you need to create a space which will work as your office. It should be a quiet and designated workplace, free from destructions. The place should also be presentable in such a manner that you can comfortably have a video call with a client.

You also need a comfortable chair, personal computer or a laptop, with a strong internet connection.

Who Can Make A Great Virtual Assistant

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Great VA

Note that not everyone can work as a virtual assistant. To become a successful VA, You need to be hardworking, determined and patient. You should possess several qualities to make stand out as the best VA.

Some of the most important skills include;

  1. Great personality

A good Virtual Assistant should love what he or she does, be a motivated and disciplined individual. They should be able to work like they really own the job.

A VA works with many different types of client in different industries so you should know how to handle each and every one of them.

  1. Excellent communication

As a Virtual Assistant, you will constantly be communicating with your clients on a daily basis .This means you should be able to have perfect communication skills. You should be in a position to listen carefully and understand what the client say and communicate clearly and effectively.

  1. Time management

You should be able to manage your time well and prioritize the most important tasks so as deliver your work within the time limit set by the client.

  1. Organizational skills

A Virtual Assistant should be organized. Clients do not want floppy disorganized output. VAs should organize themselves not only for the clients benefit but also for their own good.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Finding Your First Client

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - First Clients

The most important thing to note when starting out as a Virtual Assistant is that you should not only get into the career to earn some income but deliver quality. You should be willing to start small and the more clients you get, the more advanced you become in the career.

Patience is the key to get your first client.

You should also be very aggressive. Nobody will know you are a virtual assistant and come knocking at your door if you do not communicate. After you are well prepared and confident enough to work as a VA, then it’s time for you to consider getting clients. A virtual assistant can get clients from the following sources:

  1. Freelancing websites

You can get access to thousands of jobs that require virtual assistants in freelancing platforms.

Staring out as a VA can be quite difficult in these sites especially when you do not have any rating from previous jobs and potential clients can’t measure your performance. So when you get a client, work as per their expectations, follow all the instructions given and ask for clarifications on tasks you do not understand. Satisfy your clients and you can end up retaining them.

They will also give you good recommendations that will attract more clients. Among the platforms where you can find virtual assistance jobs include Upwork, Guru and Fiverr, freelancer and PeoplePerour.

  1. Social media platforms

Aggressiveness is the key to kick off your career as a Virtual Assistant. Market yourself on your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin accounts or even on Instagram (mention something about virtual assistance when posting those photos) and you never know, somebody might be out there watching and you can end up being hired!

  1. Your network

You possibly have friends, relatives or neighbors who go through a rough day doing everything in the offices. Why not approach them and offer your services as a virtual assistant?

  1. Cold emailing

Cold pitching is simply sending a personalized email to someone after you check their website or blog. You can try your luck by cold pitching an individual when you realize they are hiring virtual assistants.

You might also want to consider reading our post on how businesses go about hiring Virtual Assistants!

How Can I Advance My Career and Get More Clients?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA

Virtual assistance requires confidence and dedication.

The more you look for clients the more they come.

Write very convincing cover letters that will make clients think twice before ruling you out.

One of the best ways to get more clients is to do your work perfectly and leave clients satisfied and give you good ratings. Before embarking on a job, research the details and know how exactly the clients wants the job to be done.

When a client is happy with your work, they will highly recommend you to other clients.

How do I Effectively Manage my Time and Work?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA - Manage time

First you should be able to set aside a number of hours that you will be working in a day. During these working hours, avoid distractions. Make sure your mobile phone is away from you and the TV is off.

To succeed in working as a Virtual Assistant from home, you really must set boundaries. You also need to prioritize your tasks. Start with the most simple duties then move on to the complex tasks. When working as a VA, don’t jump between jobs, pick on one niche and specialize in it. This saves a lot of time when looking for a job since you only need to type a keyword.


Becoming a successful Virtual Assistant does not just come overnight.

You must establish yourself first before reaping the benefits.

Since you are working from home with no supervision, you have to be dedicated and disciplined. Starting at times can be a bit challenging but don’t give up, always learn to be persistent.



How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Featured copy

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time


Have you ever been overloaded with work and wished you had more hours in a day?

At times, the amount of workload at your disposal might be overwhelming especially when some daily tasks take a lot of your time. The best solution is to hire a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - What Is A Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant, commonly referred to as a VA, is a self-employed online worker who provides clients with administrative, professional and technical assistance from home. A VA is basically a secretary working from home.

VA’s performs the same work as a personal assistant but the difference is that they do all their tasks online and their physical presence is not necessary.

Some VAs specialize in specific areas  while others can do multiple tasks from the same industry, for example, a marketing VA can do different tasks but with clients from the marketing industry.

Tasks that can be delegated to a virtual assistant include basic duties like answering and directing phone calls, managing social media accounts, taking down minutes in meetings, placing orders for new supplies, follow up with clients and customers among other duties. The following information will give you tips on how to hire the best VA.

What do I Consider when Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Qualities of a VA

Hiring a virtual assistant is not so demanding and you do not need spend a lot of resources on recruitment and conducting interviews. On the other hand, you can also not pick a VA randomly.

Several factors should be considered when hiring a virtual assistant. The most preferred candidate should have a college degree particularly in the secretarial field and some years of experience. They should be computer literate and be conversant with basic computer packages including Microsoft Word and Excel.

Other qualities to look for when hiring a VA include:

  • High typing speed. A VA should have a relatively high typing speed since most businesses that hire VAs require documentations for every task they do.
  • Good time management. A good VA should be able to manage their time well, be flexible and available at any time as requested
  • Excellent communication. All communications take place through the internet; a VA should be able to communicate clearly and effectively. He or she should also be able to write clearly, with correct grammar usage. They should be able to listen and understand what the client says.
  • Can handle large volumes of work
  • Be able to research on the web
  • Should be in a position to create a good relationship with client and corporates

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Benefits

A virtual assistant will not only help in reducing your workload but will also give you more time to concentrate on the most important areas of your job thus increasing your productivity and make more profits in the long run.

Hiring a virtual assistant is affordable and reduces labor costs. You do not need to think about taxes, payrolls, workers compensation and incur other expenses on paying for an office space.

A business owner will not spend a lot of time on employee training. A VA will help you develop management practices especially if you are an entrepreneur since you need to plan, organize and delegate duties to your virtual assistant.

Places to Hire a Virtual Assistant

  1. Freelancing websites

These platforms have a large number of talented freelancers who can perform their tasks very well to get hire ratings. You can hire the best VA considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Some of the sites best sites include Upwork, Guru, Peopleperhour and Fiverr. Or save yourself the hassle and use a service like ours.

  1. Social media platforms

You can also advertise on platforms like Facebook and twitter. You will get individuals or organizations that are willing to help you on how to hire the right VA.

  1. Your network

Ask business owners, your mentors and professionals. Make them know that you need help and they might know someone who can perfectly work as a VA.

  1. Events and workshops

You are likely to get a qualified virtual assistant from events and workshops organized by companies that train and hire VAs.

Things to Note before Hiring a VA

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Things To Consider

Hiring a VA may seem difficult and can go amiss at times. As much as a virtual assistant can help streamline your business, you can’t just hire anyone from the streets. Here are the tips that will direct you on how to hire the right fit for your business.

First, understand your reason for hiring a VA. Does your business really need a virtual assistant and if so, are you able to incur the costs without making losses? You should be able to analyze the situation of your business before making the final step. Do not hire without any solid reason.

Find the right type of VA. As much as virtual assistants can multitask, hire a person who best suits your area of business. Hiring a wrong VA can be costly and they may not be able to deliver as per your expectations. A right VA on the other hand will help you save a lot of time and resources.

Follow the following steps to make sure you hire the right VA

  1. Have a clear description of your work.

Write a clear job description and details on the kind of job you are hiring the VA for. You should be as clear and precise as possible. Vague descriptions will lead to a lot of unnecessary applications.

  1. Rule out the unqualified candidates

Select the best candidates according to how they draft their cover letters and if they paid attention to details. Did they follow the instructions you gave and if you had a keyword to be included, did they use it? Consider the language they used and if there were any grammatical errors in the applications.

  1. Pick your shortlisted candidates.

These are candidates who had a clearly written application and are willing to work with your budget. They should be able to deliver your projects on time and pay attention to details.

  1. Set up an interview

The interview should be through a video call, texts or via email. If the VA is within your area zone, you can decide to have a face to face interview too. Select the candidate who answers your questions correctly and can also be able to communicate effectively. You can test them with a job and see if they can do it correctly.

How do I Manage my VA?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Manage Your VA

Clearly define your expectations. Outline to him or her type of work that should be done on a daily basis. Give them a clear, detailed job description. Do not delegate too much for them to handle.

You should also be in a position to communicate promptly, preferably on a daily basis and when they need clarifications from you.  Do not pay your VA too little. You may risk losing them and when they do their work perfectly, don’t forget to congratulate them.

Final Thoughts

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Final Thoughts

Hiring a VA may not be easy. At times, the process may be demanding but the activities reduce with time and when you get the correct fit, you will surely reap the not expect a VA to know everything when hired. Create time and train them on the tasks to handle. Hiring the best VA will be of great importance to you as an individual and your business at large.