The Internet has made various transactions possible without the need for actual face-to-face communication, giving rise to various businesses, most notably e-commerce and online assistant services. While the former acts as online shops that sells various products, the latter provides services conducted by an online assistant adept at the task.
Often self-employed, these professionals are usually hired by online entrepreneurs who cannot afford to get into the hassle of hiring full-time employees. Employers aren’t required to pay anything more than the agreed rates – online assistants typically have their own benefits, tools, supplies and utilities already covered.
The scope of the services online assistants provide is broad. There is no single job that defines what these professionals do. The work they usually handle however can be divided into three distinct categories, namely administrative, creative and technical services.
The administrative functions often tasked to online assistants are primarily secretarial work. This includes organizing schedules, taking care of the paperwork, keeping tabs, data management and research, all of which take a considerable amount of time. Online assistants working on administrative jobs are basically their employer’s virtual secretary. They are particularly of great use to one-man businesses or companies looking for people to do short term secretarial work.
The technical services category meanwhile, involves all the “dirty” work. These are basically jobs wherein the virtual assistant offers practical help that corresponds to his/her profession. This is different from most administrative services as it requires expertise on a specific subject and sometimes overlaps with creative services. A few good examples for this are freelance programming, website administration, and even the aptly named technical support service.
The last one, creative services, take aesthetics and organization to account. These jobs range from simple still photos to complex web designs. Online assistants whose area of expertise falls in this category are often hired to create company logos, promotional videos, multimedia presentations, web design elements and so much more. These jobs are different from simple art commissions as the employers take full ownership of the work they pay for.
In a world where just about everyone can compete in the global market, the services that an online assistant provides are crucial for the growth of many small businesses. The recent influx of small online businesses and the constantly rising employment costs have led many individuals and companies to turn to these virtual assistants for paid help – truly a great news for Internet-savvy and capable professionals who haven’t found employment in these troubled times.