Depending on where you live, one of the first places to start is the US Small Business Administration, the Government website for Industry Canada or whatever small business agency your country has to provide resources. It is important to understand the specific business regulations and legalities to becoming a business owner in your own country. The International Virtual Assistant Association is another online resource for virtual assistants. The following qualities are important if you want to become a virtual assistant.

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No matter how important a task may be, if you get a mental block, it will continue to sit on your to-do list gathering dust. The great thing about a personal assistant is that you can choose one who has the strengths you yourself lack. If you’re great with numbers but rubbish at writing presentations, a personal assistant can help translate the data into a powerpoint doc for you. If you don’t do spell-check, they’ll catch any grammatical errors.
Fortunately, the next advancement in chatbot technology that can solve this problem is gaining steam -- AI-powered chatbots. By leveraging machine learning and natural language processing, AI-powered chatbots can understand the intent behind your customers’ requests, account for each customer’s entire conversation history when it interacts with them, and respond to their questions in a natural, human way.
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In the recent years, the growth in popularity of chatbots has been the result of the amount of research poured into its underlying technology. These AI-powered bots are now being integrated in various industries such as payments, banking, customer service, and even pure personal amusement. The birth of chatbots developed from the curiosity of whether a robot can really fool any human into believing that it is human as well.

Just like you’re an expert in your field, a personal assistant is an expert in theirs. This means that when you eventually make the great decision to hire one, you could be relieved of the most time-consuming, draining or repetitive tasks immediately. On the first day. This provides an immediate relief which is often missing with the hire of a new employee in say, sales or marketing.

Virtual work or telecommuting requires self-discipline, motivation and a tremendous amount of focus. Individuals who do their best work independently are often the happiest with telecommuting than workers who need to have regular contact with others. The managers who supervise telecommuters bear a large responsibility as well. Managing employees remotely can be very challenging, and it is ultimately the manager's responsibility for determining which of their employees demonstrate the necessary skills and traits for performing successfully in a remote location.

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Think about your to-do list. There’s likely tasks piling up. Only those that rise to the top because they can no longer be delayed get done. Often times, this delay causes something that might have been inexpensive to increase in cost. For example, putting off scheduling the furnace cleaning may lead to needing to have the furnace replaced. It’s also pretty likely that you’re not going to ask for help with these seemingly “small” tasks. You don’t want to bother people, or maybe you’re not sure who to ask. Lucky for you, that’s where a personal assistant comes in.

Time management is one of the keys to a successful career. Many successful entrepreneurs and CEOs in the world have perfected the art of time management. Every day, they meet several clients, convene with employees, and talk to investors. At the end of the day, they still have the time to assess the day’s activities and prep for the following day. They can do all these tasks because they know how to manage their time wisely.

A virtual, or remote, personal assistant manages your life from afar. Like a really great fairy godmother that you never have to make a cup of tea for. Which has huge benefit if you’re a one-man or woman band, if you don’t have a physical office to put them in, or if you don’t want to be responsible for holiday, sickness and other HR headaches. Managing your PA virtually is about as simple as setting a task list and watching it get ticked off. Without you having to do a thing.

Depending on where you live, one of the first places to start is the US Small Business Administration, the Government website for Industry Canada or whatever small business agency your country has to provide resources. It is important to understand the specific business regulations and legalities to becoming a business owner in your own country. The International Virtual Assistant Association is another online resource for virtual assistants. The following qualities are important if you want to become a virtual assistant.

Just like you’re an expert in your field, a personal assistant is an expert in theirs. This means that when you eventually make the great decision to hire one, you could be relieved of the most time-consuming, draining or repetitive tasks immediately. On the first day. This provides an immediate relief which is often missing with the hire of a new employee in say, sales or marketing.
Employees from the younger generations of workers--Generation X and Generation Y, in particular--find virtual work a tremendous benefit. Virtual offices and telecommuting offer flexibility, and the comfort of being able to work independently without conforming to work rules, such as a dress code and traditional work hours. Telecommuting is appealing to some workers because it prevents the often unnecessary and unwelcome interruptions by co-workers and managers that can impede productivity and attentiveness.
Working in an office carries a lot of secondary expenses. For instance, you have to pay for your transportation costs (gasoline, bus/train tickets, etc.), professional attire (suits, business accessories), and other related costs (lunch, makeup/deodorant, etc.). These costs can quickly add up, although they’re rarely considered. For business owners, who must lease or rent a space, the costs are much greater. When you use a virtual office, you can end up saving a lot of money.

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Virtual assistants work around your schedule to provide you service whenever you need it. Think of them as your 'on-call' go to person. No need to hire part time employees and hope you have enough work to keep them busy for the hours they work. With a virtual assistant you only pay for time spent on YOUR project AND work can be done outside normal business hours.
Any kind of process will have its own pros and cons. Similarly, virtual office workers also come with their own advantages and disadvantages but it is up to the bosses and the organization to create a leverage and work on the cons and try to enhance the pros, so that the resultant workforce remains satisfied, stress free and the working environment is transformed into a fruitful one.
Luckily, challenges bring with them opportunities. Company leaders managing remote employees can take action to circumvent the possible negative effects of remote work. They can require remote workers to check in with another employee or manager every day, simply to engage in a friendly conversation, and enjoy some personal facetime to break up the workday, as would be normal in an office setting.
Use varied channels of communication. There are many ways to communicate virtually. Lean methods include emails, chat messages, and texting. If you have a simple message to share, a lean method of communication is usually fine. If you have something deeper or more complicated to share, it’s better to opt for a richer method of communication, such as video conference or telephone call. These methods add more contextual information like facial expressions and body language, which can be very telling in a conversation.
Increased productivity. Virtual collaboration tools allow remote employees to collaborate as if they’re in the same conference room. Employees can use forms of virtual communication in the workplace, such as video conferencing, as well as email, instant messages, and the telephone. Workers are more likely to work in excess of 40 hours a week if they’re working from home, and they also take fewer sick days. Employees working together across various time zones are more likely to achieve success if they’re able to collaborate from home. Business hours increase with more flexibility. Furthermore, business will continue as usual regardless of weather conditions that could limit productivity due to hazardous driving conditions.

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Similarly to helping keep track of your to do list, a personal assistant is also a second pair of eyes. Whether it’s checking that your calendar is well-organised and you haven’t double booked, or thinking ahead about booking travel transfers, it’s the type of forward-thinking that will prevent problems before they’ve happened. When you’re trying to keep multiple balls up in the air this is how you place a safety net underneath, helping to catch any that might drop.
Increase cross-cultural awareness. People involved in global teams should know and understand the challenges that come with communicating across cultures. For example, an American multinational oil and gas corporation wanted to ensure their non-Iraqi employees were equipped with the cultural knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the Iraqi context. Aperian Global worked with corporation leaders and local Iraqis to design a workshop for multinational employees assigned to Iraq, and it was offered in the US and the Middle East. A pre-departure workshop was also created for employees traveling to Iraq. It addressed issues such as safety, security, and health, as well as business and cultural topics. The workshops gave leaders and employees the information, skills and confidence needed to successfully collaborate and conduct business across cultural boundaries.

Make building trust a priority. Trust is the foundation of a successful team, but trust is usually built over time. When working in a virtual team, there isn’t always time to build a rapport with team members. You might be part of a group and have no idea about the other people’s work ethics or anything about their personal lives. It’s important to promote team bonding in order to build trust. You can approach this in a few ways, such as setting aside time for small talk before or after meetings, and allowing participants to share photographs and information about their personal lives. Virtual events such as a baby shower, birthday, or job anniversary celebration make for great informal activities to promote trust and teamwork. Consistency in updates and reports also helps to build trust with and among remote employees.


Just like you’re an expert in your field, a personal assistant is an expert in theirs. This means that when you eventually make the great decision to hire one, you could be relieved of the most time-consuming, draining or repetitive tasks immediately. On the first day. This provides an immediate relief which is often missing with the hire of a new employee in say, sales or marketing.
The virtual worker is automatically a green worker, because the remote worker has a lower carbon footprint. It turns out that less of the work commute is a big deal when it comes to the environment. The virtual worker created a decrease in the annual fuel consumption numbers of the United States in 2013 by 680 million gallons, a respectable move of 0.5%. Going green also helps to attract young talent to a company, because the Millennial generation is very attracted to companies with a social conscience. Freedom, or the perception of freedom is another very important idea that will help attract young, elite talent, which is embodied in the virtual worker concept.

Leading Across Distance: This program is designed to provide leaders with the tools they need to propel results from their virtual teams. The program is broken up into three sessions: distance leadership, leading across cultural differences, and engaging virtual meetings. You will learn what you need to know about the most important aspects of distance leadership, how to effectively communicate in the virtual setting, how to leverage diversity and cultural differences, and more.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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