Developed by Zendesk, a customer service platform that started in Copenhagen, Answer Bot is designed to help companies create customer relationships that are more personal and productive. Businesses can customize Answer Bot to answer and assist customers that visit their website without having to develop a customer service bot from scratch. When Answer Bot is unable to answer a customer's request, customers are redirected to one of the businesses' support agents.

Virtual offices, telecommuting and telework all mean essentially the same thing: employees work from another location outside of the traditional office. Virtual offices and telecommuting have become immensely popular for some employers, and met with trepidation by others. The concept is a relatively new one, which makes it difficult to construct definitive policies that set clear parameters for working outside the traditional office environment. As with any work arrangement, there are advantages and disadvantages to virtual offices and telecommuting.


Delegating some of your to-do list to a personal assistant relieves you of the stress and responsibility of getting them done. It saves you time and gives you peace of mind. You meet with your client and spend time with your family, a personal assistant will pick up your dry cleaning. You go on vacation or go for an extended workout, let a personal assistant monitor incoming calls and emails. You focus on figuring out the guest list, while a personal assistant makes your vision of the event come true.
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.
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.
“Burnout” is a phrase that’s thrown around so often it’s lost some of its impact. Yet any entrepreneur or CEO who’s experienced burnout knows just how debilitating it can be. So how do you avoid it? Many will agree that the first step is delegation. Ensuring there are other hands to pick up tasks that you just don’t have enough hours to do. When you begin delegating to a virtual assistant it’s like paying money into a bank of time and energy. That you can easily reclaim, ensuring your account doesn’t run on empty.
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A virtual PA isn’t like an employee. In that, if you need to switch PAs or even use a couple of different ones for different tasks, there’s no emotional aspect involved. At ibLE, we match entrepreneurs with the best PA for them, but as our Co-Founders know, changing requirements can mean that a different PA becomes more suitable for a more-developed business. In this case, it’s easy to work with the right person for the job.
Small-business owners often wonder how they can work so hard all day and accomplish so little. Much of the problem is an inability to multitask. If you are doing important work in your office but are interrupted by an equally important call or question from an employee, for example, you’re forced to divert your attention away from the original project. In this way, your focus is strained and nothing receives the attention it deserves. A personal assistant can handle these types of intrusions so you can continue to focus on what's most important.

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