It is no wonder that a huge percentage of the working population is fascinated by online jobs. A home-based venture makes an attractive option because of its flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Also, as the Philippines is considered a great avenue for outsourcing, the demand is always high for workers.
A fast-growing industry over cyberspace is virtual assistance. It is somewhat a “jack-of-all-trades” type of job that basically involves administrative, bookkeeping and/or creative skills. For some, it makes a great second-income-generating activity.
Virtual assistants can also work for multiple people, each of whom is requiring a particular set of skills. One may ask to polish a slideshow presentation for a project proposal. The other might ask to take phone calls while the employer is in a meeting.
If you want to take a dive in becoming a VA, then you need to equip yourself with the right tools and gadgets.
The Basics: A Working Computer and a Stable Internet Connection
Although this is pretty obvious, this entry needs to be emphasised. You have to make sure that your desktop computer or laptop is in good condition. Other than that, it has to have reliable anti-virus software. There must be no loopholes in your network security. Be aware that working in cyberspace means you are also exposed to a variety of internet fraudsters. Other than that, get in touch with a quality ISP provider so as to avoid needless work interruptions.
The Peripherals: Printer, Fax Machine, Scanner, etc.
Depending on your niche, you might need machines with copying or scanning capabilities. Such peripherals will aid you when it comes to handling documents. Also, you might be asked by your employer to send paperwork especially for commercial transactions.
Data Storage Devices
Removable storage such as flash drives, CDs and portable hard drives are deemed necessary if you are working with lots of files. You can never tell when a computer breaks down. Portable memory storage tools will save you a lifetime in case your PC or laptop requires immediate reformatting.
Expect video conferencing when it comes to providing virtual assistance; hence, the need for phone and video calling software. Skype is a common program used by many VAs because it has a screen share feature that allows both the VA and employer to brainstorm together.
An Online Storage or File Sharing Account
Aside from having a ‘tangible’ backup of files, you may want to sign up for online storage or file sharing accounts. Registration is usually free, but you may avail for highly useful upgrades if necessary. Dropbox, Google Docs and Zoho Office Suite are just some of the popular options you can choose from.
Virtual assistance jobs are usually part-time. Employers may contact you to accomplish a project on a specific time frame. Even if you don’t work for multiple bosses, it is your prerogative to have a planner that suits you. This is to keep track of to-dos and deadlines. Moreover, you may also use an online counterpart, e.g. Google calendar.
A Billing Program
Sending professional invoices and managing finances may be part of your tasks as a virtual assistant. Good thing that tools such as FreshBooks and even Paypal exist to help VAs with record-keeping and account management.
These are just some of the tools a virtual assistant can use to get things done. Working from home means you need to be equipped with the right gadgets to start with.
Anna Garcia writes for Regus Philippines. Regus PH is the Philippine branch of Regus, a multinational corporation offering world-class business accommodation and solutions. They are currently servicing 100 countries around the globe.