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The Virtual Assistant: Today’s New Employee

These days, it can be difficult to decide which tasks to delegate to an outside virtual assistant and which to do yourself.  Virtual assistants are defined as contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary.  Because they are now experienced in a number of fields, how do we know what tasks to give them?

The following are acceptable tasks to give to virtual assistants:

*Bookkeeping, including keeping track of invoices and unpaid bills.  However, this means handling over accounting passwords and control to your assistant.

*Online research is easily done by a virtual assistant, given the flexibility of today’s Internet.  Common requests include finding information on corporate websites, exploring new products and vetting potential employees or business contacts.

*Database entries and maintaining a database periodically are also easy for a virtual worker, but be sure to follow up every so often.  Sometimes databases can change with just one line misplacement and mess things up for the employee.  Other types of data management include creation of powerpoint presentations, as these are easily transferrable to employee as well.

*Email management is another common task, but also requires care depending on how many email accounts the employee has.  Be sure to manage passwords with care, and not to mix up personal with corporate accounts.

*Scheduling an employee or manager’s busy itinerary is a great load-off for them. Virtual assistants can schedule meetings, conferences, travel arrangements, dinners and more with many virtual internet scheduling programs.  It’s all about being free enough to let your assistant have rain over your personal calendar.

*Chasing down employees or potential business can also be done a virtual assistant.  Business is teamwork!  With the help of a virtual assistant, bosses can be tuned into the latest industry trends and latest business happenings they would otherwise be too busy to follow themselves. 

The virtual assistant is a wonderful new learning opportunity for an employee, gives someone else a job, and is a great example of what we in our digitized, connected world can now achieve. 

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