Deerfield, NH (PressExposure) April 12, 2007 -- For a growing segment of professionals who are celebrating Administrative Professionals Week at the end of April, work means never having to set foot in an office or utter a single face-to-face hello to their employer.
From a home in Deerfield, NH, and throughout the United States, thousands of people, including Cynthia Morse, CAP, are helping businesses throughout the world as a Virtual Assistant, also known as VA.
Virtual Assistants are professional office assistants who provide office services and support without being physically present by using the Internet, fax and telephone. Since much of their work is done online, they can work locally or globally.
Morse began a VA business, Virtually At Your Service, in 2003. âClients typically hire Virtual Assistants so they can focus on what they do best,â says Morse. She got into the profession after years of work in various industries turned her off to cubicles, commuting and office politics.
Since the term "Virtual Assistant" surfaced in the mid-1990s, an estimated 5,000 VAs have hung out shingles. And unlike temporary employees, VAs are entrepreneurs and small start-up businesses â just like many of their clients.
Shannon Cherry, APR, owner of Cherry Communications (http://www.cherrycommunications.com), a marketing communications firm in Albany, NY, hired a VA about six months ago. âAt first, I was hesitant to hire someone, but as a one-woman shop, I couldnât get everything done,â she says. âOnce I hired a VA to do the tasks I found as time stealers, I found I had more time available to work on getting new clients and ultimately become more profitable.â
Virtually At Your Service offers a variety of services including marketing support, mailings, web site maintenance, Internet research and meeting planning.
Morse says that many companies that are hesitant to use a VA are usually unaware of the tremendous talent pool available through independent contractors. âWith advancements in technology, the VA industry now consists of enterprising individuals --many of whom have elected to leave corporate positions in order to provide highly skilled services virtually.â
She points out that itâs also quite cost effective to hire a VA. âStudies have shown the real cost of hiring and keeping a full-time assistant at your own site is 2 to 2-Â½ times the cost of his or her salary,â Morse explains. âSince a VA is a contractor, employers don't have to pay taxes, insurance or any fringe benefits. There's no need for extra office space or equipment. And the employer only pays for âtime on task.ââ ###