The Evolving Partnership of VA’s and Businesses
Along with everything else in the world, the way we work is most definitely changing.
Having transitioned from a corporate administrative assistant to a virtual one more than 8 years ago, it’s inspiring for me to see the progressive change in attitude and “normalization” around virtual assistance. And besides, it wouldn’t have taken root in the first place and still be flourishing today if there wasn’t a need for flexible support.
Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses are Turning to Virtual Assistance
A recent Forbes article entitled 23 Trends That Will Shake The Business World In 2018 lists “Greater Reliance On A Freelance Workforce” as the main source of support for projects on an on-demand basis and on a lean budget.
Another article by contributing author David Pridham entitled, Entrepreneurs: Here's Good News For 2018 states, “The ‘Gig Economy’ is a huge boon to entrepreneurs. The rapid rise of freelancers and other on-demand workers is having a huge impact on small businesses, 42% of whom employ contract workers. It’s cheaper and more flexible for startups than having to add full-time employees, and if done right, enables them to hire talent with a more entrepreneurial bent.”
How a Growing Segment of the Virtual Workforce is Evolving
Along with entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups seeking remote support, another segment of entrepreneurs are filing that gap of in-demand business support. Entrepreneurs and Virtual Assistants go hand-in-hand, and you could say are two sides of the same coin.
There’s many reasons why being an onsite employee in a corporate job is being traded for a home office. For me, not having to deal with a commute, the diversity of clients, the challenge of continual learning, and not needing to be location-dependant for work are the main motivating factors for switching to VA work. For others, it’s to supplement part-time jobs, the opportunity for moms to work flexibly around their children’s schedule, or military wives needing work they can take anywhere due to their frequent moves, or retirees wanting to stay active and engaged in the workforce but on their own terms. There are many VA’s who for health or disability reasons, work much better from home.
In his Forbes article, David Pridham writes “Freelancers already comprise 35% of the U.S. workforce — or 55 million workers in the U.S. — and they are expected to reach 43 percent of the workforce by 2020.”
And here in Canada? There’s no question that the number of VA agencies and organizations are growing at a steady rate to reflect the increasing demand for Virtual Assistants. A study conducted by Intuit Canada, the software company behind TurboxTax and Quick Books found that the ranks of Canadians working in non-traditional jobs would soar to 45 per cent by 2020.
So we can expect the VA industry to continue to thrive, and become even more firmly established as the partner of choice for supporting the growth of businesses.