Pitfalls of Hiring Offshore Home-Based Virtual Staff

Many companies today are looking for ways to outsource their work and take advantage of the vast resources offered by staffing companies. The virtual staffing service is one of the best solutions available. However, there are a number of potential drawbacks when working with a home-based virtual assistant and it often ends up costing you more than you bargained for:

  • Loss of control and supervision

Companies face great challenges managing home workers and they are not able to monitor the performance of their home based virtual staff effectively.  They take great risks of having tasks not done in a timely manner or tasks or projects completed with poor quality output.

  • Technology breakdown

Literally, internet connection is the lifeline of every virtual assistant.  Issues like power outages, slow or no internet connection and phone connections that drop out are prevalent in the homes of developing countries. This greatly affects the efficiency of the home-based virtual staff.  The lost time as a result of such occurrences will leave you taking a big hit on your bottom-line.

  • Security issues

Virtual employees working from home will have direct access to confidential information/files which poses a great risk to any business. Installing software which takes screenshots of their home computer to monitor their activity is not the smartest solution either as it’s easy for home-based staff to access another computer. Plus, you would probably have to hire a full-time staff to go through all screenshots taken. Hiring office based virtual staff from a reputable virtual staffing agency will greatly minimize the risk through monitoring systems, management and signed confidentiality agreements. Just ensure the virtual staffing agency is incorporated locally to enforce the confidentiality agreements with the staff.

  • Lack of focus

This is another disadvantage when working with a home-based virtual assistant.  There are always distractions like sounds from vehicles passing on the street, a pet making noise, loud noise from the TV or stereo, kids playing, babies crying, phones ringing, and the list goes on.  Plain and simple, home-based staff are not able to focus thereby wasting valuable time and effort. You also risk your reputation going down the drain, if for example you have a home-based customer service staff on the phone with background noises.

  • Lack of Dedication and Loyalty

Most of the home-based virtual assistants not only work on a part-time basis but often have several clients on the go simultaneously so they don’t have the commitment and dedication needed in order to perform the task efficiently.  For your business to succeed, you need a firm commitment, dedication and discipline from your virtual employees which is very difficult to achieve in a home-based setting.

  • No support group

Anyone who has worked in an office or any other workplace has been accustomed to chatting with co-workers about work or just simply socializing. All of those social interactions is lacking in a home-based environment.  Home-based workers can’t get access to immediate help from co-workers who can brainstorm projects with them and come up with more creative solutions. There is also a sense of isolation which often results in demotivation and abandonment of the task.

The cost of having a home-based virtual assistant is lower than hiring an office-based staff managed by a professional company.  However, you should consider all the factors above. If you’re serious about protecting and building your business, then it’s a no brainer which path you need to take.

Why It Is Better To Outsource Web Design and Development

Creating a website is a tedious process, not to mention very costly.  The design of a website plays a significant role in online marketing and can greatly affect the number of visitors to the site.  Anyone would agree to that right?  Initially, many businesses preferred to develop their website in-house, only to realize that creating an effective website requires special skills which they practically don’t have.  This is where the need for outsourcing web design and development services was established.

Outsourcing Web Design and Development services can give any company a competitive edge over its competitors.  Below are the benefits that every company can gain through outsourcing Web Design and Development:

                Costs – Outsourcing greatly reduces costs since you only pay for the time spent on the project or you only pay for a flat fee for the entire project.

                Better Quality – Specialists assigned to the task are highly skilled and have extensive experience in web design and development that result in high quality web designs.        

               Time Savings – Web design and development is a very detail-oriented task that requires so much time.  Having this service outsourced saves the company valuable time and resources that can be focused on expanding the  business.

                Fresh Perspective/Ideas – Outsourcing web design and development brings new perspective and ideas that enhance a company’s marketing strategies.

                Low Risks – Working with an outsourced provider means working with an expert.  They have all the knowledge and expertise on projects to greatly reduce the risks.  Having the service outsourced also ensures that complex and delicate tasks like upgrades and security management are handled professionally and with utmost care.

                Exposure To Latest Technology – Web design and development firms are equipped with the latest technology and they are most likely to produce high quality, cutting edge websites.   Professional web developers can also determine the best technologies to use that can benefit your company.

The idea of outsourcing web design and development might be stressful if you have never outsourced a project before.  But the benefits that any company can get by outsourcing the service are huge and cannot be overlooked.  Just ensure you deal with an outsourcing company with office based web designers and developers to ensure you cut down on costs without compromising quality.

How To Get The Best Out Of Your Virtual Staff

Running a business can be very challenging and requires a lot of know-how.  Business owners and entrepreneurs are often busy with paperwork and general admin tasks, unable to do the work they love, and more importantly they don’t have the time to concentrate on more relevant aspects of the company because of the numerous details of running a business.

One excellent way of addressing this concern is through outsourcing or hiring a virtual assistant.  Getting the work of a virtual assistant significantly helps entrepreneurs maximize their time and improve their business.  Some of the tasks that a virtual assistant can typically do is accounting, search engine optimization, bookkeeping, web design, customer service, technical support, marketing tasks, just to name a few.   The process of hiring a virtual assistant can be completed very quickly unlike the traditional recruitment process.

Once you have recruited your virtual assistant, the challenge is then to manage your virtual staff in order to achieve your business goals.

Here are some helpful tips to make your virtual staff a valuable part of your business:

               Setting Expectations

               Establish accountability.  You need to set expectations clearly about the results you want in measurable terms.  Specific goals should also be established.  Another important factor is also to set work values and ethics which should be practiced at all times.

               Delegate Tasks

               When delegating tasks to your virtual assistant, you need to clearly outline or list the task that needs to be completed.  It is also very important to include the details of each of the task and communicate the results that you want.

               Monitor and get regular updates

               Ask your virtual assistant regular updates regarding the tasks.  This is necessary so you can see exactly what’s being done and you can effectively communicate areas that need improvement.   This way, you can determine if your staff is productive and actually getting the job done.  Getting regular updates eliminates any  worries that someone may not be putting in their time and effort.

               Good communication

               Clear and frequent communication with your virtual staff builds good working relationship.  Communication can either be through phone, email, video or audio chat. An effective communication system plays a vital role in building a relationship with your staff, and ultimately, establishing trust and mutual respect.

Employing a virtual staff is a great asset and can benefit any enterprise if managed correctly.  With the aid of technology and effective work practices, it will be a win-win situation for both the virtual staff and the company.

Benefits of Virtual Staffing Services

The virtual world is becoming more important in our daily lives.  The internet surfing population has drastically increased and is still increasing every day.  The innovation of technology and communication plays a vital role in the global market and the traditional ways of doing business has long been changed.  With the rise of technology, a whole new approach of doing business has emerged.

Many companies have already integrated outsourcing its business activities as a cost-effective strategy.  They take advantage of the services of virtual staff who are highly skilled in different fields to handle various tasks so that companies can focus more on other important business concerns.

Advantages of Virtual Staffing:

1.  Cheaper cost

Companies save a lot of money on overhead cost of recruiting and hiring employees, not to mention, the cost of having an office space, equipment, internet, etc.  Companies will also be  freed from the hassles of providing wages, insurance, health benefits and vacation pay.  Work can also be done at a fraction of the cost companies would normally spend locally.

2. Convenience

Hiring a virtual staff eliminates the hassle that goes along with human resource activities.  No need to place expensive job ads in newspapers or online job sites.  Outsourcing companies will  do all the process of recruiting, hiring and training which is very time consuming.  Virtual staffing  provides every company the opportunity to access a vast pool of readily available and highly skilled workforce and with the added advantage of not managing the workforce directly.

3. Efficiency

Virtual staffing allows companies to maximize profits and provide excellent service to their customers with the least amount of resources.  Companies can also capitalize on the available resources for quality and top of the line service.  Critical business activities are fulfilled with speed, accuracy, and convenience.

4. Flexibility

Distance is not a hindrance when outsourcing a virtual staff.  Virtual employees can be located anywhere in the world with different time zones, culture and background.  The distance and location is never an issue and excellent service can still be delivered anytime, anywhere.  In addition, virtual staffing frees you from any long-term and financial commitments.

5. Control

Staffing agencies provide businesses with more control in a lot of ways.  Utilizing the services of a virtual staff greatly improves the performance of any business.  It also allows companies to focus on core competencies.  To put it simply, companies have more control over costs, staffing and proper resource allocation.

Virtual staffing has now become a global phenomenon and the reason why they play such an important role in today’s business is because of the massive benefits that they provide, benefits that any industry cannot simply ignore.  It is now becoming an integral part of every business in order to have that greater advantage over its competitors.

Virtual staffing is not just considered as a trend, but a need for any business to thrive in an ever-changing market world.  It is definitely the next big step for any business to succeed.