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.