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My feelings on being a virtual assistant are that you should be able to work from anywhere. There's been a trend recently for VAs to be going into offices for say 1/2 a day a week or to pop in and pick stuff up... That's not really being a VA - it's being a temp isn't it? I'm all for building relationships with clients by meeting face to face, but I think that crosses a line when your presence is required in order for you to do the work.

 

One of the reasons I'm asking is because I'm judging some VA businesses soon and I'd be inclined to discount any on site work the VA does from their application. Is that harsh?

 

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I am a Virtual Assistant, but yes I do go into client's businesses. Not all the time - probably the equivalent of a half day per week. I also have a multi-VA business and several of my client's are being serviced by other VAs while I am on-site for my clients.

 

The reason I go on-site is to do the more complicated tasks such as payroll, etc.. I could do these virtually, but it is much easier to go on-site. I have the option to do the work from home because I have programs installed on my client's computers, but I find that documents I need from time to time are not available virtually and I also don't have to worry about phones and emails distracting me when I am at the client's offices.

 

This has been my choice to go to my clients and I do not offer that service to other clients. So where do you draw the line? There are people that are working PT outside their VA business but are still considered VAs ... it is the same old controversy ... what is a VA and what is not?

 

My personal opinion is that as long as there is a virtual element to your business (ie in my case the majority of my clients and the work I produce is done virtually) you are a virtual assistant.

 

Just my 2 cents worth of course.

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I'm with Yvonne on this one. There are some occasions where it is warranted to be at a client's site. While at the moment I'm 100% virtual there have been many times in the past 16 years where I have travelled to a client's premises or they've come to me, in order for me to complete the work that was required. That doesn't make me any less virtual, nor does it make me a temp. I invoice my clients as normal and charge them for any travel involved in order to be able to complete their work requirements.

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Some time ago, I was contracted to restore a client's filing system, which required being on location. Not having the time for such an extended project, I subcontracted the job, popping in twice weekly to ensure the work was up to standard. I do virtual tasks for this client as well. Though I try to streamline the services I offer so as not to spread myself thin, my motto is to provide the best possible support to my clients. This I believe is more important than trying to fit into a "virtual" category. Flexibility is key.

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I find this topic interesting and intriguing. For instance how do you decide if you are actually 'virtual' especially if you work with a multi-VA at their location on occasion and from home 'virtually' most of the time. To complicate matters I also work virtually for another VA however I have met her when she dropped off a mobile phone for me to answer - this was later posted back though. :) And to add to my first point one multi-VA I work with has recently moved from their 'home office location' to a leased office premises; now does this make them 'virtual' or more like a 'face-to-face' business? Just my two-cents worth

 

Michele Flynn

MIM Enterprises

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Hello I am just getting started in the world of a VA. I do agree with the fact that if one is doing 50% or more virtual assignments, then one would be considered a Virtual Assistant.

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one of the family 'wags' stood behind me one day as I wrote about being virtual and asked about the term using this definition: virtually - almost but not quite; Without exaggeration

Virtual for us is Virtual

Virtual Not concrete or physical. For instance, a completely virtual university or classroom does not have actual buildings but instead holds classes over the Internet.

Working onsite occasionally shouldn't have to be the clearest picture of our business. We shouldn't have to advertise as the "sorta virtual professional" I think it goes on intent. I will work onsite if I have too, but my intent is to work online...not concrete. No ectoplasm.

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I also agree with Hopelyn on being "flexibility is Key" since all clients are not created equal and their style of doing business varies that why in my definition for VA, I mentioned 90% of time working virtually leaving room for 10% for whatever situation might come your way.

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Guest Pat Z.

I am 100% virtual - in fact, I've only met one of my clients face-to-face. I will "meet" one more at Summit :yay: I can't wait! That being said, if I had local clients and they wanted me to come to the office once in a while for something, I wouldn't mind. I would also still consider myself a VA - I agree with Kylie, that's it how you perform your services that says "I am a VA".

 

Maybe some people find it more productive to actually get up and go to an office to work. Just because I walk through the kitchen into my office (in my PJs) doesn't make me more of a VA - I think it just means I don't have young children and lots of distractions :lol: I know Candy finds it hard to work without shoes on (not picking on you Candy - just the first thing that came to mind), and some people can't work without dressing for "work". I believe some people may find it much easier to work outside the home, while still doing all the things we do from our home office (or kitchen table).

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I'm one of those who has to be showered and dressed in the morning. Over 20 years of working in the corporate world before going into business simply meant it put me in the right frame of mind for work. So I'm like Candy I expect. I don't function well if I'm still dressed for bed. But each operates in different ways.

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I suffer with insomnia quite badly hence having skype buddies in the US. One of the main reasons my husband and I decided to shift my office is because of my insomnia. I'm the kinda gal that if there is stuff waiting to be done, then I'll do it, coz it's not like I'm going to fall asleep anyway thinking about it. When I finish and look at the clock it's 4am and I need to be up at 7am to get the kids ready for school. So I started booking a lot of onsite work just to get me out of the house and to force me to be awake during daylight (it's no wonder I have a Vitamin D deficiency lol).

 

To me being a Virtual Assistant means that I'm in charge. I'm the one who decides who I'm going to work with, I'm the one who sets the rates and I'm the one that's taking all the risks. I'm using technology to complete administrative and bookkeeping tasks for my clients. Hence, I am a Virtual Assistant.

 

Sometimes the client needs to get comfortable with you before you take things back to your home office and until you teach them, they will sometimes insist on you being onsite.

 

What I love about this industry is that we can all do what we need to do, to suit our lifestyles.

 

Since leasing the office, I am stressing more about money to the point of eye tics but I have a tighter aged receivable procedure and I'm actually getting into bed by 10pm every night (not necessarily asleep) and to me that is the biggest advantage to running my business my way!

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