In this digital age, remote freelance workers and virtual support staff are becoming more and more common thanks to the relative simplicity of being able to ‘log on’ to work from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day (or night).  Many businesses have embraced this virtual workforce, choosing to work with skilled, trusted and proven remote workers to help keep costs down within their business by not having to take on permanent, employed staff, or provide comprehensive training to ‘upskill’ existing team members.  But in this new ‘Gig Economy’, how can you be sure that you are working with someone who a.) can actually do the work they say they can and b.) complete it accurately and correctly – particularly important if you are looking for a specialist task to be completed that cannot simply be checked by another member of staff.

It’s not hard to find a remote worker who is offering the service that you are looking for – there are a whole host of sites out there offering ‘bargain basement’ prices to find a VA to carry out work on your behalf.  But would you really want to pay less than minimum wage to someone for carrying out work on behalf of your business? If you are trusting someone to be conscientious and efficient when carrying out work on your behalf, isn’t it worth paying that person a competitive rate? Although I am sure that there are many hardworking and extremely conscientious people out there offering to work for $5 an hour, there are a few unscrupulous ‘freelancers’ out there who will promise the earth and actually deliver very little, so it is worth seeking help from a reputable source of virtual assistance if you want work completed quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.  I am pleased to be a member of VIP VA – an organisation designed to champion and support the VA industry in the UK and Europe and pioneer industry standards.  If you aren’t sure where to find the remote help you need, a trusted organisation like VIP VA can help to find someone both qualified and experienced at helping businesses, just like yours, with specific tasks.

When you are looking for a remote worker to take on certain virtual tasks for your business, I would strongly recommend asking to see testimonials or references from customers that they have recently worked with.  This shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of highly skilled and extensively experienced virtual workers out there, but should help to weed out any that you aren’t sure about.  It may also be worth speaking to a potential virtual team member over the phone or via Skype, etc. rather than just via email to check that they are confident about the tasks that they need to complete.  Actually speaking to a potential freelancer may seem like a bizarre suggestion, but it’s amazing how many people outsource to international remote workers who occasionally lack the comprehensive knowledge of the English Language required to complete certain tasks (like blog-writing, proof-reading, etc.)… Trust me, I’ve seen a few bizarre articles in my time where this ability clearly hasn’t been checked!

Basically, I am encouraging business owners to do their research before enlisting the help of a virtual worker.  There are a great deal of exceptionally skilled and highly proficient VAs and remote workers out there who really could help your business to become more productive and efficient without the significant financial investment associated with growing your permanent in-house team.  As I mentioned earlier, organisations like VIP VA can help to put businesses in touch with high-performing VAs (VIP VA) and Personally Virtual are also here to help – just get in touch to find out how we could help you to work more efficiently: (http://www.personallyvirtual.co.uk/contact.html)

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