Work at home
There has never been a better time to explore the world of working from home

There has never been a better time to explore the world of working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world works forcing many of us to not only loose our jobs but also learn new ways of working. While many companies are having their workforce return back to work after the mandatory shutdowns, many others are not so quick to welcome employees back to the office, creating more of a demand for work from home staff than ever before. A lot of brick and mortar businesses who were once just thinking about getting their businesses online have now gone online and they are hiring more and more work from home staff. According to the Global WorkPlace Analytics website, 75 million U.S. employees (56% of the non-self-employed workforce) could work-from-home or currently hold jobs that are compatible with remote work.  Many of these skilled individuals may not be eager to return to the workplace or have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and these individuals are now exploring the world of working remotely.

Work From Home Jobs

Individuals who work from home are often referred to as Virtual Assistants.  Prior to the pandemic, many skilled workers worked at home as virtual assistants.  A virtual assistant is essentially an independent contractor who provides services to individuals and small and medium sized businesses via the internet.  The field of virtual assistance is extremely broad and can involve skills ranging from basic office skills to more specialized skills like email and calendar management and social media specialist.  Those who possess specialized skills can make much more money than those who possess basic office skills such as word processing and typing.  However, all types of virtual assistance is currently in demand and growing.  Some jobs you can do from home that are currently  in the most demand are blogging, email marketer, video editor, bookkeepers, tech support specialists, customer service representatives, project managers, author assistants and event specialists.  There is also demand for virtual administrative assistants who can assist clients, manage calendars and email, plan travel arrangements, do advanced document preparation, create spreadsheets, manage and generate expense reports, take meeting minutes and project coordination.

What Does It Take to Work from Home?

work at home
More and more people are making their a dream of working at home a reality.

The Work from Home industry is rapidly growing and more businesses are hiring virtual assistants as a cost effective way to get many tasks done and expand their productivity. This means more and more people are making their a dream of working at home a reality. While there is little formal education requirements to become a virtual assistant, in order to be a successful work at home entrepreneur, you will need more than just the job skills to handle the services you will be offering your clients. You need to possess three essential characteristics that will be the key to your success and set you apart from others.

  1. Business and Entrepreneurial Skills – You will need the business savvy to start and run your own business and the skills to find, get & keep clients.  As a business owner, all the decision making will come down to you so you have to be good at planning and organizing, setting office policies and procedures and setting and keeping goals. Whole courses exist on just this subject and involve choosing your business name, business structure, business licensing, financing and marketing your business.
  2. Hard Skills – You need the hard skills mentioned above like word processing, spreadsheets and email and calendar management to perform the job and provide the services you’re offering.  To be really effective, you should have at least two years of experience behind you.   Knowledge of the Google docs,  word templates, online calendars and cloud services like OneDrive or DropBox are a must. It will be virtually impossible to convince anyone to hire you if you have absolutely no office skills or office experience at all.
  3. Soft Skills –  You will need soft skills (personal qualities) also called people skills that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. These include problem solving, communication skills, listening skills, organizational skills and emotional intelligence such as the ability to show empathy to others.  Also, the ability to be adaptable and flexible is a necessary soft skill in todays ever changing job climate.  As soft skills are considered just as, if not more, important than hard skills, many employers today are requiring Soft Skills Training for their employees.

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