For the past two decades, internet based industries have started up and flourished, and virtual offices have started and remained open. Virtual office assistant services, whether run by a company or a solo-preneur, have flourished and enjoys a healthy presence and income on the nets. Some work at home virtual assistants have reportedly earned as much as $100,000 a year. However, the community itself has mixed messages on the classification of the services that they provide, and some scoff at the term itself, virtual assistant.
Those who specialize in administrative services, who call themselves administrative consultants, believe that the work that they do is what qualifies as virtual assistance, and that the services of web design or book keeping does not count with virtual assistance. Though in today’s popular terminology, a virtual assistance is a blanket term to someone who works from a home office.
The naming confusion stems from the contrasts between a virtual worker and virtual assistance, and some sectors claim that the payment arrangements factor in greatly. Big virtual assistance companies in India require their employees to come to work and these employees draw a wage. According to Katie Thomas in VA Directory, a virtual assistant is a self employed business operator. This would be similar to a software developer who does projects from the comforts of his mother’s basement, but the work that he is doing doesn’t fall under the definition of virtual assistance.
The clarification of naming of virtual assistance and what qualifies as virtual office assistant services does not seem imminent, and purists aside, the industry still does well.