What are the Differences between Home-Based and Office-Based Virtual Assistant Roles in the Philippines?
The popularity of Virtual Assistant jobs in the Philippines has surged in recent years due to the rise of the gig economy. The Covid-19 pandemic has also played a significant role in their rapid growth as more companies have transitioned to remote work.
The Philippine VA industry is divided into two categories: home-based and office-based. Home-based VAs work as freelancers from their own homes, while office-based VAs work in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company’s office. Working from home can be an appealing prospect for many, as it offers flexibility and the potential to earn a good salary.
However, the Virtual Assistant jobs is highly competitive, with many Filipinos vying for the same roles. Additionally, individuals from other countries may also compete for the same positions at lower rates, making it challenging to secure a job. Clients tend to prefer more experienced VAs over those with little to no experience, making it difficult for new VAs to break into the industry.
Furthermore, while freelance work provides flexibility, it can also be risky. Engagements may be limited or short-term, and the income may not be stable. Therefore, becoming a VA requires careful consideration of the pros and cons.
Comparing Freelancing and BPO Employment for Virtual Assistants
Deciding whether to become a freelance virtual assistant (VA) depends on your personal situation. Freelancing can be a viable option for those who have time to invest in building a stable client base, but it may not be feasible for those who have financial responsibilities, such as paying bills and supporting a family. In this case, a steady paycheck with benefits and job security would be necessary.
This is where the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry comes in. Although BPOs used to be associated solely with call centers, the industry now offers a variety of opportunities, including work-from-home options due to the pandemic. Employees in BPOs receive bonuses, health insurance, and career advancement opportunities, among other benefits.
Whether you work as a freelance VA or as an employee of a BPO company, both are legitimate ways to start your career. However, there are pros and cons to both options. Freelance VAs do not receive benefits or bonuses, while BPO employees work a daily 9-hour shift, often at night. However, freelance VAs often have to adhere to a similar schedule as well.
Pros of Working as a Virtual Assistant in a BPO Company
In essence, both freelance Virtual Assistant jobs and VAs in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company perform similar tasks.The primary contrast between them, however, lies in their financial stability.
In a previous article, we discussed how income streams affect freelancers and those working in BPOs. As a freelancer, clients pay you based on your rate. The problem arises if you don’t have clients in a given month, which means you won’t earn any income and would have to rely on savings or find other work opportunities. In contrast, working for a BPO company ensures a stable cash flow and opportunities for career growth.
Working as a Virtual Assistant (VA) in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company has many benefits that can improve your work experience and career.
Here are five of them:
- Healthcare and Insurance: BPO companies offer great benefits to their employees, including health benefits and life insurance. You can avail free consultations from the partnered clinics or see the in-house doctors and nurses. You can also add a family member to your health insurance to cover emergencies.
- Higher Earnings: BPO companies generally pay more compared to local companies because of their international clients and government support. Many success stories of BPO employees achieving financial stability and sending their siblings to college can be found on social media and news outlets.
- Career Advancements: Working in a BPO company offers opportunities for career growth and branching out into other fields. You can learn from industry professionals with years of experience and directly connect with clients without competing with thousands of other Vas.
- Comfortable Workplace Environment: BPO offices provide facilities that address the employees’ needs, including sleeping quarters for graveyard shift employees, pantries, training rooms, and stable internet connections.
- Updated Equipment: Starting a VA career can be expensive, as you need to invest in specific equipment that meets the clients’ minimum requirements. In contrast, working in a BPO company ensures that you have the best equipment for the job, and IT staff are readily available to fix or replace any equipment issues at no cost to you.
Advantages of Being a Freelance Virtual Assistant
Many people dream of becoming a freelancer, but the road to success is not as easy as it may seem. However, there are many benefits to this type of work. Let us examine some of the benefits of working as a freelancer.
One of the biggest perks of being a freelancer is the flexibility it offers. You have control over your own schedule, which means you can work whenever you want, as long as you finish your tasks on time. You can also structure your day in a way that works best for you. While some clients may require a set schedule, you can often negotiate a more flexible arrangement.
Freelancing offers the advantage of working from any location in the world. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can work from home, a coffee shop, or even a beach in the Bahamas. This means you can save money on commuting, which can be a significant expense.
As a freelancer, you also have the freedom to choose your own specialty. You can offer a variety of services, from data entry to social media marketing to accounting. You can focus on the services that you enjoy and are most skilled at, and develop your skills to attract clients.
One of the most attractive benefits of freelancing is the ability to set your own rates. While new freelancers may need to set lower rates to attract clients, experienced freelancers with good reviews and a proven track record can set their own terms and charge higher rates. This means you have control over your own earning potential.
Finally, freelancers can choose who they work with. You have the ability to decide if a client is a good fit for you and your business. You want to work with clients who respect your boundaries and appreciate your work. By being selective with your clients, you can create a positive and fulfilling work environment.