Virtual Assistant

DEFINITION of 'Virtual Assistant'

An independent contractor who provides administrative services to clients while operating outside of the client's office. A virtual assistant typically operates from a home office, but is able to access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendars, remotely. People employed as virtual assistants typically have several years of secretarial or office management experience.

BREAKING DOWN 'Virtual Assistant'

The use of virtual assistants has become more prominent as the use of the internet increased for business operations. Because a virtual assistant is a contractor, a business does not have to pay for the same benefits that it would have to had the assistant been a full-time employee. In addition, the virtual assistant is working offsite, meaning that a desk is not required for the contractor at the company's office.

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