A virtual assistant is an independent employee who provides administrative support or services to clients and typically operates from a home office but can access the necessary planning documents, such as shared calendars, remotely. According to Score.org, a Virtual Assistant can be a valuable asset for any business but especially when resources are scarce and access to funds is limited, such as during the current pandemic. There are many helpful services a virtual assistant can do to these businesses. How are these businesses during the pandemic? These past few months have been very struggling and challenging for businesses especially the small ones. Many have to shut their doors due to the pandemic. While some may never be reopened again, others are still trying to go through hoping they could survive it. According to reports, about 26 percent of businesses in the Philippines have closed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said. Of the 2,135 companies surveyed, 25.9 percent have closed operations (including temporary shutdown), 52 percent in partial operation, and 22.1 percent in full operation, Lopez said, citing a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) survey conducted from June 4 to 17 this year to assess the status of business around the country amid the continuing imposition of quarantines. The DTI will run another survey by the end of July. What can Virtual Assistant do to help businesses during pandemic? There are many services a virtual assistant could help in supporting businesses, especially during this pandemic. Having a virtual assistant as a part of your team is convenient in these times as they usually work or operate at home. Here are the sample services a virtual assistant could offer: 1. Office administration 2. Secretarial work 3. Transcription/translation 4. Data entry/spreadsheets 5. Appointment bookings 6. Database management 7. Proofreading/editing 8. IT services 9. Graphic design 10. Photo editing 11. SEO services 12. Website design/management 13. Accounting/payroll 14. Blogging 15. Social media marketing According to Virtual Assistant UK. There are also many benefits to hiring them. Here are the examples: 1. Reduced labor costs – You simply hire them to perform a specific job, pay them for their time, and that’s it. 2. Increased productivity – Without the distractions of an office environment, they’re able to focus and dedicate their time to getting tasks done. 3. Increased flexibility – With a VA, you’re not saddled to a 9-5 workday. They work around your schedule and are there when you need them. 4. Improved work quality – You’ll save the time and hassle of constantly re-training your employees. Rather than educating them on every new technology that comes along, why not hire a professional VA who already has all those skills? 5. Reduced risk in scaling operations – Rather than taking on new employees, hiring a VA would help you manage your work volume without breaking your budget. If business picks up and you need more help, simply hire another VA to see you through the transition. 6. Skills your business needs – Whether your business is large or small, it’s unlikely that you and your staff have every single skill you need to run it. Again, this is where a VA comes in. No matter what job needs completing, you can find a qualified virtual assistant who has the skill set you’re looking for. Now that many of the business owners know how beneficial a virtual office assistant can be during this pandemic, what’s stopping them from hiring one? It is very convenient at times like this because we still don’t know how long it's gonna be for the economy to go back to normal. That is also why many people are willing to become a virtual assistant as they know there are many helpful services they could do to those businesses facing the pandemic.