Virtual Assisting from the Philippines

The ups and downs of being a virtual worker

Since 2011, I've decided that I would work from home to be able to still be there for my children. I have three boys. Two are young teenagers and my youngest is only six years old. I am not over protective, I just feel that if at least one parent is present in a child's life, I truly believe they feel well cared for.

The venture of working as a Virtual Assistant became very handy. Although there is a wide range of duties and responsibilities one assistant can tackle, I find it very odd that some will low ball the wages. For example, here in the Philippines, there are a lot of virtual assisting jobs being offered in craigslist.com. Tasks ranges from administrative duties, data entry, research, SEO or even article writing. What some employers fail to think about is even if you think your one US dollar is worth forty Philippine pesos (Php 40) it doesn't mean it is worth a lot.

Imagine this, I've encountered one ad stating he needs someone to research companies and look for their company telephone number, address and email address. He was willing to pay 0.075 cents for each completed information per company (not per data inputted). So if I was going to spend eight hours doing this I will probably earn around USD 7.50 for everything.

Believe me when I say I can come up with 100 companies in 8 hours, maybe 120 companies at most. I know because I've done it for a week. So after earning USD 37.50 for a whole week's work which is about PHP 1,500.00. Let me breakdown my basic expenses for working at that job.

To be able to work with high speed internet, as the number one requirement of the employer, I need to subscribe to one of the top Internet companies here in the Philippines and their subscription for monthly services costs PHP 2,499.00 for 5 mbps connection. Then I have to start working at 11:00 pm Manila time because the second requirement of the employer is to work Pacific Standard Time. My shift ends at 8:00 am Manila time, so this means more cost for me electricity wise and coffee wise.

Third requirement is that I have a paypal account. I get paid every two weeks that costs me around PHP 26.00 to PHP 50.00 (about 1 dollar) per transaction fee for the receipt of my payment. Then another PHP 50.00 (another 1 dollar plus) is charged when I transfer my money to my bank account so I can withdraw it.

To sum up the total expenses I incur, just to comply with the requirements of the employer, about PHP 3,251.00 (this includes the extra electricity bill, extra coffee I need to drink, internet subscription, paypal fees) and so I end up with PHP 2,749.00 (USD 68.70) per month when I deduct my expenses. Do you think that is enough to survive for a whole month with 3 kids?

Really people, if you are being stingy about employee rates and want to save from healthcare benefits or tax contributions and other benefits that the Federal Government require you to comply with, you could at least pay your outsourced employee a decent wage since you don't provide any benefits at all! Imagine aside from the low hourly rate, I don't get paid time off when I am sick, no work no pay and no additional pay for holidays (whether Philippine holidays or US holidays).

Keeping your business afloat may be your number one priority but keep in mind if no one will work for you, you might want to ask yourself would you pay yourself that kind of wage?!

Otherwise please rethink your offer, then probably you could find a hardworking and loyal virtual employee who would make your business more flourishing and successful!

© 2013 t0niesjv

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