Outsourcing is no longer just for the corporate world. Whatever you don’t have time to do, you can probably find a virtual somebody in a place far, far away to do it for you. Welcome to the world of personal outsourcing, where you can find a “virtual assistant” to do anything from make your travel arrangements to tutor your teenager.
And because you may be hiring someone who lives in a country (or part of the U.S.) where the cost of living is a lot lower than where you live, you may get a big break on the price. As for service and quality, that’s still an open question in what is a nascent niche of the outsourcing realm.
The marketing of these “virtual assistant” or “concierge” websites captures the blurring of personal and work lives. These companies assume you’re overstretched and overburdened, both on and off the job, and you can use help on both fronts. Your time is valuable, they say, and you need someone to take a host of time-consuming, tedious tasks off of your hands, whether that means sending a gift to your grandmother or updating your contacts database.
Ask Sunday will help you schedule doctor or spa appointments, book travel tickets, or find local workers, like gardeners and handymen, to help with other things you don’t want to do (or can’t fit into your schedule). The company will also take on bigger projects, like entering data in QuickBooks, though such projects aren’t covered in the monthly plans.
- Get Friday
As the Get Friday website puts it, “None of our plans distinguish between business and personal tasks.” Proofreading, researching gift ideas, posting job vacancies—Get Friday will do it all. They will even call you in the morning, tell you the weather, and remind you to make your bed and exercise. The company offers a pay as you go plan, as well as prepaid monthly plans.
- Tasks EveryDay
This firm is angling to handle transcription services, market research, website maintenance, resume updating and birthday reminders. “At Tasks EveryDay, you can allocate virtually any task which does not require physical presence, of course, and consider it done!” the site claims.
At DoMyStuff.com, virtual assistants bid on your tasks. “Post anything you need done, and get back to living your life!” the site boasts.
Don’t have time to help your kid with homework? TutorVista will do it for you.