$2 an hour VAs, says Sydney Morning Herald

If you are a VA in Australia, have you seen the article in the Sydney Morning Herald “Outsourcing Puts a Price on Spare Time”?  This was brought to light at a VA forum on Facebook and has had a fair bit of discussion. Rightfully so too. When are journalists going to do the research and show things on an equal basis? Let us share with you an email of complaint our President sent to them.

I wish to complain about the article “Outsourcing Puts a Price on Spare Time”

In it, people are given the idea that they can get a VA for $2 an hour. This is terrible. It doesn’t even state where those VAs are or what currency.

“Virtual assistants can be found for as little as $2 a day. VAs can be hired to do personal and professional tasks – anything from making dinner reservations to surveying customers.”

For your information the VA industry has been here in Australia since 1996 and is alive and strong. There is no way any VA here would work for that rate. Would you work for that rate? It wouldn’t even pay for our internet connection to run a business here in Australia.  VAs’ rates range from around $30-$70AUD an hour here in Australia, depending on the service being provided. We have an industry association, run annual conferences, have training courses, etc.

Even mentioning Airtasker and Freelancer – why not mention actual VA directories or networks that outsource VAs? And yet you go on to mention Concierge and Lifestyle Managers which is here in Australia at obviously a higher rate than the $2 VAs mentioned.

This is very disappointing. Did the author actually research our industry in this country? Or did they just take the word of those other ill-informed people who write about these ‘cheap offshore VAs’ without actually finding out for themselves? Would be nice to see our industry accurately represented in articles.

Clearly it was not in their interests to research our industry here in Australia and this is something we often see in the media. What are your thoughts? And would you like to share your concerns about this article too? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “$2 an hour VAs, says Sydney Morning Herald”

  1. I agree!

    It is such a shame that Kate Jones, the journalist concerned, didn’t think to reach out to local Australian VA Networks, or our Industry Body AVAA for comment. She would have found that she had a story far more interesting and newsworthy than the one she submitted; e.g. the diversity of our home-based industry is amazing, and we are providing cost-effective and professional home-grown solutions for Australian businesses who need flexible, responsive, on-call and timely support from a variety of industry professionals.

    On the flipside, how wonderful it is that individuals can offer their niche services to an online clientele as a VA, thus enabling many operators to balance their work and family life to suit their changing circumstances… or even in the case of remote operators, allowing them to provide a service without the physical limitations of living away from larger centres and employment opportunities.

    What about the greater financial implications of Australian VAs who procure their income from primarily Australian businesses, and therefore inject that cash back into the Australian economy?

    Love that AVAA is commenting/complaining about this article! Happy to lend my voice at any time 🙂

    Ingrid

  2. I am shocked that the SMH didn’t even contact our Association to find out the facts! They should be ashamed!

    Great article and I feel truly blessed to be involved in such a fantastic association.

    Leanne

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