The Philippines ranked number two in the 2016 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. Nine cities made it to the list including Manila (No. 2), Cebu (No. 7), Davao (No. 66), Metro Laguna (No. 81), Bacolod (No. 85), Iloilo City (No. 90), Dumaguete (No. 93), Baguio City (No. 94), and Metro Clark (No. 97).

Davao city, in particular, is one of the biggest movers noted on the list and we couldn’t be prouder! Pepper Virtual Assistants’s main office is situated in the heart of the city! Tholons described Davao as one of the Philippines’ Next Wave Cities, adding that the city has risen to become “one of the more viable alternative destinations beyond Manila NCR and Cebu City.” 

Moreover, Davao City doesn’t have the same saturation issues as Manila NCR. It provides more than enough space to expand in-and-around the city. The report also stated that more service providers are setting up shop in Davao because of its geographic advantages—almost devoid of flooding, earthquakes, and other natural calamities. Davao City is also the educational hub for the large Mindanao region.

Virtual assistance has seen a steady increase in demand over the past years with more business owners seeing the efficiency and convenience of this business solution. The Philippines is one of the leading sources of virtual assistants in the outsourcing industry. If you want to successfully work with a Filipino virtual assistant, you need to know some of our traits and skills that make us unique and exceptional. Let’s look at some of them!

TRAITS:                                             

Filipinos are a hardworking bunch. Filipinos are known to give 101% in their jobs. Overtime is common place in Philippine-based companies. Even overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are known for going beyond what is asked of them. We have been trained to keep up with the pace of the West, making us adaptable to the various demands of our jobs.

Filipinos are generally shy. The Filipino culture is a non-confrontational one. We tend not to ask a lot of questions. Filipinos generally prefer to follow instructions to avoid uncomfortable conversations. We are not that vocal with our opinions but we speak up when necessary.

Filipinos are loyal. Filipinos can stay in a company for 20 years or more. We are very loyal especially if our employers lead us well. Filipinos also value good relationships with their co-workers and this makes them more devoted to the company they work for. We have a “debt of gratitude” principle which fuels our loyalty to someone who has shown us a favor even if it’s just one instance.

Filipinos have a positive disposition. One of the best qualities of Filipinos is always seeing the brighter side of life. May it be recovering from a calamity or a personal tragedy, Filipinos manage to be joyful whatever their circumstances may be. Having said that, you don’t need to worry about having queen bees and drama queens in your team. Your VA’s optimism might even rub off on you!

SKILLS:

Filipinos are proficient in English. English is our second language and it is the medium of instruction in our education system. The EF English Proficiency Index ranked the Philippines number 13 globally (out of 72 countries) and 3 in Asia (out of 19 countries). We definitely have the edge when it comes to communication.

Filipinos are no strangers to outsourcing. From BPO companies to freelancers, many Filipino professionals have experienced working for an offshore client. Chances are, your VA has handled clients before and provided similar services like the one you’re looking for. We know what it takes when working with a foreign client such as possible night shifts and meeting important deadlines.       

Filipinos have high literacy rate. According to UNESCO’s Literacy Rate statistics, the Philippines has a 98.22% literacy rate as of 2015. This means that a majority of Filipinos can read and write. We value education a lot and Filipino parents look at their kids’ diplomas as a badge of honor. Our professionals are mostly college graduates. Combine this with our high English proficiency and you have a Filipino virtual assistant with excellent communication skills!

So how do these play out when working with Filipino VAs? Remember that most of them know the dynamics of outsourcing and they are most likely familiar with your requirements. Here are some things you need to remember:

  • Give your VAs their full job description along with your expectations.
  • Since they’re hard working and have the tendency to overwork, you need to give them a specific schedule or work hours so they can pace their work well.
  • Encourage your VAs to ask questions to ensure that everything is clear with their tasks.
  • Give them feedback so that they’ll know where they excelled and where they made mistakes.
  • Keep communication lines open to make them feel comfortable talking with you.

Moreover, when looking for a Filipino virtual assistant, start looking at VA firms first. They provide extensive VA training and often have supervisors who oversee their tasks to ensure prompt delivery and high-quality output. Our tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” is also applicable in the workplace! Having a proficient, hardworking, loyal, and optimistic Filipino virtual assistant is a great advantage. We’re easy to work with and our skills are competitive to what the global workforce has to offer!

Want to work with a Filipino virtual assistant? Avail of our free five-hour trial today!

**N.B. This is an updated post from a 2014 Pepper blog.

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes in virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.

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