A secretary from home performs a variety of administrative duties for another individual or a business entity. Some firms offer secretary from home services and these businesses employ large numbers of experienced secretaries or administrators on a contractual basis. Other work from home secretaries are self-employed individuals who are not affiliated with secretarial firms.
Typically, a secretary from home answers calls and handles customer issues on behalf of a client. The client may have their phone line forwarded to the secretary's home line but in other instances, the client provides customers with the secretary's own number. Like any administrative assistant, a secretary from home must take messages and forward important calls to the client. Typically, the client liaises with the secretary throughout the day and provides the secretary with instructions detailing which customer calls to forward and times of day when the client will be non-contactable.
Home based secretaries also accept and respond to emails on behalf of a client. As with phone calls, urgent emails may be passed directly onto the client while less important messages may be saved and answered at a later date. Some clients may arrange conference calls with their secretary during which the client will dictate emails that the secretary must then compose and send to clients. Additionally, a secretary from home may also have to compose and mail letters on behalf of a client.
Some small businesses also require secretaries to handle administrative duties related to company websites. The client normally hires a programmer to set up the site but the secretary may be provided with login information and asked to update website information on a daily or weekly basis. When a business organizes a promotion, the secretary may have to place details of the promotion on the company website as well as composing and sending out promotional emails.
Owners of small businesses often have to arrange face-to-face meetings with clients to negotiate sales and service contracts. In many instances, a home based secretary can arrange these meetings by liaising with the client's business partners and prospective customers. Normally, secretaries have access to the client’s online calendar or planner so that the secretary can record details of these meetings.
Qualifications for a secretary from home vary based upon the needs of the client. Generally, a secretary must have good typing and customer service skills. Some firms that contract secretaries require contracted workers to have undergone some kind of vocational training at college or secretarial training schools. Clients that deal with overseas customers may require work from home secretaries to have second language skills.