Contrary to what some of us may think, there isn’t anything new or novel about virtual assistants. One article published by The Week back in 2017 goes over how virtual assistants were beginning to replace in-house assistants and secretaries at the time. Today, just over two years after the article was published, you still have numerous managers, corporate execs, and entrepreneurs trying to figure out whether working with a virtual assistant is the way to go.
If you’re someone who is trying to decipher which option would work better for you, we’ve got some pointers in this blog that you might find useful.
Before we proceed to elaborate on whether you should work with a virtual assistant or a real one, we’re going to address a question that seems to confuse many. A lot of people confuse virtual assistants with chatbot technology. You’ll be happy to know that according to an article shared by Forbes, the two are in fact very different. As stated by the article, the prime difference between the two is the degree of capabilities as well as the fact that a chatbot is an AI program, and a virtual assistant is a remote resource working with the facilitation of specialized software.
Where chatbots are suited to more simple functions, the complexity of the level at which virtual assistants operate being human, is a lot higher.
According to a post published by Investopedia, you have a number of different kinds of virtual assistants specializing in different areas of work. You’ve got virtual assistants that act as remote secretaries, those that take on administrative functions, and those that cover a combination of activities that individuals hiring may require.
Now that we’ve got a better understanding of what a virtual assistant is, it’s time to address the elephant in the room; is a virtual assistant better than a conventional in-house assistant? Personally, we feel there are a number of reasons that point to the fact that hiring a virtual assistant may actually be a better way to go! We’re going to elaborate on some of the pointers that seem to support this argument.
One of the most obvious arguments in favour of working with a virtual assistant is cost saving. Hiring an in-house employee costs a fair bit of money if you break it down. With a regular in-house employee, here are some of the things that you will likely have to cover financially:
- Payroll taxes
- Potential overtime
- Social security
- Salaries for HR resources
Apart from this, there may be other costs you need to oversee such as paid leave including paid leave. In most cases, you won’t have to pay any of the aforementioned for a virtual assistant. You’ll simply need to pay the individual for the tasks they have completed for you or work done. Furthermore, most virtual assistants ask for less by way of salary than an in-house assistance of the same stature might.
Apart from being a lot more cost effective, virtual assistants in most cases can be a lot more efficient than conventional assistants. The first reason for this is flexibility. Where a regular assistant may have to come in, be at work for a certain number of hours, and then leave once hours are out, it is different for virtual assistants.
A virtual assistant has the liberty of scheduling their own hours to a degree keeping yours in mind. This way, they can be available to you at any given time, and pretty much anywhere. One example of how this works is in the case where you’re a high level executive who is required to travel frequently. Having a conventional in-house assistant would leave you with two choices:
- Have your assistant travel with you and undertake costs for their travel and lodging.
- Make do without the services or support of your assistant (particularly if you’re working from a different time zone).
In either case, it’s not a great situation. A virtual assistant however would be available to you pretty much anytime and anywhere. Further, you could even hire a temporary virtual assistant to support you during a particular business trip. Keeping this in mind, one could say that virtual assistants take the lead when it comes to both efficiency and mobility!
Where 9–5 workdays may suit a lot of people, that kind of a regimen certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! You have some skilled and talented individuals that simply do not thrive in such rigid routines, particularly if the same involve grueling hours of desk and screen time whether needed or not! Such a grind can serve to tire if not demotivate many resulting in a lack of attention or care towards tasks and assignments due to the desire to get them out of the way.
The flexibility allowed to a virtual assistant also helps them organize in a manner that is conducive to helping them function optimally. This way, in many cases, a virtual assistant will be more alert, attentive, and will generally provide a better quality of work than your average in-house employee.
Finally, a virtual assistant does not call in sick as they don’t need to come in to work. That said, they do see to their tasks and how they may be feeling, does not come into the picture unless it is seriously urgent. In this sense, they are a bit more dependable than your regular employee who needs to wash, dress, change, and make it to the office with a smile!
This isn’t to say that in-house employees aren’t up to the mark. It’s more about the fact that a virtual assistant gets to work in an environment which is a lot less stressful and that often shows!
With the current dearth of capable professionals wanting to bog themselves down with 9–5 placements, as well as the fact that hiring and retaining such a professional in this day and age could be costly, viable alternatives are important.
Virtual assistants are flexible, dependable, easy to work with, capable, and in most cases, a lot more affordable than an in-house employee offering the same standards of service!
You’re here and you made it all the way to the end. The next step is to see what Despacho.io can do for you.