Virtual assistants, not just a secretary?

The rise of the internet combined with the rise of the gig economy has made virtual assistants a viable way of taking some of the stress and worry from start up’s and SMEs.  Today there are millions of virtual assistants worldwide with one online platform alone claiming to have eight million virtual assistants.

Not only has there been a huge rise in the number of virtual assistant the services they offer have expanded to, just like office based personal assistants.   A recent survey of more than 1,700 PAs and secretaries showed that 17% of stand in for their manager at meetings at least monthly and 29% undertake projects for the wider organisation at least weekly.  Some virtual assistants now offer an entire range of business support services, everything from proof reading to recruitment, from data entry to travel booking, from marketing, to consultancy and more.

For many companies, especially start-ups, virtual assistants fill a real need. With funding tight, the ability to commit to employees without specialized skill sets just isn’t there. But companies still need a whole range of tasks to be done.  Virtual assistants bring experience that’s invaluable. Virtual assistants who’ve worked for a number of firms can use that experience to figure out how to get things done and get things done in the most efficient way.

However, many people are still hesitant to go virtual when they’re looking to hire an assistant — and they’re wise in their desire to thoughtfully consider the pros and cons of each assistant type.

So, let’s just take a look at the top 3 pros and cons:

Pros

  • Be less stressed
  • Gain flexibility
  • Increase productivity

Cons

  • Language and cultural barriers
  • Delayed updates due to differences in time zones
  • Lack of focus of a virtual assistant with multiple clients

So, maybe it’s time to jump on the virtual bandwagon and take the plunge?