Virtual assistant VS employee: Can you spot the difference?
Do you know the differences between hiring a virtual assistance compared to a full time (or even part time) employee?
It may not be immediately obvious, but we have experienced both sides of the coin, so can tell you what we know.
What are your obligations to your full-time & part-time employees?
- A set salary
- A set amount of hours
- Paid health care
- Paid holiday
- Paid sick leave
- Paid lunches / coffee breaks
- Travel / sundry expenses
- Office equipment costs and maintenance (supplying PCs etc)
- Full time management and coaching
- Time and money spent training your staff
- Notice period if the member of staff is no longer needed etc
What are your obligations to your virtual assistant?
- Clear communication for each task
- Payment of invoices for the work they complete
Apart from the obvious things to consider like cost and time, it’s also a case of moving with the times. Whatever else is happening in the world right now, there is no doubt that we are moving towards the ‘cloud-based’ approach, rather than just the ‘office-based’ method. This means that we now can work together, much like we would have before, without the travel, the wasted time, and naturally the extra cost to you.
Furthermore, when you have a full-time member of staff, you need to pay them for working all day, ever day, regardless of what they are doing. Conversely, you need only pay your virtual assistant for the work that you want them to do, so immediately this saves you time and money. It also means that you can ask your VA to do the tasks which might take you longer. This could be simply because you are doing another 5 things at any given time, and don’t have enough hours in the day.
What are the differences, other thsn time and money?
Well, since VAs come from different backgrounds, they have their own strengths and thus, have confidence in a wide range of projects, tasks, and work sectors. Including but not limited to: marketing, copy, blogging, diary management, client contacts, email management, book keeping, and more. So you can be sure that you have the best person for each task. The benefit of this, of course, is that you are not expecting your usual staff to do things outside of their comfort zone. Instead, you can rely on VAs because they already have that knowledge and existing skill set. This also saves you from having to provide extensive training.
Location and security – isn’t it easier to manage this in person?
Not necessarily, no. Location is a big thing, you do not have to be based in the same postcode, county, or even country as your VA, because everything is done online. When hiring a member of staff, you are already restricted by location, if they can get to work on time, whether they are willing to pay the travel and spend hours of their day on the commute and so on. VAs must only go as far as the next room.
Although please do not think VAs simply roll out of bed and turn the PC on. This is not how it works; VAs are always professional and therefore maintain a professional environment and demeanor. Workspaces are set up correctly, NDAs are signed, your documents are kept secure and everything is password protected. It can even be seen as more secure than your average office space as there is simply much less footfall.
The last huge difference
I would suggest this is flexibility. That is, your VA will be flexible in time – you can suggest that you only want a one hour spend on a specific task, which will then be completed for you. Flexibility in the tasks you can assign – a VA will come will a huge skillset which can be adapted and applied to your needs, so you can ask for a variety of tasks to be executed and they will be done with expertise and know-how.
Most VAs, like myself, have come from a regular office environment, a member of a full-time organisation and although we know that does work, we have also seen that it cannot and does not suit everyone and every business. You need to assess your needs, within the current climate and decide if a VA is the way to go for you. The best thing to do is reach out and ask, there is no doubt that a face-to-face is better than an email, so why not ask for a zoom, think of it as a socially distanced meet and greet!