Working from home is widely accepted by most employers. We adopted it in 2020 after COVID-19 and we realized how much productivity can be obtained from it. This has created a trend in a very specific role, remote executive assistant. A virtual assistant is a freelance individual who works from outside the office and for whom administrative services are provided to a client. Actually, more companies realize the advantages of freelancers and such an effect completely transforms the type of business in some industries.
The Role of a Virtual Assistant
What’s great is that the role of a remote executive assistant can vary, they are not just restricted to admin tasks. Whatever support your business needs, a virtual assistant can adapt and help you. You may even find that there are VAs that specialize in specific skills, a business can really benefit from this as they are getting help from a professional.
Some VAs will offer a wide range of help and can assist you with the running of your business, however you may find that there are VAs with specific niches too. For example:
Offers support in the more creative aspects of business, helping with a variety of different tasks such as: writing content/blog posts, logo designs, product descriptions, social media content, photo/audio/video editing and creating newsletters.
This type of VA can help with administrative tasks that can be time-consuming, a VA can also help to organize and improve the operational side of how you do admin. Their tasks could include bookkeeping, organizing payroll, inputting data, formatting documents, correspondence and even scheduling.
This is another specific type of VA. Smaller businesses can really benefit from having a professional perspective in this area. This role could include marketing tasks, such as social media marketing, keyword searches, running ads, promoting content, creating content and market research.
Social media is so important now, but running different accounts can be time-consuming. A lot of VAs specialize in social media and can help you with: creating business pages and accounts on each platform, scheduling posts, creating content, engaging with followers, and keeping up to date with the latest social media trends.
Seeking out a technical VA can be very beneficial, especially if you’re a bit of a technophobe. Not only can a technical VA help you with all the technical tasks you struggle to get your head around, they can also keep you up to date in all things tech. Their tasks could involve: writing code, updating software or plugins, website maintenance and setting up an email list.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
From a business’ perspective, many benefits come with hiring a virtual assistant, such as:
Many business representatives are likely to get a busy working agenda, where there is a lot of worktops with small tasks. Such tasks are small in nature but can develop into a larger and better story. Using a VA, you can transfer such practices thus freeing up time to work on long-term objectives.
The aspect that will help cut the costs is not getting a real full-time assistant but hiring one of the virtual ones. You will have to take on a staff member who is employed full-time, which means that they are paid monthly earnings among other spending associated with new hires. Virtual assistants are independent contractors, in a way. They earn salaries depending on the number of hours they work. Along with that, you don’t bear training costs because virtual assistants are already experienced.
You can have no option other than your virtual assistants would offer the flexibility like them at this level. You can set the right amount of hours required for your business and adjust them as necessary, such as increased demand time frame. This is not only economical but also efficient as when there is work congestion, an individual does not have to be under a lot of pressure; he/she can outsource the busy times and let someone do some of the jobs.
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With so many virtual assistants out there, you can find ones experienced in certain areas. This can be valuable for smaller businesses with employees in multiple roles. You could hire a VA to take on a specific role such as social media, or even bookkeeping.
Improved Work-life Balance
A VA can help to reduce your workload and free up your time to finish other tasks that may be taking over your personal life.
Challenges that come with Hiring a Virtual Assistant
It’s important to note the different challenges of having a virtual assistant and the impact having a remote member of staff has on a business.
All interaction with a VA is through the screen, whether that’s a video call, instant message or email. A business may struggle with this, especially if they’re not used to having remote workers and when they are relying on them for urgent and important tasks.
When working remotely, it can be harder to highlight if there has been any miscommunication until it’s too late. This could then lead to issues with customers and clients and even delays that could end up costing your business money.
Security and Privacy
This is definitely a huge consideration you need to make when hiring a VA. A lot of the time, you will be giving them access to important and confidential information, such as website access, email logins or even payroll information. This is a risk, especially as they are an external member of staff.
It is clear why remote work and virtual assistants are on the rise. In this digital era, more businesses are adapting to new technologies and seeing the benefits of outsourcing. However, as always, before making a decision, such as hiring a VA, it’s essential to consider both the benefits and challenges and how they will impact your business.