We live in exciting (and scary!) times where technology is at its peak. With the exponential growth of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, trying to imagine what the digital space would be like in the next 20 years is truly unimaginable! In truth, virtual reality has now become an actual reality.
Be it education, astronomy, real-estate and even medicine, virtual assistance has swept in and made a phenomenal impact in almost all walks of our life. Slowly, we are starting to live in a world where virtual reality is dominating and gaining precedence over physical reality. Yes, it can get intimidating but let’s not forget the exhilaration!
These days whenever the term “virtual assistance” crops up, our mind instantly conjures thoughts of Siri, Cortana, IBM Watson and other similar AI enabled software.
But, the term “virtual assistants” still continues to stand for a group of people who can assist you with all your business endeavors from a remote location or by working virtually. This article is going to solely speak about virtual assistants (sorry Siri, Cortana, but you’re already way too popular) versus in-house assistants.
Unlike Artificial Intelligence software, Virtual Assistants aren’t programmed with any software based on formula, coding or logic. They, however, possess brains and consciences that can be used to create such programs, codes, and logic.
Just like your in-house business staff, virtual assistants also nurture emotions and aspirations for the growth and prosperity of your business. To them, the possibility that they haven’t or probably won’t ever meet you face to face makes no difference in their dedication and enthusiasm towards your business.
In my entire span of career in the virtual assistance space, I have come across so many ‘virtual’ business relationships that seem to have more solidity than that of physical ones. I have seen many people who hire Virtual Assistants consider them as a part of their organization and remember to thoughtfully gift and wish them during Christmas, New Year, Birthdays; just the way we usually do with our in-house staff. In reality, time and distance have truly become relative!
In case, you’re thinking of hiring an assistant and aren’t clear whether to go for someone who would work in-house or remotely; here are some of the advantages of both listed below to help you decide!
Advantages of Virtual Assistants
No Work Space Needed: If you are an entrepreneur who has just begun their start-up business, or an employer who has space crunches or just someone who doesn’t like having people around you when you work, Virtual Assistants are a godsend.
You do not have to worry whether they have a computer, or a desk, or even air conditioning for that instance! Virtual Assistance companies ensure that your assistant works in a highly-secured area with technologically advanced infrastructure.
No bonus or incentives: No, you don’t need to pay a dime more than the plan you subscribed to. No bonuses, no incentives, no provident funds, no allowances that are heaped on you sneakily.
Of course, if you’d like to sometimes reward your assistants for exemplary work, then sure go ahead!
No Payments for Vacations or Leaves: If your assistant goes on a leave or is away sunbathing in some exotic location, you do not need to pay for that idle time. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
The best part? Virtual Assistance companies also have the provision of backups who can fill in for your assistant when they are unavailable. That way, there is no delay in any of your work and your process is left unhindered.
Flexibility with working hours: VAs can work effectively during your off hours. So, while you are asleep, your assistant can get all your work done so that you wake up on top of things.
The most effective practice is to assign all your pending tasks to your remote assistant which you weren’t able to complete throughout the day. That way, you don’t need to spend another extra day working on pending tasks.
Jack of All Trades: No, being a Jack of All Trades doesn’t necessarily mean you’re Master of None. Especially, when you have a team to help you with your work! Virtual Assistance companies are equipped with a versatile group of employees who have niche specific skill sets such as web designing and development, graphics designing, video editing, copywriting, accounting, etc.
So, if you have a skill-focused task, don’t hesitate to enquire about it to your Virtual Assistance company.
Offer Backup Support: As mentioned earlier, there may be times when your assistant is unable to turn up to work. Or worse, he quits. Would that put your process to a stop? Nope. That’s where a substitute or a backup steps in to ensure smooth execution of all your tasks.
One of the age-old methods followed in the Virtual Assistance (VA) industry is to acquaint yourself with your backup in the initial stages of process establishment and to keep your backup always in the loop of all happenings.
That way, when it is needed, your backup can simply step in for your assistant without any deferment.
No need to micromanage: One of the foremost reasons, employers hesitate to try out a Virtual Assistant is for the fear of micromanaging. You’re scared of the constant to and fro calls and emails and the need to go through their work to ensure all is up to the mark.
But what if you were told that there is someone to do that exactly for you? You’d breathe a sigh of relief, right?
Most Virtual Assistance companies employ Supervisors and Managers who are paid to certify the quality of the results. They go through the final output prior to it being sent to you to ensure optimum quality.
Advantages of in-house staff
Great for on-field jobs: If your business requires you to have someone who would engage in physical involvement like property site visitation, food delivery assistance, pick up and drop facility, etc., in-house staff is your best bet.
Work with local communities: If you need your assistant to work in sync with the needs and causes of your local communities, an in-house help would be a great addition to your team.
Manual Labour: If your business needs muscle power to achieve its goals and objective, you need to hire physically-available staff.
Managing paper trails: It’s always recommended to appoint in-house or physical staff for paper trails or tangible documents.
At the end of the day, no one knows your business better than you. So, it is finally up to you to decide whether you’d like to go for someone who can work for you in-person or if you can do the same with someone from a remote location. Be realistic about your expectations so that you ultimately choose the right person!