Virtual Assistants Versus Personal Assistants: What You Need to Know

Many executives struggle with whether to employ a personal assistant (PA) or contract a virtual assistant (VA). Making the wrong option can have far-reaching consequences on your objectives, company, and financial success, as your assistant will be the main component of your daily activities, your right hand. Understanding the distinction between a personal assistant and a remote assistant is critical to your decision making.

Personal Assistant vs Remote Assistant: The Basics

Virtual assistants are a recent addition to major business success, but personal assistants have been around for what seems like an eternity. Let’s look at the main similarities and distinctions between online assistants and personal assistants to begin with.

What does a personal assistant do?

Personal assistants are intended to make the monotonous chores of executives and company managers more manageable. Leaders should focus solely on essential activities that only they can accomplish, and personal assistants assist them with all the time-consuming activities that don’t need their leadership skills.

Unfortunately, many executives employ their personal assistants to get them coffee or take care of their dry cleaning. When a competent assistant can accomplish so much more than this, it isn’t necessarily time effective.

A personal assistant may be the solution if you require in-person assistance, such as picking up mail, making copies, and going on errands that need a physical presence.

However, if you need assistance managing business activities while also keeping your workload manageable so you can focus on more important tasks, an remote assistant is the way to go.

What does a VA do?

VAs, according to the renowned author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss, allow you to work smarter (not harder) while expanding your business.

VAs can order from a local delivery service, just like real people. They can also handle communications with your virtual and in-person teams, book travel arrangements, manage your inbox, and schedule events.

Beyond these basics, remote assistants can also assist you with reports, presentations, and prospecting. Many VAs specialize in a certain area such as graphic design, bookkeeping, or digital marketing, in addition to receptionist and secretarial abilities. A virtual assistant may become an important member of your team quickly.

How Much Does Hiring An Assistant Cost?

Assistants are charged a wide range of prices. There are several things to think about while calculating the expense of an assistant, depending on whether you want a virtual or a personal one.

The cost of hiring a personal assistant

In the United States, a personal assistant makes an average hourly wage of $28.56. Hourly salaries range from $17 to $41 per hour, depending on the position. However, you must consider other expenses as well.

Most in-person assistants are employees rather than contractors, which means you’ll be responsible for social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes. Paid time off, health insurance premiums, and paid sick days are also included in personal assistant salaries.

Aside from cost of living changes, there are other taxes and fees that might arise when hiring employees. You’ll also need to think about compensated time off, such as vacation and sick days, as well as any additional costs associated with providing certain benefits in order to be an appealing employer, such as a retirement matching program or healthcare.

In addition to using the internet, you’ll also have to deal with creditors and other aspects of running a business. In-person executive and administrative assistants require an office as well as equipment. You’ll need to set up an office or, at the very least, a desk space. That includes everything from furniture to lighting to a phone. The fees vary depending on the quality of your furnishings and supplies.

The cost of hiring a remote assistant

Online assistants are often independent contractors, resulting in a significant cost savings. You may avoid paying into social security, unemployment, and workers’ compensation. VAs also operate from their own homes and use their own technology. Typically, you’ll just need to furnish technical equipment for the position.

In addition, the overhead cost of these assistants is extremely minimal. Hourly salaries in the United States range from $15 to $50 per hour. VAs, on the other hand, frequently work for far less than a personal assistant with comparable abilities.

It’s also worth noting that, on average, just about three hours of every eight hours spent working in person are actually productive when it comes to personal assistants. They charge only for the time they work, resulting in a 78 percent cost savings over the course of a year.

Pros and cons of hiring a personal assistant

A challenge to consider when hiring a personal assistant is training and human resources. You may utilize an agency that specializes in matching you with the ideal match for a VA. However, finding the right fit for a personal assistant might be more difficult.

To discover the finest personal assistant, you’ll have to post an employment ad, which usually comes with a cost. You’ll also need to read through resumes and conduct interviews. There’s also the matter of another dollar expenditure for background checks.

It’s essential to provide training to a personal assistant, especially if you’ve hired one. Sometimes, businesses will hire two or more times in order to find the ideal fit.

When you hire a VA through an agency, you’ll save yourself the bother of dealing with all of this confusion.

Pros and cons of hiring a VA

When it comes to employing a remote assistant, one of the most common worries is that you won’t know what to expect. It’s human nature for you to feel more connected when meeting someone in person. You can observe how your personal assistant is performing and make any necessary changes. In contrast, meeting with someone over the internet may be less personalizing.

There are a few methods to tackle this: remote assistants frequently use a time tracker that records what they are doing and automatically shuts down if their machines become idle, allowing them to work remotely.

However, top remote assistants put in a lot of effort to keep open lines of communication open. Furthermore, you may utilize icebreakers and building trust exercises with your assistant to make them feel more like part of your team and family.

Which option is right for you?

By now, you should have a firm grasp on the distinctions between VAs and PAs. What to think about when selecting the best solution for you is described in this section. However, if you need a little more assistance, consider these issues:

  • Do I require in-person assistance? Or might one or more VA handle it all?
  • Do I need to meet with my assistant in person? Is it acceptable to use video chat instead?
  • Is there a particular time limit on when my assistant must work?
  • What sorts of deadlines do I prefer to enforce? Do I require work to be completed in minutes, hours, or days? Minutes may suggest that a PA is the way to go. If the timeframes are scheduled for hours, a VA will probably suffice.
  • How much do I have to spend on an assistant? What is my financial situation, and how much am I prepared to invest in someone else?

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about the different types of drones, it’s time to choose what’s best for you and your company. Keep in mind, though, that a competent assistant will get the job done, whereas a fantastic assistant is more than essential and will assist your business in many ways.

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