Virtual Assistant vs. In-House Assistant: Which is Right for You?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Virtual Assistants

virtual assistant

As a busy professional, you may be considering hiring an assistant to help manage your workload. But with the rise of virtual assistants, you may be wondering if it’s better to hire someone in-house or go virtual. This guide will explore the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make an informed decision.
 

Virtual Assistant: Pros and Cons. 

In today’s fast-paced business world, time is a precious commodity that cannot be wasted. As small businesses grow, it is essential to optimise every minute and resource available. One of the most effective ways to achieve this goal is by working with a Virtual Assistant. 

 

The Pros of Working with a Virtual Assistant 

Cost Savings

Virtual assistants offer a lot of flexibility and cost savings compared to in-house assistants. They can work from anywhere, which means you don’t have to provide office space or equipment. This can be particularly advantageous for businesses with limited office space or those that have employees working remotely. Additionally, virtual assistants often have their own equipment and software, which further reduces overhead costs. 

Specialised Skills 

Virtual assistants often have specialised skills and experience that can be difficult or expensive to find in-house. This can allow you to access expertise in specific areas without having to hire a full-time employee. 

Increased Productivity 

Virtual assistants can take care of time-consuming tasks, freeing up your time to focus on core business activities. They can also work outside of traditional business hours, allowing you to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently. 

Easy to Scale 

As your business grows, you can easily add more virtual assistants to your team without having to worry about space or infrastructure limitations. 

 

The Cons of Working with a Virtual Assistant 

Not available for in-person meetings

Virtual assistants may not be as readily available for in-person meetings or tasks that require physical presence. This can be a disadvantage for businesses that require frequent on-site assistance, such as receptionist duties, running errands, or conducting customer-facing tasks. However, some virtual assistants may be willing to travel for important meetings or tasks, and there are now many tools available to facilitate remote collaboration and communication, such as zoom for online meetings. 

Technology Requirements 

Working with a virtual assistant requires reliable technology and communication tools. Technical issues can disrupt communication and delay tasks. 

Limited Control 

When working with a virtual assistant, you have less control over their work environment, work schedule, and workload. This can make it challenging to monitor their progress and ensure that tasks are completed on time and to your satisfaction. 

Final Thoughts 

Virtual assistants offer an excellent alternative to traditional in-house assistants, offering businesses greater flexibility and cost savings. While there are some challenges associated with remote work, the benefits of working with virtual assistants can outweigh the drawbacks for many businesses. By carefully assessing your needs and selecting the right virtual assistant, you can free up valuable time and resources, allowing you to focus on growing your business.  

Finding the right virtual assistant, who’s experienced in their field and can support you in the right way in your business will be able to lead the way and guide you on the best way to work together. 

In-House Assistant: Pros and Cons 

If you’re considering hiring an assistant to help you manage your workload and grow your business, you may be weighing the pros and cons of working with an in-house assistant versus a virtual assistant. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of working with an in-house assistant, so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your business.

 

The Pro’s of Working with In-House Assistants 

 

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Provides a personal touch
 

When you work with an in-house assistant, they are physically present in your office or workplace, which allows for easier communication and collaboration. You can easily have face-to-face meetings with them, and they can handle tasks that require their physical presence, such as running errands or attending meetings. 

Familiarity with Company Culture 

In-house assistants have a better understanding of your company culture and can integrate more seamlessly into your team. They have a better understanding of your business and can anticipate your needs more effectively. 

‘Feeling’ of greater loyalty

In-house assistants may have a greater sense of loyalty to your business, as they are more closely integrated into your team and culture. This can lead to a longer-term commitment to your business and a greater willingness to go above and beyond. 

 

Disadvantages of Hiring In-house vs a Virtual Assistant

More expensive than hiring a VA 

Hiring an in-house assistant can be more expensive than hiring a virtual assistant. Along with their salary, you will need to provide them with office space, equipment, and benefits such as health insurance and paid time off. These costs can add up quickly, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets. If at any point your business experiences a slow period or you don’t have enough work to keep your in-house assistant busy, you may still need to pay them a full salary, which can be a financial burden.
 

Greater Management Responsibilities 

Managing an in-house assistant requires a significant time investment. You must supervise their work, provide feedback, and manage any issues that arise. This can be challenging, particularly if you have limited managerial experience. 

Limited Skillset 

In-house assistants may have limited skills or experience beyond their job description. This can limit their ability to adapt to new tasks or take on additional responsibilities outside of their primary role. 

Paying for chats by the water cooler  

A survey by Salary.com shows that 29% of respondents spend up to 2 hours a week wasting time on the computer at work, and 21% who waste up to 5 hours a week. Virtual Assistants work on their own schedule, time is money for them! They want to step into your business and complete the work needed, and move on to their next task (or next client) to keep things moving. Chats by the water cooler aren’t on the cards! 

Final Thoughts 

Overall, whether you choose to hire a virtual assistant or an in-house assistant will depend on your business’s unique needs and budget. While in-house assistants can provide a personal touch and be readily available for in-person tasks, virtual assistants offer flexibility and cost savings. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully and choose the one that will best support your business’s growth and success.
 

Virtual Assistant Cost Comparison

When it comes to cost, virtual assistants are often the more affordable option. They typically charge by the hour or project, and you only pay for the work they complete. You also don’t need to provide office space or equipment, which can save you money. However, keep in mind that if you need a virtual assistant for a long-term project, the costs can add up. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each option before making a decision. 

Let’s take a look past the VA hourly rate: 

The typical rate of a Virtual Assistant in the UK is £35 – this might seem like a shock compared to £13 for an office employee – but don’t forget, your financial commitment to your virtual assistant stops at the hourly rate.  

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Communication and Collaboration with a Virtual Assistant

Communication and collaboration are important factors to consider when deciding between a virtual assistant and an in-house assistant. With a virtual assistant, communication may be more difficult as you may not be in the same physical location.  

However, technology such as video conferencing and messaging apps can help bridge the gap. In-house assistants may be easier to communicate with but may also require more supervision and management. Consider your communication and collaboration needs before making a decision.
 

The Conclusion 

Ultimately, the decision between a virtual assistant and an in-house assistant will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as cost, communication, flexibility, and management when making your decision. It may also be helpful to try out both options on a trial basis before committing to a long-term arrangement. Remember, the right assistant can help you save time, increase productivity, and achieve your goals, so choose wisely. 

If you are looking for your first or next Virtual Assistant, you are already in the right place. Contact us today to find out how you can start doing less in your business whilst achieving more.

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