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You have decided you need some administrative assistance, but you haven’t yet returned to working full-time at the office after the pandemic lockdowns.

In fact, the way things are heading, with remote working being a cost effective and efficient ‘new normal’, you may never fully return to office hours you once knew.

This situation makes it difficult for you to employ an in-house Personal Assistant. So, how can you get the business support you need when you are working from home a lot of the time?  You hire a Virtual Assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant (“VA”) is defined as someone who is not office-based but works remotely, providing various admin duties for entrepreneurs, business owners and people living busy lives.

By contrast, a Personal Assistant (“PA”) is an employee who works in the office as part of the in-house workforce.

A VA is generally self-employed and is available for hire to provide business or lifestyle support remotely – using their own resources such as a computer and utilities – for as many hours (or few) hours as you need, so is often a more cost-effective option than employing someone in-house on a full-time basis.

VA duties are very varied; however, they often include:

Business Duties

  • Diary management
  • Document generation, reviewing and formatting
  • Event management
  • Telephone handling
  • Recruitment
  • Client liaison
  • Audio typing
  • Creation of business templates
  • Invoices and reminders
  • Letter writing
  • Travel and accommodation research and booking
  • Social media posting

Lifestyle / Concierge-Style Duties

  • Diary management – appointments and reminders
  • Party and event planning
  • Holiday and travel research and booking
  • Email management
  • Paying household invoices
  • Personal online shopping
  • Gift sourcing
  • Online selling of unwanted items
  • Event ticket sourcing
  • Childcare search
  • Restaurant reservations

The benefits of using a VA over an employed PA

Before I started my own Virtual Assistant business, qVirtual, I worked as a Legal PA for over 20 years. So, I have experienced both sides of the coin and have the greatest respect for my employed PA peers.
However, there are several advantages business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals leading busy lives can enjoy by hiring a VA rather than employing a PA. I have listed a few of the main benefits below.

Choose how much or how little you use them

A VA can be hired for as many (or as few) hours as you need them. So, if one week you don’t need them as much, a VA will only invoice you for the precise hours worked or the duties they’ve accomplished. On the other hand, a PA will cost you the same amount each week no matter how much (or little) work they have on their calendars. They will be employed under a contract that commits to paying them a fixed annual salary for working a set number of hours per week, whether you need them or not.

Reduced costs

It is often the case that you can reduce costs by hiring a VA. For example, a VA will only charge you for the hours worked ensuring you get 100% productive work time for your investment – you are not paying for coffee and lunch breaks as is often the case with employed PA’s.

Furthermore, a VA works under contract and is not employed by you, so they aren’t entitled to receive employment benefits such as paid leave and sick pay.

By contrast, an employed PA will be entitled to several benefits under their employment contract that a self-employed VA won’t, including: 

  • A paid holiday
  • Sick pay
  • Being paid when you go on holiday and don’t necessarily need them
  • Maternity and paternity pay
  • Workplace pension contributions
  • Healthcare benefits

Different time zone? Not a problem

Unlike the typical PA, VA’s don’t only work 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. We can be available to serve our clients at whatever time they need, in whatever time zone. It’s not a problem for a Virtual VA. Having this flexibility on availability gives people who find there are not enough hours in the day, the potential to get so much more done in a 24-hour period.

Scaling-up your business

There’s only so much work that one person can handle in a day. This is why many successful entrepreneurs use VA’s to help scale up their businesses efficiently and cost-effectively. So, if you are looking for flexible admin support to help your business during a period of growth, a VA is the ideal solution.

Although a VA won’t be able to make you a cup of tea or pick you up a double espresso from the local coffee shop on the way to work, it is clear to see that there are a plethora of reasons why choosing a VA over a PA makes perfect sense.

Do you need flexible business support and want to make savings by hiring a VA? Get in touch!

qVirtual – Virtual Assistant Solutions




Telephone: 07519 344462

    Do you need flexible business support and want to make savings by hiring a VA? Get in touch!

    qVirtual – Virtual Assistant Solutions




    Telephone: 07519 344462