How a Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Company During the Crisis

Virtual Assistant

Amidst the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it comes as no surprise that many companies are facing challenges with their workforce. The sudden outbreak of this disease and the subsequent regulations have changed the business landscape, including limited operations on-site and staff downsizing.

Working from home has become the new normal. Zoom meetings and email threads have now replaced the usual conference room meetings and casual office conversations. To make things worse, some have had to reduce staff as a way to cut costs.

As a business owner, you probably find that your days now consist of coordinating between different team members, planning schedules that would work for everyone, and keeping track of messages. You need to be making important decisions regarding your company’s future, but you end up spending time on mundane tasks instead. If you’re in this situation, you will likely benefit a lot from hiring a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who remotely provides a variety of professional services to companies. Also known as online assistants, they typically handle the same tasks that an executive assistant would do. Usually working from a home office, they use technology to access necessary documents from the company. 

Aside from administrative tasks, they can also be hired to do anything that your in-office support staff does. They can fulfill various duties like social media management, web design, or even doing photo shoots.

VAs are often hired by small businesses and entrepreneurs that do not have the resources for full-time assistants. However, even big companies have recognized the usefulness of having virtual assistants as integral parts of their workforce because of the lockdowns.

Why Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant?

  • No need for a dedicated office. The most obvious advantage of hiring a VA over an in-house assistant is that you will not have to provide any physical space for them in your company, as virtual assistants only need an internet connection to do their tasks. At the onset of the pandemic, businesses that have already been employing VAs had this significant advantage. 

Virtual assistants can keep operating despite the disruptions. Even after the pandemic is over and things have gone back to normal, this is still a factor on why you should consider a virtual assistant’s services.

  • Cost-effective. With in-house staff, there is a lot to spend on. Aside from their salary, you also need to pay for training, equipment, benefits, and bonuses.

By working with a VA, these can be bypassed. More often than not, virtual assistants are already skilled in the task you hire them for. Whether it’s bookkeeping, diary management, or business negotiations, there’s a good chance that only minimal training is needed.

Skills for financial service VA, for example, already include proficiency in a wide array of financial services like organizing payroll, invoices, and managing accounting records.

All you will have to do is let them get used to the particular systems that your business uses and let them know of your expectations.

As VAs are responsible for providing their equipment such as a desktop computer, webcam, or reliable internet connection, you don’t need to allot a budget for these expenses.

Insurance and health benefits are not required since you will simply pay for the work they do hourly or for a set rate. A virtual assistant can save you up to 78% in operating costs per year.

  • Better time management. By hiring a competent virtual assistant, you can delegate many simple, time-consuming tasks that you would otherwise have to do. Data entry, answering phone calls, and team coordination are just some of the duties you can assign to a VA.

    As a result, you will have more time to attend to executive functions. As the owner, you can keep your focus on more important tasks and make decisions for the company’s future. You may even entrust your tasks, like travel and hotel bookings and ordering food from delivery apps, to your VA.
  • Increased productivity. As opposed to in-house workers, VAs do not have to spend hours in traffic. Tardiness is undoubtedly out of the question. They experience less stress because of this and are prepared for work as soon as your agreed-upon schedule starts.

    Other activities like loitering in the break room, snacking, and chatting with coworkers are also avoided when hiring VAs. While they are on the clock with your company, they are sure to concentrate on their work, as they are paid by contract.

The fact that they work from home offices also contributes to the productivity of VAs. In a study, 13% of employees reported that they work better at home than at the workplace.

  • Flexible work hours. Because they work on a contractual basis, you may extend or scale back your VAs’ hours depending on your needs. If your business is small, a full-time assistant may not be necessary. Just three hours per day may be enough for your virtual assistant to do all the tasks you need them for.

On the other hand, you can extend the work hours when your company is overloaded with work. This will lessen the demand on yourself and your employees.

  • Peace of mind. Often, business owners do not realize how demanding their jobs are until some of the weight is lifted off their backs. Many have to juggle all sorts of different roles. With a virtual assistant, you will have less to think about. Having a VA that you can trust frees your mind from all the phone calls you have to make, the plans you have to set, or the deals you have to negotiate.

Grow Your Company with the Help of VAs

The events of the past year have made more companies consider VA services as a viable option. The advantages of hiring a virtual assistant are apparent. It results in reduced costs and a lighter workload. With virtual assistants, you don’t need to sacrifice productivity and profit even with the pandemic.

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