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The Future of Work: How Virtual Assistants Are Transforming the Workplace

November 27, 2023 No Comments

by Jeff Caplinger

A specialist’s time is limited and, as something limited and valuable, it costs quite a bit of money. You’ve all seen jokes about how long it takes Bill Gates to save for a new Lamborghini (seconds were in question), and while this is a meme, there is some truth to it. 

A specialist’s time is only worth that much because they can perform tasks that others can’t. This means that if these specialists waste their time on menial tasks that anyone else could do (answering emails, making their coffee, basic research, and outreach), they and the company will lose a lot of money. 

The way this is handled is pretty simple – you hire an assistant! Today, with the presence of virtual assistants, this makes even more sense. Here’s how!

Why now?

In the past, it only made sense if the assistant was there with you. Otherwise, how else could they help? 

If they can’t use the office phone, make you a coffee, or answer in seconds, how can they work on the same project or complement your work? How could they assist you if they can’t see the whiteboard with all the daily tasks and update your schedule?

The thing is that it’s been a while since any of these things were done in person (or manually). 

Tasks and schedules are mostly handled through collaboration tools (even in real offices), while you can have a coffee or a meal delivered to one’s doorstep via an app. If you want to go full cliche with the old-school responsibilities of a personal assistant, they can even find a delivery service that will take their boss’ clothes to dry cleaners.

Via modern instant messaging apps, nothing prevents you from being on the line 24/7.

In other words, it’s not just that all these tools are available (and they weren’t before). It’s also about the fact that they’re used either way. You already use these platforms to coordinate on the same project, so why not add personal assistants? This digital workplace ecosystem is already perfect for this employment model, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

For all these reasons, employing a virtual assistant makes more sense now than ever.

Flexible work arrangement

Modern workplaces are operating under different circumstances. Since remote teams don’t require as big of a commitment, many employers prefer to hire virtual assistants and freelancers rather than traditional employees. 

Since most virtual assistants operate as independent contractors or freelancers, this is an arrangement that fits them perfectly. 

The situation is so flexible that you can even hire them for the project’s duration. Speaking of which, more and more enterprises are running agile projects. This means that the duration of the project is unlimited. Instead of having a beginning and an end, the project is in continuous development. Instead of the beginning and the end of the project, you have the beginning and the end of a project stage. 

The role of a virtual assistant in creating and managing agile teams is simply invaluable. They can respond quickly to evolving business requirements and keep track of administrative tasks in a scenario where specialists and managers are engaged with core tasks. 

In this way, virtual assistants are stepping up as an HR boost to your enterprise, facilitating communication and making the entire thing work. They can act as a vital link in the chain and the management’s buffer, not allowing daily tasks of agile projects to overwhelm the executives. Instead, they interact with the team and perform a sort of triage to what information gets sent up. 

In other words, they don’t just fit a flexible business model. They’re the ones who can actually make it work.

Saving costs

Hiring a virtual assistant can save you a lot of money. First, they’re not an office worker, which means that you don’t have to move to a bigger place, buy a new workstation, and pay for anyone’s travel expenses. You’re simply arranging with an employee (or an agency) online and instantly getting the assistance you need.

Another thing to remember is that hiring a global talent saves you quite a bit of money by default. After all, you’re hiring someone remotely, which means you can find someone from an area with a lower purchasing power parity. This means you can find someone as skilled (perhaps even more skilled) and pay them less than you otherwise would. 

Hiring people from abroad can also help you expand into foreign markets. Having a virtual assistant to do the local market research is far more effective when it’s someone from that particular region. Keep in mind that finding local aid might even be a necessity, and now, you have a simple way to do so. 

Also, this can make it easier to provide customer support during odd hours (since they’re in a different time zone).

Scalability

Previously, we’ve discussed that you can hire virtual assistants either directly or through an agency. Well, either of the two ways can help out with the scalability, but going through an agency is a far simpler choice. This way, you don’t have to manage their payroll directly or worry about them leaving and being unable to find a replacement.

At the same time, you can take the traditional route and hire a remote employee to be your virtual assistant. This is quite simple since all you have to do is make a job requirement and post that you have a job opening. With so many listing sites (like LinkedIn, Upwork, JobRack, etc.), you shouldn’t struggle to get too much attention.

Either of the two can help you increase your workforce in days (even hours).

Wrap up

Finally, the role of virtual assistants is currently so popular mostly because there’s a huge demand for their services. Therefore, saying that virtual assistants are transforming the workspace wouldn’t be completely accurate. It’s more about the fact that the modern business world has a gap that they are destined to fill.

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