Getting the Most from Your Virtual Assistant
Back in the early 2000's, there was a Virtual Assistant boom. Everyone working in Admin either wanted to be one, or companies across the world suddenly wanted to hire one. Though the career craze seems to have petered out a little, there's still a lot of benefit to hiring a Virtual Assistant to support you and your business.
To help you make your mind up as to whether a Virtual Assistant is right for you, we thought it would be a good idea to talk through some of the advantages from both sides of the screen.
Virtual Assistants are Freelancers; this means that although you, the client, remain the most important thing about our business, we work for ourselves and not for any one organisation. It works for both parties – we have the freedom and flexibility to work alongside our other commitments while you get someone who, when they're working for you, is 100% dedicated to the project with no fear of burn out or complacency.
Hiring a freelancer also has a positive financial benefit for you as a client; as it means there's no Employers tax or NI obligations, no pension contributions etc. Our hourly rate might seem a little higher on the surface than someone you might hire on a temporary basis but you're saving money in the long run. Plus, VAs work from their own homes 99% of the time, saving you money in overheads and technology that you might need for an employee.
Contracts can be long-term or temporary. If you've only got a requirement for a Virtual Assistant for a short-term project, great – VAs are flexible and often more than happy to take on a short-term project. Equally, if you want to ensure continuity of service, most VA's will gladly set out a longer-term contract, agreeing hours of work in advance or working on a retainer basis to ensure your work always remains a priority for them.
100% Confidentiality Guaranteed. If you need help with an internal matter that needs absolutely confidentiality, a VA is a great way to go. Investigations, Disciplinary Hearings, Grievances – they're all incredibly important meetings where discretion is required to protect both the employer and the employee. A VA won't go around spreading gossip to colleagues because they're a separate entity from the organisation. They'll type up the minutes of your meetings, either via recording or via attending over Zoom/Teams, and ensure both parties agree them to be an accurate account.
A happy client makes a happy VA – and vice versa. Above all else, Virtual Assistants want to do a good job. There's a certain pride in it, after all, and we have not only our reputation but our future business propositions if we don't do a good job.
Setting, and adhering to, boundaries. Professional boundaries are a must for both parties; not only does it protect your interests, but it preserves the working relationship between a VA and their client.
Clear expectations about timekeeping are a must. Don't misunderstand me when I say this, but your Virtual Assistant isn't available to you 24 hours a day. It would be unfair to expect them to be on call every waking and non-waking minute. We need our downtime and our holidays, too. That said, we understand not all businesses work on a 9-5 pattern and sometimes the scope of a specific project will require working hours outside of that. Virtual Assistants are often more flexible in terms of hours they'll work than staff who are usually contracted to set hours.
If you've still got questions about how a Virtual Assistant like Admin Assist could help you, don't hesitate to get in touch!