As every business owner knows, how one allocates their time is as strategic as assigning their time. That’s the art of delegation: finding the balance between what you can do and what you have to do. Tim Ferriss listed the benefits of outsourcing to virtual assistants in The Four Hour Work Week that became the outsourcing bible for many. He states that becoming rich is about working smarter and building a system to replace yourself. Hiring virtual assistants means that someone works smarter and replaces themselves.
Future trends of Virtual Assistants Work
Since the 1990s, advancements in high-speed internet, virtual conferencing, document sharing, and cloud-based project management software have given way to a business owner’s ability to leverage remote talent. And as companies become more accommodating than ever, virtual work will continue to rise.
According to the Intuit 2020 Report, the long-term trend of hiring freelance work will continue to accelerate, with more than 80 % of large corporations planning to increase flexible workers’ use.
As the number of telecommuters rises, so does the number of virtual assistants. The precise number is hard to calculate because many of them do not belong to any official organization. However, many of them are registered on freelancing platforms. According to The Week, around 5,000 virtual assistants are listed on Upwork, 26,000 on Freelancer, 5,000 on PeoplePerHour, and 74,000 on Guru.
What are the main benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant?
They are people who provide support services to companies from remote locations. These services can be whatever a company needs them to be. Most support from them varies from administrative assistance to digital marketing support and everything in between, including full-blown project management.
U.S. Based Virtual assistants typically earn between $10 and $70 per hour and beyond, depending on their skill set and location. Experience levels can vary from a college student who manages a company’s social media platform to a seasoned business professional who prefers to support another entrepreneur in theirs rather than growing his or her own business.
Their most significant value is the savings they offer business owners in time and hard-earned cash. They can save on recruitment and operation costs. Also, they are not full-time employees, so they don’t require the human resource investment of searching, interviewing, vetting, and hiring. Virtual assistants save you the expense of advertising on job sites and don’t need a full-time staff member’s robust benefits package. According to Entrepreneur, hiring them over a full-time employee saves up to 78% in operating costs/year.
Virtual assistants work remotely, so they don’t require the overhead investment of rental space for work, Internet bandwidth, phone lines, equipment, and more. With more than 100,000 virtual assistants available on freelance platforms, the high-level support you need is out there. The talent you seek is available and also interested.
Who is more cost-effective, independent contractors or in-office employees?
According to Nolo, businesses can save around 20-30 % by working with Independent Contractors vs. Employees when social security, medicare, and workers compensation insurance are factored in. And that is enough for many companies to consider using this gig economy.
Delegating work to a virtual assistant expands the value of the business owner’s time. “If your time is worth $20-25 per hour and you spend it doing something that someone else will do for $10 per hour, you are not using your resources properly,” says Ferriss in The Four Hour Work Week. A virtual assistant can perform all the tasks a traditional in-house secretary would handle. Therefore the business owners prefer them most.
According to Entrepreneur, virtual assistants can also prioritize customer inquiries, resulting in improved sales lead follow-ups. Hiring a virtual assistant to support your business helps put processes in place for continued growth and scalability in the future. By delegating work to virtual assistants, business owners regain their time and peace of mind work-life balance and profitability.
How productive are virtual assistants?
Virtual assistants are just as productive as in-office assistants or, in many cases, more efficient. And that may be due to the comfort and flexibility of working at home.
Working from home
Virtual assistants do not have to get in a car and commute to work. They do not have to use the office for the basics of living: snacking, using the bathroom, and taking breaks. These make virtual assistants highly efficient and able to handle a wide variety of tasks. According to ValueWalk, 91 % of virtual workers reported feeling more productive when they worked from home. That is in line with what we have seen from virtual assistants self-reporting: it is easier to work from home! This effect often expands beyond virtual assistants. All remote workers, in general, often report higher productivity rates when working in their homes.
Customer care services
Let’s look at some of the virtual assistant’s more specific tasks and understand if they also come out favorably there. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees who worked from home finished over 13% more calls at a Ctrip call center than those working in an office. What does this mean? That means that the Ctrip call center got almost an extra workday per week out of remote workers. Imagine what a company could do with an additional workday per week out of their high call volumes.
Let’s also look at just how efficient salaried employees can be. According to Inc.com, an average worker is only productive throughout an eight-hour workday for about two hours and 53 minutes. That may be part of what makes it so cost-effective to hire a virtual assistant. As we saw above, the costs associated with hiring a full-time assistant are much higher than you would imagine. That also paves the way for more drastic savings by hiring virtual assistants.
If a company were to hire a virtual assistant for only two and a half hours every day, they will be fully productive hours. Therefore, they’ll save money on salary and on the overall scope of the job they’ve created.
Hiring a salaried worker, Inc.com notes, includes paying for someone’s time as they read news websites, check social media, and more. For example, reading news websites can take up to an hour and five minutes a day.
When a company hires a full-time employee, they have to consider what they’re paying for. With a virtual assistant, they’ll have far more assurance that they’re paying for productive work.
When you are ready to leverage the benefits of working with a virtual assistant, click here to start with Incus.