Virtual Assistant Vs Employee: Making The Right Choice For Business Success


Virtual Assistant Vs Employee


Every entrepreneur or business owner needs to weigh the pros and cons when it comes to the virtual assistant vs employee decision.

Like every decision made in business, there will be advantages and disadvantages, so making the right choice for your company will prove essential.

While both workers can perform the same tasks, such as general administrative duties, social media management, office management, and personal assistant duties, things like cost and work flexibility also impact your choice.

This article will help you evaluate the for and against hiring a virtual assistant vs an employee.

Hiring A Virtual Assistant

What Are The Advantages?

1 – Flexible Work Hours

One of the main advantages of hiring a virtual assistant freelancer is its flexibility regarding working hours.

You can hire virtual assistants for a short-term period, part-time, or for the duration of a project you are working on.

Having that flexibility allows you to call on the skills of a virtual assistant as and when you require them. For example, all companies have peak times where they need extra staff, such as the busy Christmas period or to cover staff holidays and sickness.

Of course, you could also hire a virtual assistant full-time. It is whatever suits your business best.

2 – Diverse Skills

Excellent virtual assistants have diverse skill sets, which will always prove advantageous to your company.

Of course, you can hire a freelance virtual assistant for administrative tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, and client meetings. Still, highly skilled virtual assistants can do much more.

For example, many business owners hire virtual assistants for social media marketing and promotional work, blog content writing, photo and video editing, and even technical support.

You may find that the virtual assistant you hire has skills you didn’t even realise your business needed, like advanced graphic design expertise.

3 – Cost Savings

Money talks and hiring a virtual assistant will save you a lot of money compared to employing an in-house employee on an annual salary.

Hiring a virtual assistant at an hourly rate proves more cost-effective than paying a fixed monthly rate to a permanent employee.

When you hire virtual assistants, you don’t have the added cost of paying employee-related tax and pension contributions, and you don’t have to pay for additional office space and equipment.

Also, you don’t have to pay the remote worker holiday and sick pay or an additional overtime rate.

4 – Flexible Contracts

Hiring a virtual assistant allows the business owner to assess the actual hours they need on a specific project to ensure they are not paying people for lunch breaks, tea/coffee breaks, and toilet breaks.

When you hire a virtual assistant, it allows for a flexible schedule that suits your business.

Many businesses find that hiring a virtual assistant allows them to have a more flexible schedule than when they employ a permanent team member.

When you use virtual assistant services, you only pay for the actual hours worked, which means you are saving money, and your remote worker could be working outside your transitional office hours.

What Are The Disadvantages?

1 – Remote Working

There will be a disadvantage for every advantage when hiring a virtual assistant based in another time zone for your business.

The disadvantage in this situation is that you might need a task to be completed within an hourly schedule at a particular time. For example, that time may be during your working hours but during the night for your virtual assistant.

In this case, it will mean that only an in-house permanent employee can perform these tasks for you and indicates the remote worker can only undertake specific tasks at certain times.

The virtual assistance worker may also encounter technical difficulties with their internet connection or computer that can only be solved on-site. Having to wait for them to have the problem fixed locally will impact your production times.

2 – Tracking Work Completion

You will have to spend additional money paying for online platform time-tracking software when you hire remote assistants.

You may have a flexible work schedule, but you still need to ensure that all work is completed on time. Tracking hours worked will also help you assess their work ethic.

It is often harder to judge a person, especially their work ethic, when they are not physically present. Therefore, it is vital to use time tracking software like Time Doctor.

The last thing you need is to find out late during peak season that your virtual assistant is way behind on their tasks.

3 – Language And Cultural Barriers

Most virtual assistants are based in countries such as The Philippines, India, and Malaysia, which means you could encounter some language and cultural barriers from time to time.

For example, a virtual assistant can have excellent English. However, there will still be times when things get lost in translation, or the tone of your written communication exchange may cause unintended offence.

Companies based in Australia and America are used to communicating in what could be seen as an abrupt manner. In contrast, people from The Philippines speak far more respectfully.

You may even encounter a situation where a remote worker cannot work on a specific day due to their religious beliefs.

Hiring An Employee

What Are The Advantages?

1 – Build Loyalty

Employing someone new to your company is always a bit nerve-wracking because you are never sure if the full-time employee will work out long term.

The hope is that your new in-house assistant will be a perfect match for your company, and you will build a strong working relationship.

If you offer your new employees bonuses on top of their fixed working hours, they are more likely to stay loyal to your firm.

Bonus incentives alongside the standard holiday pay, sick pay, and a company pension plan will make workers feel valued. When you treat your employees fairly and encourage them to improve, they will reward you with loyalty.

Having a loyal and trustworthy workforce is invaluable for long-term business growth.

2 – Direct Communication

Direct communication is far more accessible with a full-time employee who works as an in-office assistant than a remote assistant.

When your assistant is based in the same building as yourself, you can have face-to-face conversations if either party does not fully understand what is required of any given situation.

Sometimes a new employee will need hands-on help from another permanent staff member. Working directly with this team member will help forge a strong working relationship when working on critical project-based contracts.

When you work side-by-side with a person, there is less chance of a communication breakdown which leads to mutually beneficial relationships.

3 – Create Team Dynamics

When you do actual work in the same office as a person doing the same duties, it goes a long way in helping to create excellent team dynamics.

Working side-by-side, you get to see the strengths and weaknesses of each worker more easily.

Knowing a worker’s weaknesses and strengths helps a business owner give the right tasks to the right people to ensure the maximum team performance output.

Suppose all team members are happy in their roles for the company and can build working relationships and even friendships with their colleagues. In that case, it will lead to a smoother working process which is one of the leading employee advantages.

What Are The Disadvantages?

1 – High Costs

High costs are the top disadvantage whenever the employee debate is brought up.

Employers incur costs all the time, but when you employ someone as a full-time physical staff member, you have to consider far more overhead expenses.

Employing a permanent staff member instead of a remote assistant means you will incur additional training costs, sick leave pay, holiday pay, bonus payments, healthcare insurance, pension contributions, and maternity and paternity leave.

There may be further full-time employee company benefits related to the product or service you provide. As a result, the cost of employee benefits alone can soon mount up.

In addition to all these costs, there are additional office space and equipment costs that you have to pay for, which you don’t have to worry about with virtual assistants.

2 – Inflexible Work Contracts

One key disadvantage of employing a worker on a full-time contract is that the employment contract is fixed and hard to break.

You make a long-term commitment when you employ a person as a full-time employee, in-house assistant, or in any other role.

It is common practice for companies to insist on a three-month probation period when they employ a new full-time employee. If things are not working out within that time, you don’t have to honour the employment contract.

However, it is far harder to part company with an employee after probation. Therefore, ensuring you employ the right person for the role is vital.

3 – Fixed Wages

Employing a full-time employee means that you will have to pay them a regular fixed wage even during slow periods.

Every business goes through slow and peak periods during the working year, so you have to factor in the cost of paying employees wages during their slow periods. Unfortunately, slow periods typically last far longer than peak periods for most companies.

In addition, you will have to pay full-time employees overtime wages if they work over their regular working hours.

Also, employees expect additional wage incentives written into their working contract for when they get specific targets, and these other bonus payments can soon add up.

4 – Difficult Replacement Process

When you employ a worker as a permanent staff member, you spend money training them to the required standard. Still, sometimes they get headhunted by other companies, leaving you to go through the process of finding a suitable replacement.

In this situation, your company can suffer because it may take months to find a suitable replacement and even longer to train them up to the same standard.

All this time spent on sourcing and training can result in lost productivity for your company, resulting in lost revenue.

Call Us Today To Find The Ideal VA

As you have read, there are advantages and disadvantages to both virtual assistants vs employees. You must decide which option suits your business needs at a particular time.

If you decide to hire a VA but are a bit daunted by the process, then working with a VA agency is the ideal solution.

Call us today and find out how we can find you the perfect VA and deal with the hiring, training, and managing processes.

Take your business to the next level today! ENQUIRE NOW

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