Can a virtual assistant do the tasks of a personal assistant?

Jivana Y Brokolyn

Let’s first of all have a look at our perception of a personal assistant.

Over the decades, Personal Assistants have developed a reputation of being the ‘right hand person’ to a business owner or manager. They manage the many aspects of that individual’s business needs, throughout the day, every day.

Michelle from Virtual Hand said “This can manifest in an extensive list that ranges from diary management and calls to transcription, travel plans, documentation creation and minute-taking.”

Supporting this individual on such a consistent basis, they also tend to help them with domestic tasks. These can vary dramatically.

Personal assistants tend to be known for their ability to juggle many plates, have an organised mind and operating style and become indispensable to their bosses.

So, can a virtual assistant really match up to these expectations?

For the sake of removing all misconceptions, let’s play ‘Devil’s advocate’ for a second – only a second, mind.

Quick disclaimer…

If you are someone who has an extensive career behind you and has always had a personal assistant by your side, devoted to your every need and seemingly ‘plugged-into your very thoughts’, please stop reading this blog and continue your hunt for someone who, virtually or otherwise, refers to themselves as a personal or executive assistant. Affording the luxury of a highly capable person completely dedicated to your needs throughout each working day is certainly a wonderful opportunity.  It may be, however, that that isn’t exactly what you need right now.

‘And the answer is…’

The truth is, a virtual assistant is not purely a remote personal assistant.

To answer the original question, in terms of task-specifics, YES – a virtual assistant can most certainly fulfil all of the requirements of an in-person personal assistant…besides making you tea, perhaps!

There are virtual assistants dedicated to every kind of administrative support that a business owner and their team could need.

There are many virtual assistants who not only manage administrative tasks, but are specifically ‘lifestyle VAs’ managing many domestic responsibilities and even family gift selection.

Virtual Assistants are also often highly skilled in areas that a personal assistant would never have had need to be.

Working online means virtual assistants are extremely familiar with a wide variety of software and their applications.

Consider the technical aspects that you or your team regularly struggle through or know you need to outsource. It could be form creation with digital signature functionality, or social media campaigns to market your latest product uploaded to Shopify. Many virtual assistants have backgrounds in marketing, copywriting, website design or even some coding.

Many virtual assistants are experts in supporting coaches, legal professionals, property management or human resources. Bookkeeping, transcribing recordings and minutes and even assisting you with managing your emails, travel plans and diary management are all within the scope of what a virtual assistant can support you with.

Take what you need…

Here’s the thing. You can have it all. The huge advantage of working with virtual assistants is that they are independent business owners. They manage all of their own business dynamics so they fully understand the struggles and restrictions that go into hiring staff and business finances.

You can choose whether you need consistent, regular hours and therefore agree on a retainer or package contract with a VA or VA Team, or opt to pay for individual, ad hoc hours for specific tasks or projects.

Choose wisely…

Obviously, as with all business collaborations, it is still very important to make sure that anyone you decide to work with has the right personality, business ethics and values to align to your preferred way of doing things.

Have questions? Feel free to get in touch – no obligations!

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