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Virtual Assistant (VA) vs. Personal Assistant (PA) based in office

19 March 2011 16 Comments

Most people wonder what makes Virtual Assistant more special that Personal Assistant who is located in office and vice versa. I will try to explain what are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Virtual Assistant and the Personal Assistant.

I will not try to prove that the one profession is better or worse than the other. It is important not to underestimate any of the both professions because both Virtual Assistant and Personal Assistant may be of great help to any kind of business depending on its specific job requirements and location.

Advantages of the Virtual Assistant’s profession:

-          Virtual Assistant can organize his time more effectively

-          Virtual Assistant spends more time with his family at home or outside

-          He has unlimited freedom to work at every place, under the condition that he has access to Internet

-          He can choose customers whom he want and can work with

-          Virtual Assistant decides himself which type of services to offer to his clients

-          Virtual Assistant considers if his education, professional qualification and competences are relative to the requirements of the customer in order to do his job properly and meet all needs of the customer

-          There is no initial period of training and introduction to job duties and responsibilities

-          Virtual Assistant is more independent when he makes expenses on his job

-          Virtual Assistant does not have to communicate with a lot of people in office

-          He may be assigned working tasks of a private character

-          Virtual Assistant is responsible and reliable and has the right to refuse a working order, in case there is a risk of failure or unsuccessful completion

-          He saves time and does not have to travel for long hours to the office daily

-          Virtual Assistant can approach the business of the client more precisely and objectively because he sees is from the outside, gets acquainted with its profile and after that he is actively involved in his working activities

-          Employer of Virtual Assistant saves fixed administrative costs for office maintenance and consumables, as well as monthly salary

Advantages of the Personal Assistant located in office:

-          Personal Assistant is physically located in business office and welcomes visitors and guests on site

-          Personal Assistant operates with office equipment faster and it is easier to personally hand documents to management, colleagues or other third parties

-          The position of the Personal Assistant is to stay inside of the business of the client and he can keep track of all internal working activities and processes

Disadvantages of the Personal Assistant’s Profession:

-          They often communicate with colleagues on topics that are not related to business;

-          Personal Assistant executes private tasks during his working time

-          Personal Assistant spends too much time surfing online on the Internet

-          There is possibility for late arrival, early departure as well as and  longer breaks for lunch;

-          Usually, there is an initial training period that is around one month and there is no guarantee that employee will hold the job position for long-term period;

-          Personal Assistant sees situation inside the company and there is a risk of subjectivism towards working activities, decision and overall attitude.

Disadvantages of the Virtual Assistant’s Profession:

-          Income is not fixed and its level is not permanent on a monthly basis;

-          Customers are different and it is difficult to predict all their specific needs and requirements;

-          There is a risk of inability to adapt to working as a Virtual Assistant at home-located office;

-          Virtual Assistant has to be flexible and offer a variety of innovative services to his customers, having in mind the fast development and growth of the market for virtual business services.


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