A virtual assistant is a self-employed worker who might have expertise in administration, copywriting, bookkeeping and design. They usually work remotely, from their own office space or home. The benefit of a virtual assistant is that they typically charge hourly. For a small business, this flexible structure can result in low costs and access to a variety of services that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford in their budget.

Virtual assistants are a relatively new concept for many companies and businesses. But even in its short time, the role of virtual assistants has changed dramatically. Originally it was just a remote position for secretaries and personal assistants, but this has completely changed, which is the first myth to bust in this article.

Myth Busted: Virtual Assistants are just secretaries

Maybe five or ten years ago, this statement might have been correct, but today you can get a virtual assistant for a variety of roles. For example, they might have skills in email marketing management, social media, customer service and website design. In addition, you could hire a virtual assistant to help with sales support, video editing and even do online research for you. In fact, there are not too many roles that you couldn’t fill with a virtual assistant.

Myth Busted: Virtual Assistants work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year

The idea of working flexible time attracts various people in different situations. Some might be stay-at-home moms who like to have the flexibility to work during children’s naps and school times. Others might be advancing their studies and enjoy working between classes and study times. Finally, you might even find some who love to travel and want to work remotely as they journey around the globe.

But even if the virtual assistant likes to sit down and do the work at odd hours and in between things, they probably still have a set time that they start and end. They don’t work weekends unless otherwise arranged, and the same goes for holidays. While the time that they do the work might be different to an in-house employee, the amount of time that they work and their contact hours stays the same.

Myth Busted: Virtual Assistants are a temporary solution

People often confuse a virtual assistant with the concept of a ‘Temp.’ They might think that this is purely someone you get for a short project or to replace someone on sabbatical or extended leave. It could stem from when virtual assistants first appeared for admin-specific roles, but the whole concept has changed and grown.

Virtual assistants can now provide services for long periods. It might be beneficial to companies to think about virtual assistants as part of their long-term strategy as, in time, they will get to know the company and the industry, making them a vital part of the team and a specialist in their field.

Myth Busted: You have to source an individual

There are a lot of virtual assistants who work solo with companies, preferring to create their own contracts and find their own jobs. But some companies worry about the security of their data and giving access to an individual. If this is a concern, there are a lot of agencies a company could work with instead. Written contracts will be standard and with all parties involved.

Another benefit of working with an agency is that a business can have access to multiple skills from multiple virtual assistants all in one spot. In addition, contracts can be arranged for a certain number of hours that could be used between what skills are needed. As the company grows, the hours and the number of virtual assistants involved can be increased, allowing for the company to grow organically.

There is a reason virtual assistants is one of the fastest-growing careers

Five years ago, some companies were looking into changing from brick and mortar to working remotely instead. COVID fast-paced those policies, and many companies took the opportunity to change their mindset. According to media outlets, over 60% of U.S businesses had at least one virtual assistant on their staff in 2020, and 70% had plans to hire more in the next year.

Amazon has plans of hiring over 1000 employees remotely and isn’t the only large corporate giant to be doing it. Google, Walmart and Apple are also extending their employment to virtual employees. With an ever-growing expansion on skills and roles, companies realise the benefits of working with virtual assistants for multiple positions within a company.