The Essential Assistant

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Virtual Assistant or Traditional Employee—Who’s Better for You?

Knowing the difference between a Virtual Assistant and a Traditional Employee can be helpful as your business grows and you find yourself needing more help. Employees and virtual assistants can carry out many of the same tasks, including basic administrative tasks, office management, and social media. Read on to learn about the benefits of both options.

The Virtual Assistant: A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent contractor who works remotely outside of the place of business. Typically, they provide administrative services, however, there are some VA’s who specialize in a specific skill set. Payment for a Virtual Assistant can vary; some may offer packaged services for a set monthly fee; others may charge by the hour or by the project.

The Employee: An employee is an individual who works full or part-time under an employment contract. This person is a permanent member of the staff and has specific duties to perform. Typically, they are physically present in the place of business. Employers must pay employees an hourly wage or monthly salary and offer a range of benefits.

Advantages of a VA:

  • Diverse skill set – most VA’s offer a wide variety of skills to their clients
    Flexible Schedule – VA’s are able to adjust their schedules to meet your needs
  • Cost Savings – Clients only pay for the actual time the VA is working on their project and save the cost of employee benefits, unemployment insurance, etc. Business owners also save the costs associated with training and do not need to provide space or equipment for the VA to work.
  • Hiring Flexibility – Projects can be short or long term or one and done. Business owners can hire VA’s according to their needs.


Virtual Assistants are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all size as they offer many advantages over the traditional employee.

Advantages of an Employee:

  • Loyalty: Employees tend to feel committed to their employer due to job security and awareness of rights, responsibilities, and benefits.
  • Strong communication: because the employee is in-house, communication can be immediate, clear and concise.
  • Human relations: Employees are able to build relationships with co-workers which can enhance productivity.


Employees work under the supervision of a manager or team leader, and they are expected to perform specific tasks and duties.

Neither option is perfect. The easiest and smartest way to choose between a virtual assistant and a traditional employee is to determine your company’s specific needs and services. Consider your budget, short and long-term business goals, and what level of expertise your business needs.

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