09 October 2018

How can a Virtual Assistant help you?

Author :

“Oh my god, this person’s Executive Assistant is a robot!” A colleague of mine looked incredulously at an email she had received, signed off with the job title ‘Virtual Assistant’.

How many of you would have had the same reaction?

We know the Executive or Personal Assistant is dynamic and has evolved drastically over the past few decades. The ability to remember a coffee order and answer phone calls is no longer what defines an exceptional EA. Rather it is now their ability to navigate complex public relations situations, liaise with business leaders and collaborate across departments.

The boundaries of the role have been challenged again by the possibilities brought by the digital era. The virtual assistant fulfils many of the same responsibilities as a ‘traditional’ executive assistant but correspondence is performed virtually.

What a virtual assistant can (usually) do:

  • Complete time-consuming, repetitive tasks- Data entry and administrative work can be mind-numbing but they’re essential to ensuring the smooth running of your business
  • Bookkeeping- Whilst virtual assistants can help manage your budgets and track your expenses, they cannot do your actual accounting. However you will have a very happy accountant when they find your books are in order.
  •  Lead generation- find more opportunities
  •  IT outsourcing- for the tech-illiterate among us, VAs can often help with website building and graphic design
  • Research- Whether it’s for an event, potential investors or office space, virtual assistants can save you a lot of time in laying the ground work for your biggest projects
What a virtual assistant can’t do:
  • Develop your organisational strategy- You know your business best. Usually Virtual Assistants are based in other countries and simply don’t have the thorough understanding of your business necessary to weigh-in on the business plan
  • Relationship building- While virtual assistants will be able to help you with email correspondence, there is little substitute for one-on-one meetings when it comes to building lasting client relationships

If you’re after someone to alleviate your workload and organise your life, a virtual assistant could be an avenue to explore. However if you want someone to discuss strategy and help build your company’s reputation, nothing will replace your face-to-face Executive Assistant. 

Attend the Public Sector EA & PA Summit NZ from 5-7 of December 2018. More information here

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire is the manager of Akolade’s government and digital portfolio. She’s passionate about emerging digital trends, particularly in the public sector. In her spare time she enjoys picking up heavy things and putting them back down again and animals are her favourite kind of people. 

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts @ Claire Dowler

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