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Virtual Assistant vs. Employee

Updated: Feb 6


The traditional office workplace has changed drastically over the years! Changes include increased workforce diversity, widespread bans on smoking, and changing trends regarding popular workplace layouts. Many companies now use open works areas and cubicles instead of private offices. Others give the option to work from home on a part or full-time basis. But these still all use 'traditional' employees. One of the biggest shifts in offices in the last decade is the change from employee to virtual assistant.  

So how does a Virtual Assistant differ from a traditional employee?  


This is the number one reason sole proprietors and small businesses use virtual assistants. Hiring a virtual assistant over a full-time employee can save 70% in operating costs per year!

Virtual assistants are self-employed thereby saving you hundreds and even thousands of dollars. By utilizing a virtual assistant you do NOT pay for ...

  • Employer health tax (British Columbia)

  • Employee payroll

  • Employee benefits such as extended health and dental or short/long term illness

  • Vacation days or Holiday pay

  • Overtime

  • Worker’s compensation

  • Employee pension plans

and many other employer contributions and taxes.  With a virtual assistant you pay only for their services and time spent—and nothing more. Simple!  The savings can be redirected to other priorities to help you succeed in business.


Sadly, the average employee wastes almost 5 hours a day on non-work related and hence non-productive activities. This lack of productivity costs you money. Virtual assistants operate their own businesses and want to keep you happy and ensure a good working relationship. 

  • No more paying for idle time!  

  • Projects are completed on schedule

  • Extra staff are not required during seasonal, peak activity or vacation relief

  • Support on a full-time or as-needed basis

Virtual assistants may charge by the project or by the hour, depending on the type and length of service you need. Either way, the focus is on what your business needs.


New employees require training - sometimes weeks or months - which generally costs the employer.  And many times once trained, an employee will quit to move on to something new - thanks to the invaluable training you gave them! Turnover costs escalate and you're back at square one - hiring and training a new employee again. When you hire a virtual assistant, they already have the expertise you require. They may need to learn specifics of your systems or programs but this does not take long. Virtual assistants take training to update skills and educate themselves, on their own time, to become proficient in new or different programs and services. Your training and turnover costs are gone!  


Office space costs money. Depending on where you are located, this expense alone may account for the largest majority of your operating costs. If you have employees, you need to provide them with a workspace such as an office or cubicle. Overhead costs can include monthly lease or rent, utilities, furniture, and let's not forget office equipment and technology such as computers, printers, software, phone and internet systems and much more. Virtual Assistants have all these things so you don't have to provide them. Removing these costs drastically reduces overhead expenses.


Depending on where your business is located, labour laws play an important role in hiring and dismissal practices for employees. This can be complicated and require valuable time to work through the process. You may also feel guilty or suffer legal consequences if you need to let an employee go. Virtual assistants are bound only by the service agreement you both sign.  The agreement generally outlines a notice period to dissolve an agreement and may include a 'no refund policy' for work completed or in progress. However, you DO have the freedom to end the agreement without incurring potential legal backlash.  


Do you find yourself getting bogged down by little things? Would you rather be spending your time building your business instead of managing employees or completing mundane office tasks?  Virtual assistants provide many different services to ease your administrative nightmare, some more specialized than others.  Some service areas a VA is proficient in are: administrative, financial, human resources, project management, social media - just to name a few.  

Get a FRESH OUTLOOK and NEW PERSPECTIVE.  Hire a virtual assistant to take the administrative tasks off your hands and realize your potential to reach your business goals.


Trish Kimble

Founder & CEO of Blank Slate Enterprises

Virtual Assistant Coach & Mentor


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