Differences Between a Virtual Personal Assistant and a Traditional Personal Assistant

Taking care of everything in your life all by yourself isn’t always practical, reasonable, or even efficient. Many people hire assistants to take care of administrative work and time-consuming tasks in their personal and professional lives.


Two options to choose from are the virtual personal assistant and the traditional personal assistant. This article explores the difference between these two types of assistants so that you can choose the right professional for your situation.


What Is a Traditional Personal Assistant?

A traditional personal assistant typically works face-to-face with his or her employer to provide various kinds of support. Personal assistants are often salaried or hourly employees who work exclusively for the person who hired them. They commonly work for the same person for many years so that they can get to know personal preferences and adapt easily to changing needs.


The hours and days of work for this kind of professional are negotiated in advance, so 24/7 availability is rare. Most personal assistants work 9-5 hours unless they are paid for overtime.


Personal assistants are very versatile employees and know how to handle many different types of tasks while juggling competing obligations simultaneously. Common tasks of a personal assistant include running office or household errands, doing clerical work, and handling document filing. Some business professionals hire a corporate personal assistant to exclusively handle business needs.


Understanding the Virtual Personal Assistant

The main thing that sets a virtual assistant apart from a personal assistant is working online versus in-person. Virtual personal assistants usually work remotely and connect with their employers through emails, phone calls, video calls, and online chats.


Virtual assistants often work on a freelance or independent contactor basis and are generally self-employed. It is common for a virtual assistant to work via contracts and on a short-term basis. These are typically flexible professionals who can work as many days or hours as you need them to if the pay is agreeable.


If you hire a virtual assistant through an agency, you may be able to arrange 24/7 availability. Because of the nature of virtual assistant work, these professionals tend to be very tech-savvy and excellent at handling tasks like social media management, blog content creation, and online communication.


Virtual Assistant or Personal Assistant: Which Is Right for You?

If you need an assistant on a permanent basis, a personal assistant is your best choice. But if you need someone with greater flexibility or just temporarily, a virtual assistant is the better option. There is definitely some overlap between the jobs of a virtual personal assistant, a traditional personal assistant, and an executive assistant because all of these professionals regularly take care of scheduling, travel arrangements, and answering phones and emails.


Many heads of household and business leaders find that virtual assistants are more affordable to hire than traditional personal assistants because they are independent contractors who do not receive vacation time, health insurance, and other benefits. However, a personal assistant may provide a more customized level of service and meet your personal or business needs in a better way. Meanwhile, if your reason for hiring is exclusively for business, you may find that an executive assistant is the best option.


Whichever route you choose, Pavillion Agency is at your service to find the best candidates for the job. We know what to look for in a high-quality personal assistant cover letter and what makes a great fit between an employer and employee.


Contact us at 212-889-6609 to tell us more about your assistant needs and let us do the work to find you the perfect assistant to join your team!

Category: Personal Assistants