In short, if you use the right tools, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: Your employees can interact with one another as if they’re in the same room, and they can experience all of the benefits that come with working from home. It’s possible to reap the benefits of personal interaction, successful collaboration, and a productive work from home environment. This is possible with the right tools and knowledge for virtual collaboration.

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Finding the right talent to fill your personal assistant role(s) can be tough.  It can be a real pressure to find the “right” candidate and if you are not actively involved in recruiting it can be difficult to know exactly where to start – or indeed where to finish in finding the right professional.  You may have a list of requirements you expect from your personal assistant but in such a sensitive position it can be difficult to find a candidate you can trust.   For this reason, many people choose to outsource their personal assistant recruiting to an external agency.

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When outsourcing your job search to an external agency you can expect a quality selection of reliable candidates.  An experienced staffing agency will have the best contacts and filters in place to ensure that the candidates who are selected for your position are of the highest calibre.  They can also produce effective job adverts that attract the right kind of talent, and quickly screen through CVs, eliminating weaker CVs earlier on in the process.
There are pros and cons of working from home. Every organization is unique — what may work for one may not work for another — but society is advancing in a way that’s leading to more virtual teams and opportunities to work remotely. Once a company decides to implement work from home policies, it’s wise to consider the possible roadblocks to success. 

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Personal Assistants are there to support the work of managers, company directors and who they are employed by to undertake a variety of tasks that the manager would normally partake in to help the business. A personal assistant is required to do any task that the managers requires, whether personal or professional. You will also find Personal Assistants often act as the manager’s first point of contact. Personal Assistants can be flexible to adapt to your style of work. It’s up to you to mold your PA into perfection. See below a Personal Assistants duties and attributes that will help your piece of mind, keeping your business successful.
A decision-making tool. Sometimes teams struggle to come to a decision, and this is especially true in the virtual setting. A helpful decision-making tool can alleviate the stress that comes with making difficult decisions, because it will allow team members to easily vote, tally the results, and present everyone with the final outcome. Loomio and Tricider are helpful decision-making tools that allow members to vote and quickly understand the likely outcome.

Virtual collaboration offers a profound way to cater to employees with diverse working styles. For example, detailed-driven workers tend to excel in virtual environments. They typically have no trouble planning their workday and accomplishing daily tasks. Emotionally driven individuals may prefer to speak directly over the phone or face-to-face in a video conference, because they typically read social cues very well and prefer verbal communication. Idea-driven workers thrive when facilitating change and usually prefer a lead role in brainstorming solutions, so you should consider giving them more responsibility when strategizing in the virtual setting. Data-driven workers are highly adept at solving complex problems. They don’t typically need an extra push to stay on topic or on budget, but they may prefer to work alone quietly rather than lead a virtual group discussion.
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Watson Assistant Pricing: IBM Watson Assistant’s Free plan allows 10,000 API calls per month, 5 chatbots, 100 intents and 25 entities. The Standard plan has unlimited API calls at a cost of $0.0025 per call. You can have up to 20 chatbots, 2,000 intents and 1,000 entities. IBM also offers a multiple higher-level plans, which you’ll need to contact IBM for a quote.

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Establish an onboarding process. Be sure that every employee who collaborates virtually has the same onboarding experience. They should be given access to the same communication systems and handbooks that explain the company processes. Everyone should be given the same advice and tools for success as they’re brought on board. If possible, it can even be very valuable to have an initial onboarding done face-to-face in an office location.

Drift provides conversational marketing and sales software powered by both automation (rule-based) and artificial intelligence (NLP). According to their website, "Drift's conversational AI is trained on over 6 billion conversations to identify the patterns that engage and convert visitors into qualified pipeline." This means the machine learning that the chatbot comes with is already pre-trained and ready to go.

Working in an office carries a lot of secondary expenses. For instance, you have to pay for your transportation costs (gasoline, bus/train tickets, etc.), professional attire (suits, business accessories), and other related costs (lunch, makeup/deodorant, etc.). These costs can quickly add up, although they’re rarely considered. For business owners, who must lease or rent a space, the costs are much greater. When you use a virtual office, you can end up saving a lot of money.

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If you're an overworked entrepreneur wondering why your to-do list always seems unfinished, look into hiring a personal assistant. I once had a mentor tell me that a key to day-to-day success is to hire a PA to keep the trains running on time while you focus on big picture ideas. At first, I thought it was a waste of money, but now I completely understand where he's coming from.

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There are pros and cons of working from home. Every organization is unique — what may work for one may not work for another — but society is advancing in a way that’s leading to more virtual teams and opportunities to work remotely. Once a company decides to implement work from home policies, it’s wise to consider the possible roadblocks to success.

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Trouble separating work from home. When you work from home, it’s easy to become distracted by your children, neighbors, friends, or home responsibilities. Because you’re home, you’ll be more aware of things that need to be done around the house. In addition, those who work from home often have a hard time transitioning from work life to home life. With constant access to their work while at home, it can be hard to stop working for the day, especially when there’s a lot to accomplish.

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Have you ever wished there were more hours in a day? Well you can't add time to your day, but you can hire the help that will make it feel as though you have. The secret is in hiring a personal assistant to help. A virtual assistant or VA is also known as an executive secretary, a personal secretary, or a private assistant. Whatever you choose to call this person, after hiring one, you will wonder how you ever did without them.

A time zone converter. Teams that include members from different time zones often struggle with finding the best times to collaborate. A time zone converter can assist virtual workers in planning the best times for meetings, and it can remind employees to remain conscientious of the time in their teammates’ zones. Every Time Zone is a web-based, aesthetically pleasing app that converts time zone differences in a simple, easy-to-comprehend format.

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Better recruitment opportunities. You can select from the top-qualified candidates around the globe for a position if you’re open to managing a remote workforce. Instead of limiting your recruiting opportunities to those who are willing to relocate and those able to make the daily commute, you can focus on hiring the best-qualified candidates without worrying about any geographic restrictions.

While home-based businesses are starting to become more and more acceptable, with several major enterprises, such as Amazon, having started out as home-based businesses. As such, having the physical address that comes with a virtual office will add legitimacy to your business since your clients will be privy to a location that isn’t simply someone’s home.
A virtual PA isn’t like an employee. In that, if you need to switch PAs or even use a couple of different ones for different tasks, there’s no emotional aspect involved. At ibLE, we match entrepreneurs with the best PA for them, but as our Co-Founders know, changing requirements can mean that a different PA becomes more suitable for a more-developed business. In this case, it’s easy to work with the right person for the job.

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The conversation is twofold: Employees who work from home help companies reduce overhead costs, experience greater satisfaction in their jobs, and they’re more productive, but companies ultimately have the discretion to not offer work from home policies — or revoke them — if company leaders believe that managing a virtual workplace decreases speed or hinders collaboration. 

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A collaboration and community platform. Virtual workers need a virtual office — a place where they can meet online and hold conversations. It’s easy for virtual workers to become isolated, so a central hub to communicate with colleagues is a benefit. Skype, Slap, HipChat, and Pie are all popular choices. The best collaboration and community platforms connect employees, give them a place to chat and discuss projects, leave feedback and suggestions, and more.
Finding the right talent to fill your personal assistant role(s) can be tough.  It can be a real pressure to find the “right” candidate and if you are not actively involved in recruiting it can be difficult to know exactly where to start – or indeed where to finish in finding the right professional.  You may have a list of requirements you expect from your personal assistant but in such a sensitive position it can be difficult to find a candidate you can trust.   For this reason, many people choose to outsource their personal assistant recruiting to an external agency.

Collaborate about team expectations and goals. Be sure that expectations and goals are clearly stated for virtual meetings. If working in a team, allow everyone to work together to create the team’s expectations and goals. This will set the standard for what’s expected from everyone, and allow everyone to agree on meeting protocols, such as how to resolve conflict and make group decisions.


Rulai also integrates with most messaging channels, customer service software, enterprise business software, and cloud storage platforms. You can either build a Ruali chatbot from scratch with its drag-and-drop design console and let its AI adapt to your customers or you can implement a pre-trained chatbot that has been fed data from your specific industry.

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In short, if you use the right tools, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: Your employees can interact with one another as if they’re in the same room, and they can experience all of the benefits that come with working from home. It’s possible to reap the benefits of personal interaction, successful collaboration, and a productive work from home environment. This is possible with the right tools and knowledge for virtual collaboration.

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No matter how important a task may be, if you get a mental block, it will continue to sit on your to-do list gathering dust. The great thing about a personal assistant is that you can choose one who has the strengths you yourself lack. If you’re great with numbers but rubbish at writing presentations, a personal assistant can help translate the data into a powerpoint doc for you. If you don’t do spell-check, they’ll catch any grammatical errors.
Owned by LogMeIn, this software has security features and a UI/UX that feels outdated and hinders the productivity of the end users. Parts of the platform feel like a legacy system, and although you have everything you need and more with Bold360, it’s just not as smooth or visually appealing as many of the new customer service chatbots on the market.

Our associates are available on-call on an hourly basis or can be hired as a dedicated assistant or project manager for larger endeavors. We provide excellent pricing for our clients for both one-time assistance and for ongoing support. BAVPA will offer discounts for multiple projects as well. Please request a quote by providing a description of your job/project as well as the estimated number of hours you will need assistance.


ActiveChat Pricing: Free plan provides single bot with up to 500 monthly active users, but lacks many features. Starter plan is $19 a month and gives you one bot with up to 1,000 monthly active users. Architect plan is $49 a month where you get access to all features. And the Agency bot is $249/mo, which gets you ten bots for 50K monthly active users and access to all features.
Commuting to work each day can eat up a lot of your time. Getting ready for work (grooming, putting on professional attire, etc.) and commuting to your office (and then back home again later) typically take up hours of your day. By using a virtual office, you can instantly eliminate your daily commute, saving time that you can put towards more useful things.

ItsAlive Pricing: ItsAlive has 5 pricing tiers. The Free plan gives you 1 chatbot and up to 1,000 messages per month but doesn’t include any advanced features. The Solo plan is $19/mo and includes 5,000 messages and some advanced features. The Plus plan is $49/mo, you get 2 chatbots and up to 20,000 monthly messages, as well as a few additional advanced features. At $99/mo, the Pro plan gets you 5 bots and up to 100,000 messages per month. Finally, the Enterprise plan unlocks all features and unlimited bots and messages per month. 

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