You might decide to hire a PA on your timezone, who can work (virtually) alongside you each day. But, thanks to modern technology, you could also hire a PA on a completely different timezone which means that while you sleep, work gets completed. This gives you the space to set tasks throughout the day as you think of them, then wake up to a completed to-do list. For entrepreneurs who aren’t able to forward-plan tasks, this gives you the time and space to allocate responsibilities and make the most of your virtual PA.

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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.
Even with the right tools and adequate planning, virtual teams in the workplace can pose unique challenges for global companies of all sizes. An experienced talent development firm can help companies navigate the trials that come with virtual collaboration across cultural boundaries. Choose to work with a firm with a validated inventory in the market and a proven record for success.
“Burnout” is a phrase that’s thrown around so often it’s lost some of its impact. Yet any entrepreneur or CEO who’s experienced burnout knows just how debilitating it can be. So how do you avoid it? Many will agree that the first step is delegation. Ensuring there are other hands to pick up tasks that you just don’t have enough hours to do. When you begin delegating to a virtual assistant it’s like paying money into a bank of time and energy. That you can easily reclaim, ensuring your account doesn’t run on empty.

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Virtual offices allow a greater number of employees to work at any given time. With a typical office space or location, you are limited by the size of your space. With a virtual office, space is not a limiting factor. Business owners can have however many staff they need. When used in combination with a physical space, a virtual office can free up more space in the physical office.

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Employer branding is often an important component in hiring private staff.    In the competitive personal assistant market, there is also the common risk of counter-offers from competitors and similar employers. When you partner with a respected specialist agency they give candidates a real insight into your business helping to represent you as the employer of choice.

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When you choose a personal assistant agency you simply need to tell them what kind of person you need and what for, then they will go off and do the heavy lifting for you; they can handle all of the vettings, interviewing, and hiring candidates for the job.  A specialist agency can keep their costs down through repeated advertising – passing these savings on to you, and when you hire a personal assistant agency their market knowledge should also help to reduce the chances of failed hiring.  In fact, many agencies also offer rebate periods and will re-advertise your vacancy if the candidate leaves the position within a specified period of time.

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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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Increase cross-cultural awareness. People involved in global teams should know and understand the challenges that come with communicating across cultures. For example, an American multinational oil and gas corporation wanted to ensure their non-Iraqi employees were equipped with the cultural knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the Iraqi context. Aperian Global worked with corporation leaders and local Iraqis to design a workshop for multinational employees assigned to Iraq, and it was offered in the US and the Middle East. A pre-departure workshop was also created for employees traveling to Iraq. It addressed issues such as safety, security, and health, as well as business and cultural topics. The workshops gave leaders and employees the information, skills and confidence needed to successfully collaborate and conduct business across cultural boundaries.
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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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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.


Isolation. When you work from home, it’s likely that you’ll experience less contact with other professionals in your field — especially for, but not limited to, individual contributor roles. You won’t have a daily commute, so you won’t encounter other people on your way to and from the office. You won’t bump into other workers at the water cooler for a casual conversation, or have lunch with your coworkers a few days a week. With fewer encounters with other people — and other professionals in your field — it’s easy to feel isolated, which can lead to a slump in progress or even depression.

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Agencies who specialize in private assistants have a unique insight into the private staffing market, they can help to advise you on matters such as salary benchmarking and what is the going rate for particular roles.  They will also know what skills candidates are likely to have, and where there may be skills shortages.  If there is a surplus of candidates with particular expertise then this would likely affect your chances of recruiting.
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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Luckily, challenges bring with them opportunities. Company leaders managing remote employees can take action to circumvent the possible negative effects of remote work. They can require remote workers to check in with another employee or manager every day, simply to engage in a friendly conversation, and enjoy some personal facetime to break up the workday, as would be normal in an office setting.
Use varied channels of communication. There are many ways to communicate virtually. Lean methods include emails, chat messages, and texting. If you have a simple message to share, a lean method of communication is usually fine. If you have something deeper or more complicated to share, it’s better to opt for a richer method of communication, such as video conference or telephone call. These methods add more contextual information like facial expressions and body language, which can be very telling in a conversation.
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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Just like you’re an expert in your field, a personal assistant is an expert in theirs. This means that when you eventually make the great decision to hire one, you could be relieved of the most time-consuming, draining or repetitive tasks immediately. On the first day. This provides an immediate relief which is often missing with the hire of a new employee in say, sales or marketing.
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.

Employee engagement and motivation. Consider giving remote and office workers surveys to see who is more engaged and motivated overall. Ask questions about how they feel coming to work every day, find out whether they’re inspired at work and ask if they think their role within the company is important. Ask specific questions about whether or not they feel included in group decisions and ask if they feel as though their needs and concerns are considered and addressed.
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Similarly to helping keep track of your to do list, a personal assistant is also a second pair of eyes. Whether it’s checking that your calendar is well-organised and you haven’t double booked, or thinking ahead about booking travel transfers, it’s the type of forward-thinking that will prevent problems before they’ve happened. When you’re trying to keep multiple balls up in the air this is how you place a safety net underneath, helping to catch any that might drop.
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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