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.
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.

A virtual, or remote, personal assistant manages your life from afar. Like a really great fairy godmother that you never have to make a cup of tea for. Which has huge benefit if you’re a one-man or woman band, if you don’t have a physical office to put them in, or if you don’t want to be responsible for holiday, sickness and other HR headaches. Managing your PA virtually is about as simple as setting a task list and watching it get ticked off. Without you having to do a thing.

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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.
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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Using a virtual office allows for greater work-life balance. Working long hours in the office environment can be a major source of stress for employees. With a virtual office, employees can have a greater work-life balance; they are able to more quickly transition from work back to their family life. Working remotely allows for less of the stress associated with office environments.

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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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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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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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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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.


No business is too big or small to use a PA, and with recent technological development with the internet, the new era of PA’s has come in the form of virtual assistants. Virtual assistants work remotely from their own home but undertake the same duties a normal PA would, and this can offer a cost effective alternative for smaller business who need help. So, what does a PA do?  Some of the duties a personal assistant may undertake include email and calendar management, organising transportation, call handling, research and event planning.  As an independent contractor, you might also use a PA for basic bookkeeping and invoicing your clients.  If you are trying to build an online personal brand, PA’s can also help with managing your social media profiles.

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With a virtual office, you never have to worry about scaling up or downsizing, nor do you have to go through the process of moving or relocating. Relocation can be a major impediment for businesses, taking a lot of time and creating huge costs, challenges, and complications. With a virtual office, there is no need to worry about relocation or other associated challenges.
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.
Make building trust a priority. Trust is the foundation of a successful team, but trust is usually built over time. When working in a virtual team, there isn’t always time to build a rapport with team members. You might be part of a group and have no idea about the other people’s work ethics or anything about their personal lives. It’s important to promote team bonding in order to build trust. You can approach this in a few ways, such as setting aside time for small talk before or after meetings, and allowing participants to share photographs and information about their personal lives. Virtual events such as a baby shower, birthday, or job anniversary celebration make for great informal activities to promote trust and teamwork. Consistency in updates and reports also helps to build trust with and among remote employees.
Using all the skills, experience and knowledge gained in my work life, it gives me great joy to help professional business owners to find a comfortable office space to carry out their day to day work. At Innovative Professional Offices we provide executive office space for solo-preneurs and small companies. We provide virtual office services for those who work from home, but need a business address and telephone. We provide board rooms for meetings and small seminars.

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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.

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There’s an obvious appeal that comes to mind when you first think about telecommuting. Many global companies — including Aperian Global — allow employees to telecommute. The benefits of a remote workforce stem from allowing employees to spend more time in their comfort zones, but does it always lead to increased productivity? Most recent studies point to “yes,” but there are many considerations to make when deciding if telecommuting is right for you or your company.

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