There was a time when the terms “work-at-home” and “freelancer” had negative connotations. Not anymore. These days, an impressive 1.91 million UK workers are freelancers. This number is up 25% since 2009!

Many of these independent workers are virtual assistants. They work online from a remote location and handle specific tasks for a company. There are more benefits of hiring a UK virtual assistant than we could possibly list here. Here are just a few examples to consider:

• Same time zone. Times zones can be a plus or a negative, depending on how you look at it. Hiring someone locally reduces the confusion over time zones and needing to wait until the next day for clarification or task fixes. Being able to communicate within the same time zone can be more beneficial to both parties of a virtual working relationship. It can also be beneficial to work in opposite time zones, as you can delegate your tasks at the end of your day and wake up the following day, with the work completed. Just keep in mind, sometimes you will want that Skype call with your virtual staff, to clarify or delegate. Different time zones can make this challenging, but it’s also not impossible.

• Local knowledge. Depending on the type of work you want to outsource, it may be a disadvantage to have someone who isn’t located in the UK assisting you and your business. For example, if part of your coaching business is to run conferences and events, you may want your VA to help you find venues and organise suppliers. Using someone from overseas has certain restrictions when it comes to getting this right. Using a UK virtual assistant not only means that they can go and visit with venues and suppliers on your behalf if they are local, but very often have connections and the knowledge of them already to make sure you get exactly what you want and need.

• No cultural/ language barriers. Hiring overseas virtual office staff increases the chances of instructions being lost in translation. Research suggests that 99% of mistakes or repeated instructions happen because the virtual admin assistant hasn’t received clear enough instructions. Repeating details and following up on questions is easier with a local freelance virtual assistant. Hiring local virtual services cuts way back on the possibilities of your instructions being unclear, and therefore, work being completed late.

• Skills & experience. When companies and employers hire virtual assistants, there are two main things that set apart qualified candidates: experience and skills. Some companies will prefer an experienced candidate, but many actually have a tendency to prioritize a candidate’s skill set. Many VAs will often just wait to be given work and they aren’t proactive in making work for themselves. Virtual assistants should think for their clients, introduce them to new tools or ways of working, anticipate their needs, find ways they can improve their processes, help them set annual goals (and then review them), and help them find opportunities.

Hiring a UK based virtual assistant has a lot of benefits and they can help your business grow in many ways. Outsourcing will give you the time to focus on growing your company and not on spinning an ever-increasing number of plates. There are never enough hours in the day, so why not leverage someone else’s spare time instead? Successful business owners realise the detrimental impact of trying to do everything themselves. After all, we only have so many hours in the day and so many skills under our belt! If you would like to save time, reduce your workload and make your life easier then please get in touch here.