Choosing the right virtual assistant service has a significant impact on your productivity, work-life balance, and business success. One of the most significant considerations is whether you should hire a domestic or offshore virtual assistant.
While the benefits and risks of hiring US-based virtual assistants are generally understood, there are a lot of misconceptions about what you can expect when working with an offshore provider.
Here are the top 5 offshoring myths and why you don’t need to worry about them.
Myth #1: Overseas Workers Aren’t Fluent in English
During our interview process, we screen all new hires to ensure that they can speak and write English fluently. This allows you to communicate with your virtual assistant the same way you would a domestic employee.
Please keep in mind that being fluent in English doesn’t mean having an American accent. Our VAs have slight accents; however, communicating with them is no different than engaging with diverse professionals in the US.
Myth #2 It Poses a Greater Data Security Risk Than Hiring a Domestic Remote Worker
If you hire a remote domestic worker, there is no guarantee that they’re working on a secure device or network. Chances are, they’re doing a lot of your work from coffee shops and other locations with public wifi, which leaves your systems and sensitive information vulnerable.
We eliminate that risk by requiring all of our employees to work in our offices. This allows us to enforce strict data security policies, including:
- Preventing your VA from having direct visibility into your most sensitive information including passwords and credit card numbers
- IP restrictions that prevent your VA from accessing your systems outside of our office
- Desktop monitoring software
And a variety of other policies to ensure your data is secure. We also work with you to determine what level of access you should give your VA into your systems to further reduce risk.
Myth #3: Offshore Employees Work in Terrible Conditions
There are tons of call centers overseas who treat their workers like machines, forcing them to work in terrible conditions and micromanaging every minute of their days. We think that’s despicable, so, since Prialto’s founding, we have been committed to creating an empowering and fun work environment for our assistants.
Our work culture prioritizes learning and autonomy, which encourages our assistants to engage in ongoing training and look for ways to go above and beyond for their clients.
To keep the office lively, we also host celebrations for holidays, birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions, and a variety of other events throughout the year.
Myth #4 Offshore VAs Don’t Work in Your Time Zone
We have assistants who work standard business hours in all North American and UK time zones so that your VA is available during your workday. You’re welcome to send your VA tasks after hours via email or voicemail, and they’ll do the work first thing the next morning.
If you need full-time support and would like extended hours, you can also purchase support from VAs in east and west coast time zones so that you receive live support for a greater portion of the day.
Myth #5 I Don’t Have Time to Delegate Tasks to an Offshore VA
Delegating tasks to one of our VAs is even easier than delegating to in-house assistants. As a managed service, we train, coach, and incentivize your VA. All you have to do is tell us what you want help with and quickly walk-through how you want your VA to do the task. Our assistants document all of your instructions and preferences, so they never ask you the same question twice.
If you’re in a rush, you can chat or call your assistant to offload tasks while on-the-go. Many of our clients also use task management tools like Trello to quickly assign tasks to their VAs.
About the Author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.