Remote Assistants vs Traditional Assistants

Remote assistants…?

Remote assistants is just another name for virtual assistants. Calling them this is useful, though, when trying to contrast them with their analogue siblings: traditional assistants.

If you’re reading this post, odds are you’ve already decided you’ve got enough on your plate. Delegation’s the name of the game and you want someone good and capable. The problem is you’ve got some options in front of you. As freeing as choices can be, too many can often paralyze us.

Not to worry, though! The content team at Remote Bob is here to ease your worries. In this post, we’ll compare remote assistants and traditional ones in several categories to see which ones are better to hire in this day and age.

Spoiler alert: it’s the remote ones.

Person Using Macbook Pro on White Table


Traditional: Old school, in-office assistants take up space. Depending on their work, they might need an entire office! Yikes! If you had that kind of space to spare you probably wouldn’t even care what kind of assistant you’re hiring, right? To be fair, it might be comforting to always have someone right there for you, but it may not be as nice as you think for reasons we’ll discuss later.

Remote: On the other hand, remote assistants take up no space at all! Well… they do, just not any of your space. They’re away at home or in a dedicated VA office, diligently working on the tasks you’ve delegated to them. Think of all the things you could do with all those extra square feet!

Working hours

Traditional: For all intents and purposes, traditional assistants are full-time employees. They have fixed, in-office work hours. As I’ve mentioned earlier, this works well if you want to have someone on hand constantly. However, once their shift is over, a traditional assistant has no further obligation to help you. Once they leave the workplace, good luck. You can also run into the issue of not having enough tasks to delegate to them, making you either pay them for idle time or give them meaningless extra work.

Remote: With VAs it’s a little different. Since they don’t need to come to the office, their work hours are practically fully customizable (within reason, of course). Do you need only two hours of help per week? No problem! That’s exactly how much you’ll be getting. Working with a VA means that you’ll be able to customize exactly the time your assistant spends helping you, not to mention that VAs can work in teams to provide you with 24/7 coverage.

Alarm Clock Lying on Multicolored Surface


Traditional: This is similar to the space issue mentioned above. Traditional assistants don’t come with their own equipment. Nor should they. It’s your job to provide it. Unless your company is into some insane graphics processing, this shouldn’t be that difficult. However, it is a nuisance and an extra cost nonetheless.

Remote: Remote assistants, given that their very livelihood depends on their equipment, keep theirs functional and up to date. At home, they usually have all they need, hardware-wise—from computers to webcams. If you use any special software, though, you might need to provide them with it.

Skill set

Traditional: Although most traditional assistants will have basic skill sets, they’ll often need some onboarding and training before they can be truly efficient, and understandably so. After all, some jobs can require very specific skillsets.

Remote: Most VAs are either independent freelancers or working for dedicated companies. In the case of the former, they need to stay on top of their proverbial **** so they’ll stand out and get hired. In the case of the latter, their companies will provide them with ongoing training. Heck, they’ll even handle the onboarding process for you in some cases. As such, VAs tend to be more ready to handle whatever you have to throw at them.


Traditional: With traditional assistants, you’re sort of stuck with whoever is available in the local area. Need a very specific skill set and can’t find it? Well, sorry—no assistant for you. This narrows down your options considerably.

Remote: Can’t find a remote assistant to do what you need? Well… just keep looking! There’s an endless supply of talent available for hire. No matter where they are in the world, these types of assistants can help you without much trouble. It’s the magic of the internet and it’s there to be fully utilized.

Faceless female seller with notepad near clothes on hangers


Now, call us biased, but it seems to me that remote (virtual) assistants are the clear winners here. They’re just a more practical option that can provide you with the same benefits (if not more) as traditional assistants without all the fuss of material existence (at least in your general proximity).

Moral of the story: if you want to be a metaphysical, reality-bending badass, VAs are the answer.