Night-shifting Virtual Assistants and Why Time Zones Are Irrelevant
Does your national employment legislation stipulate that you pay premiums for employees who work for you at night or during “unsociable” hours?
The chances are that it does and even if not, the social pressure to pay extra for night work may be too intense to ignore. Either way, it’s bad news if you run a business with the need for nighttime labour.
Unfortunately, the situation is always hardest for businesses that are big enough to need employees, but too small (or too young) to be able to afford high-quality staff.
If this applies to you, you’ve probably heard that virtual assistants are a very affordable option when you need to hire some extra hands to run your business. However, you may not be aware that you can benefit just as much during the nighttime hours as during the day—or that you can do so without spending a fortune on night-shift or unsocial hours premiums.
Offshore Virtual Assistants: Your Night Shift is All in a Day’s Work
If your business is based in the Western Hemisphere, especially on the North American continent, you’ll be pleased to know that you can hire a virtual assistant based in the Philippines, who will be happy to work during your business hours.
For the VA, this means working a night shift, and yes, he or she may charge you a rate that’s higher than a day-shifting VA in the same country, but that cost will be a fraction of what you’ll pay for a regular local employee, or even a virtual assistant in your home country.
But what if your business is a 24-hour operation? Perhaps you need somebody to cover nighttime hours in a customer service or technical support role.
Well, if that’s the case, the news is even better, because you’ll have no problem finding a virtual assistant who’s willing enough (and skilled enough) to perform a multitude of tasks, as long as they can be performed remotely, and better still, he or she will be working normal daytime hours to do it.
Business Types that can Benefit from Nighttime VA Services
A virtual assistant who works during your nighttime hours can be a real boon if you have an operation that runs 24/7. Perhaps you currently have minimal night coverage, offering your customers some form of self-service portal or voicemail for messages.
By hiring a VA to work at night, you can upgrade your service to offer personal assistance to your customers or clients, enabling them to speak to a live representative of your company at any time.
Scenarios in which this can really contribute to the customer experience include:
- Ecommerce or omnichannel retail businesses (especially those selling in overseas markets)
- B2B ecommerce or omnichannel businesses
- Service businesses with 24-hour help lines
- Service businesses with clients in different time-zones
- Medical or care services with a need for 24/7 availability
In all of the above scenarios, virtual assistants who can work during the business-owner’s “out of hours” time can help immensely by providing a “voice” for the business, ready to help customers or clients throughout the night hours.
By hiring a virtual assistant in a distant time-zone, you can enjoy this night support from somebody who is actually working normal daytime office hours, even though he or she is effectively “night-shifting” for your business.
Night-shifting Offshore Virtual Assistants
Perhaps you only need some help with back-office tasks, and if you operate a business in a Western country, such as Western Europe or North America, hiring virtual assistants in the Philippines allows you to rest easy at night, knowing that the tasks you assign them will be completed and ready for you in the morning, except…
The one drawback with this only becomes obvious when something doesn’t go to plan, because either you have to suffer a disturbance at night to address a problem, or live with the fact that assignments may not always be completed when you check-in at the start of your day. That’s where it can pay to hire an offshore VA who’s prepared to work during his or her nighttime hours.
This gives you the ability to stay in close communication with your virtual assistant or at the very least to be available if your VA gets stuck with a task or needs some guidance.
The other main benefit of a night-shifting offshore VA, is the possibility to assign them tasks which involve customer interaction during daytime hours in your country, or to have them work on projects in real-time with your local team—tasks which would not be possible to assign a VA on a day shift.
Eradicate the Time Zone Issue: Hire a VA in Philippines
Without time zones the business world would, in the main, become a very difficult environment, but the existence of time zones also creates issues, especially if you want a workforce that’s distributed around the globe. However, this doesn’t hold true when you hire virtual assistants in the Philippines, because…
- A) There are many skilled VAs who will work nights to provide services in your office hours.
- B) Your night-shift needs can be met by a virtual assistant working during his/her normal working hours.
So while sourcing remote-working services in the Philippines doesn’t quite render time zones irrelevant, it can make the issues insignificant enough that they can be virtually ignored.
The bottom line is that wherever your business is located in the world, you can find Filipino VAs who will help you keep it running 24/7, without costing you a fortune in premiums for working unsocial or nighttime hours.