Onshore or offshore virtual assistants: What's the difference & why does it matter?

Virtual Gurus Staff
January 24, 2022

The benefits of onshore vs offshore virtual assistants have been debated in our industry for years. Which option is better for your business? What are the benefits and disadvantages of each? 

For us, the answer is simple – we firmly believe that keeping our talent completely onshore provides the best value to our Clients while propelling positive social impact in our communities. Here are some of the reasons why we keep our virtual assistants onshore.


When working with onshore VA's, you can rest assured that your assistant's education, training and credentials are representative of North American standards of achievement. VAs from the U.S. and Canada will bring the qualifications you need and expect in order to hit the ground running and start making valuable contributions to your business from day one.

Market knowledge and communication

When doing business with a particular audience or community, it's always advantageous to hire team members who know that market intimately. It's no different with virtual assistants; if your target customers are in North America, you'll benefit most from a North American VA who knows your markets and demographics inside-out.

The more your VA understands your audience -- whether it be cultural norms, shopping behaviour, business practices or local trends -- the more effectively they'll be able to complete projects in a way that appeals to your audience, adapt to your culture and develop successful working relationships with your team, customers, partners and vendors.

The subject of language is also relevant. Those who speak a language natively understand nuances of communication – whether it be sarcasm, humour, or general tone. These can make a significant difference when communicating with you and your team, vendors, partners or customers.  Working with a native English speaker is especially crucial if your VA will be tasked with any form of writing, customer service, email management, outbound calling, social media posting or other communication responsibilities. 

Hiring an onshore VA means you're less likely to spend unnecessary time editing and correcting work and mediating communication misunderstandings. It also helps you avoid having your brand tarnished by communication errors.

Managing deadlines

Working with virtual assistants in (or close to) your time zone is imperative for managing deadlines effectively, especially for time-sensitive queries and tasks. It can be difficult to ensure deadlines are being met if the individual you’re working with is operating a full or half day ahead of you, in a completely different time zone. 

Real-time conversations via chat, phone calls, and video conferencing can have a great impact on the timeliness and quality of work. Problems can be resolved instantly or within a shorter timeframe, giving you more freedom to focus on what’s important. These conversations are much easier to arrange when your time zones are compatible.

Supporting local communities

Perhaps the most important reason Virtual Gurus works exclusively with onshore assistants is to create positive social impact in our local communities across Canada and the U.S. We believe in providing fair wages and creating sustainable employment opportunities, particularly for underrepresented communities.

Read more from our Founder and CEO, Bobbie Racette, on why Virtual Gurus works exclusively with onshore assistants here.


By working with onshore assistants, you get the highest possible value for your talent investments while helping to create sustainable employment opportunities close to home. Now that's real value.

Are you ready to work with one of our on-shore virtual assistants? Browse our Talentplace to find a VA that best fits your needs. If you need further help to find a good fit, book a discovery call with our Solutions team -- they'd be happy to help!

Want to learn more about hiring a virtual assistant?

View our services page to see all the ways we can support your team.

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Virtual Gurus Staff
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