Onshore or Offshore Virtual Assistants — What’s the Difference & Why Does It Matter?

Onshore or Offshore Assistants - What's the Difference & Why Does It Matter?

The Virtual Gurus is a proud Canadian company matching onshore talent with small businesses, companies, and startups across North America. The question surrounding onshore and offshore virtual assistant outsourcing has been a hot topic in the industry for years – Which option is better for my business? What are the benefits of each? And, what are the disadvantages? Depending on the type of business you operate the answers to these questions may vary immensely. But for us the answer is simple – we firmly believe that keeping our team completely onshore provides value and peace of mind to our clients and propels positive social impact within our local communities, nationwide. Here are some of the reasons why we keep our virtual assistants onshore.

Cost 

There is no question that offshore virtual assistants are more cost-effective to those that are onshore. The key difference in cost is the value of having locally-sourced, onshore assistants – the value of working with someone within your timezone, who understands your markets and demographics inside out, who understands your communication style, and to work with clients who support creating sustainable employment opportunities within the Canadian marketplace.

Managing Deadlines 

Working with virtual assistants in your timezone is imperative for managing deadlines. When working with an assistant remotely, you are relying on timely responses to your queries and time-sensitive tasks. It can be difficult to ensure that deadlines are being met if the individual you are working with is operating a day ahead of you, in a completely different timezone. Real-time conversations via chat, phone calls, and video conferencing have a great impact on the efficiency and timeliness of delegated tasks. Problems can be resolved instantly or within a shorter timeframe, giving you more freedom to focus on what’s important.

Communication

Having a virtual assistant who is a native English speaker and who understands your culture and communication style is more important than you may believe. Your virtual assistant could be tasked with writing responsibilities – having sound knowledge of the English language and grammar skills is a necessary skill for all written tasks and communication. You don’t want to delegate a task and worry about micromanaging and additional time spent reviewing the work they have produced. When someone is fluent in a language they also understand different styles of communication in that language – whether it be sarcasm, humour, or general tone of language, these are important while communicating with your virtual assistant and with the work your virtual assistant produces.

Social Impact

The most important reason why the Virtual Gurus only works with onshore assistants is because we want to create positive social impact in our communities across the country. We believe in providing fair wages and creating sustainable employment opportunities, focused within marginalized communities across the country.

“The social impact of Virtual Gurus is what I am most passionate about. We hire virtual assistants across North America and have been able to provide employment to marginalized communities as well as those who may have a harder time finding work. This includes stay-at-home parents or single parents, Indigenous peoples who live in remote communities, people living with alternate abilities and the LGBTQ community. They all deserve opportunities and a fair wage.”

-Bobbie Racette, CEO and Founder of the Virtual Gurus


Choosing the right virtual assistant for your business is crucial when you are investing your time and money into your assistant’s onboarding process and retaining them as a key member of your team. Hiring offshore assistants may be cost-effective in the short-run, but may lead to costing your business more in the long-run if issues arise surrounding effective time management and communication styles. As a client who works with onshore assistants, you are helping to create more sustainable employment opportunities across Canada and to create positive social impact within your local community – now that’s real value.

Read more from our Founder and CEO, Bobbie Racette, why the Virtual Gurus, Canada’s largest virtual assistant platform, only has onshore assistants here.

Do you work with a virtual assistant? What are your thoughts on the benefits and challenges of working with onshore and offshore assistants? Let us know in the comments below.

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