Virtual assistants: not only for the CEO

Virtual assistants: not only for the CEO

Not that long ago, the idea of a “virtual assistant” sounded like something straight out of a  science fiction movie. These days, however, scores of people cannot imagine working productively without their VAs. Remote workers, including programmers, find their services especially useful.

Virtual assistants: not only for the CEO

You may be wondering what a virtual assistant actually does, and how they could be of service to you in particular. Delegating your own duties to someone else probably makes you think of a large company’s CEO. After all, it is only at this stage of your career that you might need help arranging meetings and answering phone calls. Right? Well, it turns out that view of reality is quite outdated. The services of a virtual assistant can also make life much easier for programmers like you.

 

Think about the influential guy that you follow on social media. You read his articles, browse photos from his conferences, listen to an interview he gave for an industry-leading portal, and ask yourself… How does he make time for all these things? The answer is simple: there is another player that makes their success possible, and sometimes even a whole team. Virtual assistants make room in the client’s schedule through tireless behind-the-scenes work – so that he can focus on what’s really important.

 

So who is a VA, and what exactly does that person do? On the internet, you’ll find numerous definitions, often surprisingly different from each other. However, you can interpret this inconsistency as a good sign. The range of services offered by virtual assistants is so broad, with the assistants themselves so versatile and flexible that, in the end, everything depends on the client.

 

A virtual assistant is simply a remote helper who takes over some of your duties – especially those that will not suffer even if you don’t take care of them in person. Thanks to VA’s work, you gain extra time to focus on what you really want to do.

How can a VA support a programmer?

Virtual assistants do not limit themselves to typical business services. Increasingly so, they also support clients in less formal or even private, everyday matters. An experienced, resourceful assistant will take on some of the day-to-day responsibilities that right now are still yours to worry about.

 

During work, you will be able to fully focus on programming, and when you’re done with programming, you’ll spend time doing what you enjoy – and not dealing with commitments. If you want to delegate a task to an assistant, just type a few words on the keyboard. It’s really enough! Talking to virtual assistants works just like chatting with your colleagues. When you want someone to review your code, you send him a pull request link on Slack – and when you need your VA to help out, all you need is a brief description of your request, for instance:

“Hi, I’d like to eat pljeskavica today.” That is enough – the assistant will arrange everything for you. He will check which of the nearby Serbian restaurants has the best reviews, and then he will order a dish for you with home delivery or book a table and let you know where to find a parking space. There you go. 

Everyone needs sufficient time for fun and leisure, that is what work-life balance is all about. It may sound like a corny slogan, but at Reef Technologies, we take it seriously. Our clients pay us for top quality code – and we realize only well-rested, satisfied employees can deliver that.

 

The help of a trusted assistant will allow you to stop worrying about everyday errands. The main objective of a VA can be put very simply: their services are there to make your life easier and more pleasant.

Specifically – what will a VA do for you?

Everyday life consists of thousands of small things that require your time and energy – you may not even realize how many of them there are. Thanks to your assistant, you will be able to devote yourself to personal relationships, follow a wisely-planned path of self-development, and enjoy your life instead of coordinating tasks and errands. We prepared some specific examples of situations when a VA could provide you with the necessary support.

Relationship building

Your virtual assistant will:

  • Keep your calendar organized. If you want to remember all the important dates such as the birthdays of your wife and children – your VA will remind you of them a few days earlier;
  • Organize gifts – some people find it harder than others to come up with appropriate present ideas. Your VA will find a beautiful gift for your mother’s birthday and even set up delivery so that it gets to the right place at the right time;
  • Send greeting cards to your family for Christmas;
  • Help your parents when you do not have enough time – your VA will organize online grocery shopping for them, provide advice on how to disable the annoying pop-up window on their laptop or call the appropriate technician to fix it;

Everyday responsibilities:

Your virtual assistant will:

  • Check whether your tenant has paid the rent on time and remind him about it if he hasn’t;
  • Book an appointment with a hairdresser, mechanic or doctor;
  • Prepare a list of the 10 most fashionable shirts, their prices, and links to where you can order them;
  • Find a suitable language teacher for your daughter;
  • Put together a list of dentists in your city, check their prices, opinions, and locations, and decide on the optimal option. Then, your VA will book an appointment for the date of your choice and send you the necessary info including directions on how to get there;
  • Find where you can buy your favorite product that is out of stock at your local shop;
  • Prepare a spec comparison of the phone models that you’re interested in;
  • Find a handyman and arrange for him to come in and arrange a dripping tap;
  • Search for the hottest trends on how to design your balcony;
  • Find the right nanny for your child;
  • Check the opinions of nearby nurseries and kindergartens;
  • Post the items that you would like to get rid of on an auction site;
  • Review and evaluate the offer of the new mobile operator on the market;
  • Fill out a legal form for you to submit to the government;
  • Make bill payments and check if you’re up to date on them;
  • Make a complaint about a broken device or find a good offer for a new one;

Personal development

Your virtual assistant will:

  • Book the ticket for an event that you want to attend as soon as they become available;
  • Prepare a list of 20 quotes by the world’s most renowned mentors;
  • Find the top podcasts or YouTube channels that fit your interests;
  • Periodically send you valuable materials from the field that concerns you;
  • Make sure you’re subscribed to your favorite magazine;
  • Assemble all the information that you need to acquire to learn a particular skill;
  • Write down the courses that get the most recommendations from other programmers;

Organizing your free time

Your virtual assistant will:

  • Find the right place for your holidays according to your preferences;
  • Buy the tickets to your destinations and send them to you; book a taxi and check the best restaurants in the area;
  • Prepare a list of tourist attractions to see during your holiday;
  • Find some exciting events or activities you could take your kids to on the weekend;
  • Book a seat or a table in a restaurant and buy cinema tickets in advance.

…it turns out you really do have a lot on your mind!

We’d wager that until now you’d never considered all those things as actual obligations. That’s because it was the way you’d lived all along. Somewhat overwhelming. Trust us, though, it is much easier to sleep soundly at night and lead a satisfying life when you can rest assured that a real professional is always on top of all your commitments. As a Reef Technologies developer, you’ll find out what it’s like for yourself.