Most of you know the costs of setting up a business but have you ever run a spreadsheet on the actual cost and outlay of setting up an extra desk for administrative help and support versus hiring a Virtual Assistant? The costs surprised even me as I tallied up the expenses on the employer’s side of the equation. Let’s examine the hourly costs of an executive assistant in the office vs. hiring a virtual assistant.

Office investments vs. Hiring a Virtual Assistant—

When setting up my office, I made an investment in my desk, chair and equipment because I wanted it to last a long time. My initial cost for the desk (with lots of bells and whistles and file drawers), plus a workable office chair, filing cabinets, Apple iMac desktop 27”, printer and scanner and décor amounted to $6975.00. The computer and printer will last about three years. ($2462 + inflation)

Annual costs for an Executive Assistant—

According to an executive assistant makes on average $50,390 a year or $19.00 an hour on average. I took this figure and added the percentage for taxes paid by the employer (approximately 14.15%) With benefits ranging from $150 for life insurance to health insurance costing $9000 in my age bracket (with a $6000 deductible) and long term disability insurance costing $500 the average employer would add another 11% for benefits on average.

Overhead Costs vs. Hiring a Virtual Assistant—

My annual costs to turn on the lights, office supplies, training, software, repairs, business insurance, phone, Internet, utilities cost an average $10.82 per hour (Monthly overhead: $1730. 99 ÷ 160 hrs.) An additional price can be figured if you rent or pay a mortgage.

employee-hiring a virtual assistant-comparisonManagerial Costs—

Then consider in an office setting there is managerial oversight and training that costs the employer time and money. For this add an additional $4.75 per hour to the total cost of the employee.

Wasted time costs—

That’s not all. Everyone knows time is wasted per day in an office with frequent socializing, running personal errands on company time, prolonged internet surfing, late to arrive/early to hiring a virtual assistantleave, personal phone calls, emails, and texting, etc. All that is time burned away and costly time wasted. According to’s 2014 Wasting time at Work Survey on average 45 minutes a day are wasted by 62% of the survey participants and 16% wasted 2 hours a day. This doesn’t include breaks mandatory by labor laws. So figure in an average cost of $14.25 per day for that one office employee. Multiply that by 5 days a week>4 weeks a month>12 months a year and you’ve just wasted away $3420!

So the grand total for your full-time-in-the-box employee is $99,776.88. Need I say more?

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant—

With the benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant, you get a self-motivated entrepreneur that runs my own business and has the infrastructure to take care of the tasks you assign. There’s no need for managerial oversight except the instructional briefs that go with a project. Finding the right Virtual Assistant for the particular field of work you’re in or tasks you require will take some precise questions. Download A Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant for more instructions in interviewing and hiring.

After reading this summary, I think you’ll see that hiring a virtual assistant in a specialized area of work will benefit your company and reduce your overhead. If you are looking for a virtual assistant and you are a green industry entrepreneur, then let’s talk. I can put together customized packages to get the work done at a fraction of the in-the-box employee cost. I guarantee it!

Sources: How Much Does an Employee Cost?