Your One-Stop Shop for All Virtual Staffing Needs

virtual assistant sitting near a pile of papers, illustration

18 Virtual Assistant Statistics 2021 (Sorted by Importance)

These virtual assistant statistics, the latest we can find as of 2021, will expose why nearly half of the online small business world is run by unified teams of assistants conducting tasks at a rapid pace with remarkable efficiency.

Let’s face it. Starting a small business is hard. Founders usually start out as one-man bands, taking on the role of the content creator, sales manager, social media manager, copywriter, graphic designer, marketer, administrator, and visionary all at the same time. And while this might work in the beginning, eventually, you’d have to seek help if you want to scale your business.

The first thing we would recommend you to do is hire a virtual assistant (VA), for a number of benefits, but mostly because they are so undervalued right now; especially in the international VA market. Let’s run the numbers and explore the latest most relevant statistics to a small business owner.

Table of Contents

Our Implications on These Virtual Assistant Statistics

After gathering all these statistics relevant to virtual assistants, we want to share a few inferences that might help you; especially if you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to read the entire article.

  1. Small businesses from western countries and virtual professionals from developing nations are a match made in heaven. As a businessowner, you should at least consider hiring a VA from developing nations for the good of all parties. You get to have a 70%-80% discount on your payroll and your VA gets to enjoy a salary that is well above their local market rate.
  2. Most companies that hire VAs do it to make their business processes more efficient but don’t realize how much cost savings they can bring.
  3. Assistant market rates in the US are overvalued due to limited supply. There are 8.5x more small businesses in the US than there are secretaries and admin assistants available. Let that sink in.
  4. India is the cheapest option if you are seeking talent for IT or development purposes. But if you want workers to do general, admin, social media, and other miscellaneous tasks, you can find the most suitable and cost-effective VAs in the Philippines since they speak English better. Well, not necessarily better but their accents aren’t as thick and are far more comprehensible for westerners. South Africans are also great options since they are quite skilled, have even better accents, and are a lot cheaper than Americans.
  5. Interest in remote work and work-from-home setups is growing rapidly among employees and businesses alike, and is expected to continue its growth trajectory even post-pandemic.
  6. Eventually, the international VA market will balance out. As soon as more western businesses hire remote workers from developing nations, the international outsourcing market will likely become saturated. Simply put, the $5/hour rate you can pay a Filipino assistant is an opportunity that is slowly slipping from your grasp. If I were you, I’d make the most of this now while it lasts. Grow your business as large as you can while the costs are low. This last part is more of a speculation than an implication but we have enough reason to believe it’s highly probable.

Virtual Assistant Statistics of 2021

1.) Virtual assistants can save up to 78% of your operating costs annually.

Too many businesses underestimate the practicality of outsourcing, as evidenced by the fact that it is merely the sixth biggest reason why people outsource. But if you think about it, saving nearly 80% of all expenditures could increase your net profits dramatically. This is something that business owners should consider before expanding. In fact, even if you have already scaled far, you definitely should consider cutting costs down.

Hiring full-time in-house employees can be a chore; you have to spend time or money on recruitment, job postings, interviewing a dozen people, etc. On top of that, you have to bear the costs of new equipment (or larger office space) for your new employees. But if you hire a virtual assistant instead, all of those extra requirements disappear since your VAs will be working from the comfort of their own home with their own equipment ready. Life couldn’t be better.

This statistic, which seems to check out with other sources, was published by OutsourceWorkers. However, based on our calculations, we recognize that you can only save this much if you outsource to VAs from developing countries, which have low costs of living that allow VAs to live comfortably even with less than the US Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

2.) The US has the highest-paid VAs while India has the lowest.

With an average annual income of $57,206 ($27/hour), the US has the most expensive virtual assistants in the world. If you hire from the US, you better not be in it for the cost savings because there are better options out there. However, the US also boasts some of the most seasoned VAs, some of which have been honing their online technical skills for more than a decade and are quite adept at tackling virtually all types of tasks you throw their way.

India, on the other hand, has the lowest average salary for remote workers, with an annual income of $3,715.68 ($1.8/hour), which explains why it is one of the most popular locations for Western businesses to outsource. Note that Indians usually have thick accents, unlike Filipinos, so be sure that you can understand them well enough before hiring.

Perhaps you might want to explore remote workers from other parts of the world.

Average Yearly Salary for Virtual Assistants by Location

  1. USA $57,206
  2. Australia $44,070
  3. UK $40,967
  4. South Africa $8,470
  5. Thailand $6,763
  6. Philippines $7,420
  7. Mexico $5,570
  8. Pakistan $3,895 
  9. India $3,715.68

At Virtuale, we chose the Philippines as our target market because firstly, it’s home, but more importantly, we know from experience that Filipinos are the most hardworking VAs in the world, plus their English is amazing. Lastly, they’re not expensive.

3.) Increasing efficiency is the most common reason why businesses outsource.

Running a company requires a lot of work, some of which can be too tedious and time-consuming that you will have less time to do more meaningful things. Outsourcing to virtual assistants can increase your company’s efficiency, enabling you and/or your in-house employees to focus on core tasks that match all your skills.

Rio Rocket owns a graphic design and web development company but outsources laborious tasks such as rewriting content.

[Remote workers] gave me more time to negotiate new contracts, handle client correspondence, and manage the creative direction of current projects. Through outsourcing, I could manage 10 to 15 or more projects and still maintain clarity and a fresh state of mind.

Rio Rocket

To be honest, we were initially surprised that efficiency came at number 1 on Clutch’s report since we were expecting it to be cost-savings, but after having thought about it for a while, it makes more sense.

You might also want to know the other top reasons why companies outsource, which also came from Clutch.

Top 6 Reasons Why Businesses Outsource

  1. Increase efficiency
  2. Receive assistance from an expert
  3. Increase flexibility
  4. Free up in-house employees for other tasks
  5. Increase available resources
  6. Reduce operating costs

4.) 37% of small businesses outsource some of their operations.

More than a third of all small businesses already outsource parts of their operations, which is quite high. But if you think about it, outsourcing is almost essential to any business that wants to dominate their market, which requires higher efficiency, expert assistance, cost reduction, etc., all of which can be attained by choosing a virtual assistant. In fact, not doing so could mean that you’re missing out on something that your competitors could be taking advantage of.

Business scaling expert Drew Duboff shares his decision to hire a freelance assistant to free up time for him to do other important work instead of spending most of his time managing his Pinterest account daily.

I decided to outsource Pinterest management for my blog because I quite honestly didn’t have the time I needed to keep up with it. I understood exactly what needed to get done to grow the account, but I needed someone additional to help me schedule pins, create graphics, get on group boards, and grow the account, in general.

Drew Duboff

5.) Employees are 13% more productive when working from home.

While some employers believe that working from home might be distracting for their staff, a study conducted by Standford on 957 remote workers revealed quite the opposite: work-from-home (WFH) workers were 13% more productive than their office worker counterparts. And there are a number of reasons why we think this is true, but it’s best to stick with the results of the study for higher accuracy.

Top 4 Reasons Why Work-From-Home Improve Employees’ Performance

  1. It is convenient for bathroom breaks, lunch, tea, coffee, etc. (19)%
  2. The environment is more quiet. (17%)
  3. Employees can still work even if they don’t feel like going to the office. (13%)
  4. Working just feels more positive when at home. (12%)

However, the results of the research were not one-sided as it indicates that some remote workers have reported having lower motivation due to the loneliness that comes with WFH, succumbing to the temptations of television, computer, phone, etc., distractions from family members and/or friends. But overall, the results were positive.

6.) 17% of US remote workers would consider quitting and finding a new job if they are forced to go back to the office.

It appears that a great percentage of US professionals couldn’t get enough of working remotely after having a taste of it during the pandemic. They’d even go so far as to consider leaving their jobs if their bosses ever decide that they should get back to the office anytime soon. This is a testament to the rising interest in work-from-home setups, which could become the new normal even during post-pandemic periods.

Many professionals are not happy about the prospects of returning to the office after the pandemic, and are looking for more remote and flexible options.

Adam Ozimek (Upwork Chief Economist)

This study was conducted by Upwork via a survey of over 4,000 Americans.

7.) Businesses can save up to $11,000 per year per remote employee.

Employers can save up to $11,000 per annum for every employee that works remotely on an average of 2.5 days per week. How much more if the virtual employee works from home full-time right? But how?

According to research from Global Workplace Analytics, the cost savings are principally attributed to increased productivity, lower workspace costs, better employee attendance and turnover, etc

If businesses decide to let employees work from home fully, would it double the expenditure savings? Could businesses actually save up to $22,000 per remote employee per year? That’s a lot! We’re not entirely sure but we do know that letting employees work from home has far more benefits than losses.

8.) The global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is worth $245.91 billion as of 2021.

Image Credit:

The BPO industry is also expected to undergo a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% starting from 2021 to 2028. As more companies focus on enhancing business agility, efficiency, and cost reduction to compete in the constantly changing dynamics of the modern business world and meet rising market demands, the BPO industry can definitely do more to serve.

With an 8.5% CAGR, the global BPO market should reach about $435 billion by 2028, nearly double its current valuation.

This report was conducted by market research and consulting firm Grand View Research.

9.) Customer services are the most outsourced task.

According to the same Grand View Research report, the customer service subsector dominates the global outsourcing market, with a market share of 31%. Moreover, it is expected to maintain its dominance throughout 2021-2028 at the very least. This is because most major B2C companies require constant customer support, which can be costly to maintain if they don’t outsource to developing nations.

If we only take small businesses into account, the statistics are quite different as Clutch’s data shows that the top 6 most outsource tasks by small businesses are:

  1. Accounting
  2. IT services
  3. Digital marketing
  4. Development
  5. Human resources
  6. Customer Support

10.) Nearly half of companies that hire virtual assistants have 1,000 or more employees.

Don’t let this statistic fool you. We at Virtuale have found that small companies need VAs the most, but it just so happens that large corporations have bigger budgets that allow them to hire boatloads of virtual staff whenever they need to.

Among businesses that hire virtual assistants:

  1. 19% have less than 100 employees
  2. 32% have 100-1000 employees
  3. 49% of them have 1,000 or more employees.

11.) The US has a great shortage of admin assistants and secretaries.

The US Bureau of Labor indicates that the nation only has 3.7 million administrative assistants and secretaries while the number of small businesses amounts to 31.7 million as of 2020. This means that there are over 8x as many small businesses as there are assistants and secretaries, which is why the national market rate for these roles in the US might be skewed to be a bit higher than the value they bring due to overwhelming demand and limited supply.

This is another reason why we always recommend US businesses that don’t need onshore remote workers to outsource to other countries whose job markets are underserved. They’ll get way better prices and be able to make a difference in the lives of whoever they hire.

12.) 45% of virtual assistants have a bachelor’s degree.

In terms of educational attainment:

  • 45% of virtual assistants have a bachelor’s degree
  • 18% only have an associate’s degree
  • 7% only have a high school diploma
  • 6% have a Master’s degree
  • 24% have other types of degrees

13.) 97.6% of remote workers want to carry on working remotely for the rest of their work-life.

There is enough evidence to support the hypothesis that remote workers are more satisfied with their work style than office workers. In Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work Report, data reveals that 99% of workers who worked remotely before COVID-19 and 96% of workers who worked remotely because of COVID-19 want to remotely for the rest of their careers.

remote worker satisfaction statistic

Once they go remote, they’re never going back to the office. At least most won’t.

14.) 97% of independent workers are happy with their careers.

A study conducted by McKinsey Global Institute shows that 97% of independent workers, also known as contractors or freelancers, are happier with their careers than permanent employees.

15.) 87.7% of VAs are paid hourly.

A lot of virtual assistants prefer to be paid on a productive hour basis.

16.) The gender ratio for virtual assistants in the US is 83% female and 13% male.

The virtual assistant industry is dominated by females even in the US or even other parts of the world because the job is perfect for stay-at-home or single moms.

17.) The average age for virtual assistants in the US is 49 years old.

It appears that US VAs are mostly middle-aged, which is in contrast to most VAs in developing nations. Most of the assistants hailing from the Philippines, for instance, are between 22- to 30-year-olds.

18.) 10 million US workers are considering freelancing so they could work remotely.

According to Upwork’s survey, 10 million Americans are willing to try out freelancing over their permanent work setup just so they can work remotely. This might stem from the fact that many citizens are still cautious to go back to the office due to the pandemic. However, there is enough statistical evidence to support the notion that many workers who have never gone remote are intrigued by the prospect of working in the comfort of their own homes.

Hire a VA Now

Virtuale Staffing offers the top virtual professionals from the Philippines, which boasts a 98.18% literacy rate. Our VAs are proficient in using modern online tools and software, speak English phenomenally well, and are adaptable to the ever-changing landscape of the internet. Let us take the grunt workload off your plate and free up time for you to either spend with your loved ones or do core tasks for your company.

Tell us what type of work your business requires and we shall provide you with the most tailor-fit candidates for your role, not generic VAs like what other companies offer. CONSULT US NOW.

Scroll to top