The following virtual assistant stats will keep you up to date with the latest trends, if you are planning to leverage virtual assistant services to benefit your business.

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats

Virtual assistant (VA) is no longer a new form of BPO service, especially for thriving companies who need a large number of call center agents, or those who support customers from foreign countries. Here are the valuable VA statistics you need to know in 2022.

1. Virtual assistants from BPO services help businesses save operating costs

A 2020 study showed that hiring a virtual assistant to aid the work process can save up to 78% of operating costs, compared to an internal employee.

Hiring an internal employee can be very costly and time-consuming. Apart from salaries, businesses have to pay for office rent costs, desks, technical equipment, etc.

In contrast, when hiring a virtual assistant, you may only need to pay them salaries without investing in any additional costs. This has generally saved you a million bucks.

According to a study from Global Workplace Analytics in 2021, a US employer may save more than $11,000 by hiring a virtual assistant from a BPO company instead of hiring an in-house employee.

2. Most virtual assistants are experienced and well-trained

A statistic from 2020 research figured out that up to 60% of virtual assistants will have college degrees by 2021.

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022 (Source: Stanford University)

Out of these:

  • 6% have a master’s degree
  • 45% have a bachelor’s degree
  • 8% have an associate degree
  • 24% have other degrees
  • 7% have a high school diploma

(Source: Zippia)

3. Top picks for hiring virtual assistants

Also, according to another research, India and the Philippines are the two chosen countries to hire virtual assistants from BPO services.

Here are the two leading causes:

Hiring a virtual assistant in India costs about $288/month, while in the Philippines, it costs about $400/month (December 2021 data). However, if you hire a virtual assistant in New York, you may have to spend $3,743/month.

The English proficiency of the Indian and Filipino candidates is good, and they can proficiently use business English. India is also the second-largest English-speaking country. Moreover, the Philippines ranked 18th amongst 100 countries worldwide on the European Fellowship’s (EF) English Proficiency Index for 2021.

Filipinos also had one of the highest literacy rates in the world (91.6% in 2019).

4. Virtual assistants are highly paid

According to statistics from Indeed, the average virtual assistant in the US is paid $19.37/hour. This amounts to $58,344 annually in 2021.

San Francisco boasts the highest paying virtual BPO services in the United States, ranging from $60,875 to $92,483 annually in 2021.

In addition, the statistics also demonstrate that there are 8.5 times as many small businesses as virtual assistants in the US after the pandemic outbreak in 2020. This may cause the US to prefer hiring virtual assistants to serve foreign markets.

India has the lowest percentage of hiring virtual assistants, with a space scale ranging from $1 to $3/hour ($3000/year).

5. Virtual assistants contribute to higher productivity and work efficiency

Across industries, top US employers find hiring virtual BPO services to be as productive, if not more, than their in-house staff.

Thanks to not being distracted by other office tasks and adapting to flexible work schedules, virtual assistants are proving to be remarkably efficient.

A 2021 study from Global Workspace Analytics found that American Express remote workers are up to 43% more productive than office workers. The same study by software company JD Edwards also revealed that virtual workers are 20-25% more productive than on-site employees.

6. Virtual assistants can adapt to flexible work hours

Unlike employees working at the office, virtual assistants can adapt to flexible schedules. They can adjust their work hours from 15 hours/week to more than 40 hours/week anywhere.

Another survey found that more than 23.9% of virtual assistants work for 31-40 hours/week in 2021. This number is significantly higher than 9% of virtual workers working 31- 40 hours/week in 2007.

7. Virtual assistants are growing

According to a 2021 study from Statista, more than 67 million freelancers in the US in the same year. This number is predicted to reach over 90 million by the year 2028.

At this rate, it is predicted that over 50% of the US workforce will work as virtual professionals by 2028.

Another study from Businesswire in 2021 predicted the freelance virtual assistant from the BPO market will grow by $4 billion between 2021 and 2025. The same study also showed that the virtual assistant market size is growing rapidly at 12% CAGR.

8. Hourly payment is the new trend

Many studies also show that more than 87.7% of virtual assistants are paid hourly. This payment can be productivity-based or a flat rate per client. Hourly wages can vary depending on the virtual assistant’s work experience, skills, and location.

Some virtual assistants may also claim to be paid monthly, hourly, or daily.

9. Virtual assistants are satisfied and contented with their work

Work style changes give freelancers more chances to make their work flexible, and freelancers, including virtual assistants, feel satisfied with their work. In 2017, over 82% of freelancers expressed their pride in their profession.

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022 (Source: Stanford University)

A survey from ReportLinker in 2017 also revealed that more than 65% of freelancers believe they are happier working independently than working traditionally.

In fact, 84% of virtual employees said they felt their work was purposeful.

10. Virtual assistants are trying to maintain work-life balance

Working in the BPO market can be flexible regarding work time and location. However, some workers are facing a work-life balance challenge. According to a 2021 Buffer report, more than 27% of remote workers have difficulty getting a break from work.

Research also showed that more than 16% of remote employees faced barriers in dealing with clients. Due to the nature of work, more than 15% also faced loneliness and stress growing.

Another 2020 study by Robert Half found that more than 55% of remote workers work on the weekends, and more than 34% spend more than 8 hours a day working.

The reason comes from the productivity payment basis. Virtual assistants are often paid based on productivity (with goals-based). If they don’t reach their goal, they can get stressed and burn out.

11. Demand for full-time jobs is on the rise

Businesses realize they can optimize their virtual and outsourced workforces. Therefore, most virtual assistants are working full-time, rather than part-time.

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022

BPO service update: Top virtual assistant stats to watch out for in 2022 (Source: Stanford University)

Research data also explains that over 58.9% of VAs work full time, and over 85% have a personal website.

According to a survey from the Society of Virtual Assistants, UK, more than 97% of VAs in this country chose full-time jobs in 2021, compared to 80% in 2008.

Another report from Zippia also found that, among full-time workers, more than 66% worked for the private sector, while only 29% worked in the public sector; of those, IT companies employed the most full-time virtual assistants.

These full-time VA employees mostly come from freelancing platforms. As of 2017, Upwork – a famous freelance job seeking and hiring platform had more than 5000 full-time virtual assistants. Freelancer had over 26,000 full-time virtual assistants, and PeoplePerHour had another 5,000.

12. Top jobs that need virtual assistants the most

According to the Business Process Outsourcing Market Size Report in 2021-2028, customer service is the top area that needs virtual employees from BPO services in 2021.

The same report also revealed that the outsourcing sector is expected to grow at a rate of 8.5% from 2020 to 2028, while the customer service industry accounts for more than 31% of its revenue.

Upwork also suggests that cold calling and email marketing are two in-demand skills virtual assistants should enhance.

The following areas need virtual assistants:

  • Finance and accounting
  • IT services
  • Social media management
  • Digital marketing
  • Development
  • Human resources
  • Supply chain management

13. Clients prefer human VAs

Apart from hiring human VAs, some small businesses also use intelligent virtual assistants (IVA).

IVA uses machine learning technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to interact with customers. Good examples of IVAs are Siri, Alexa, or chatbot technologies. Although these technologies somehow help businesses optimize costs, according to a 2019 CGS survey, 86% of customers still prefer to hire humans over chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants.

This will likely be a big incentive for businesses to outsource human VAs, instead of leveraging AI technology.

These 13 stats about virtual assistants can let you catch up with changes in the VA market, leverage this information to scale your business by hiring top virtual assistants from all over the world.

If you are planning to hire a virtual assistant service, you have Innovature BPO. Check out our services, and sign up here to see how we can boost your remote workforce productivity.