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Choosing A Fractional Executive Assistant Over A Full-Time Hire

It’s easy to make the case for an executive assistant, but executives these days don’t usually need full-time help — which is why companies are turning more and more to fractional executive assistants to support their leaders.

Fractional work is on the rise — in fact, 74% of executives are interested in doing fractional work themselves.

This emerging interest makes sense. Remote work has increased dramatically as people seek better work-life balance. Almost 13% of full-time employees work from home, while 16% of companies operate fully remote.

As work shifts to the remote realm, a fractional executive assistant makes perfect sense in more ways than one. Here’s everything you need to know and whether it will work for your team.

What Is A Fractional Executive Assistant?

A fractional executive assistant works on a remote, part-time basis to handle typical admin duties just like a full-time employee, but only for the hours you need. They typically work for multiple executives dedicating portions of their time to each client.

At Boldly, we’ve seen a shift towards companies looking for a single EA to support multiple executives, often on the same team or department. However, a fractional executive assistant isn’t limited to working exclusively for one company.

Read more: Tips For Sharing An Executive Assistant

To be clear, “part-time” can sound a bit misleading — fractional work is different.

A part-time worker might have a few employers, but their schedule is a bit less flexible than a remote fractional EA. Additionally, a fractional EA isn’t the same as a freelancer or independent contractor. They aren’t generally a project-based hire.

It’s worth pointing out that fractional EAs aren’t only for the C-Suite, which is the beauty of the fractional model. Any leader who needs an executive asssistant, even if only for an hour or two a day, can access one.

How A Fractional Executive Assistant Can Benefit You

A fractional executive assistant can increase your productivity fairly quickly.

Your productivity takes a hit when you have so many tasks to do that you rarely get a chance to do a deep dive into the work that matters. Answering email and planning meetings aren’t the best use of your time.

Think of your day as consisting of a clock, with a limited number of hours and minutes. If you can shift some of the less important work to your fractional EA, even if only for an hour or two, that’s time you reclaim.

See also: How Much Does An Executive Assistant Cost?

But there are even more benefits to using a fractional EA than just the productivity boost:

  • Talent and skills: You can get access to incredible talent you might not be able to budget as a full-time hire. This includes accessing specialized expertise or skills that you might need only for a lesser amount of time than a full-time hire could justify.
  • Flexibility in time and cost: Fractional executive assistants provide flexibility in how you work and in how you budget. Instead of locked contracts, you can choose the hours you want from your fractional EA based on actual need.
  • Avoid hiring constraints: You can avoid hiring expenses and delays that normally come with bringing on a new team member. No more long recruitment waiting periods; a fractional EA can be onboarded almost immediately.
  • Team stability: You can avoid or reduce the disruption that happens when full-time team members leave.

With a fractional EA, you quickly change your business to be growth-oriented and easily scaled in any direction.

You add the flexibility necessary to meet changes because you avoid hiring delays and can adjust the time you have your fractional EA working for you based on needs, not contracts.

Making Fractional Work For You

If a “fraction of time” doesn’t seem significant, consider this: how would your life change if you simply had someone for a couple of hours taking care of your admin work for the day?

Would getting an extra two hours back to focus on important work make a difference?

Would something as simple as having an EA to respond to your email and schedule your meetings (tasks you probably don’t like) change the way you felt about your work day?

If your answer is yes, then know that there are three ways to make sure the fractional approach works for you.

  1. The most important element is trusting your fractional executive assistant. There must be trust between you and your executive assistant. Without trust in place, the relationship won’t last. At best, your EA will do little more than check off a task list that you provide instead of managing real administration work.
  2. Be sure expectations are made clear. A few hours a day is productively viable for a fractional EA as long as they know what you expect, including deliverables and timelines.
  3. Keep communication flowing. This includes how you delegate. If you want a true EA that helps reduce your workload, but only delegate tasks and refuse to give up admin duties, a fractional approach may not work as effectively as it could.

If you’d like to bring on an EA and see positive results quickly, the fractional approach is ideal. We have made it our focus to provide the best executive assistants to our clients so that you can get all the benefits with zero hassle.

About the author Katie Hill is a Content Writer at Boldly, which offers Premium Subscription Staffing for demanding executives and founders. When she isn't writing about remote work or productivity, she can be found adventuring in Colorado's backcountry.

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