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  • Ian M

Virtual receptionist v In-house receptionist

Updated: Mar 22, 2019

Many businesses are choosing to outsource their administration work to virtual receptionists, rather than hiring in-house receptionist to work full time. Virtual receptionists are contractors who work from home or at a separate virtual office location. They provide a number of services including telephone answering, mail forwarding and other general administration tasks. In this article we will compare in-house and virtual receptionists, weighing up the pros and cons of each to help you decide which would be the most beneficial to your business.

Hiring a virtual receptionist works out much more cost effective for small, home-run businesses.


If you think about it, hiring a full time in-house receptionist is actually fairly expensive. Not only will you need to pay them a wage or salary, but you will also have to factor in sick pay, holiday entitlement and other employee benefits, that a virtual receptionist would not require. Hiring an in-house receptionist would also mean paying for training and purchasing specialist office equipment. This is simply unaffordable to many small businesses and can actually be a waste of money and resources. Instead they can pay a monthly fee for the services of a virtual receptionist which works out much more cost effective.


Training staff is not only expensive, but time consuming and can often feel like a waste of company resources if the person you hire does not stay at your company for very long. Virtual receptionists are already fully trained with the knowledge and skills to carry out the job efficiently and effectively. Not only will you not have to fork out for training programmes but you will have instant access to customer service skills which you perhaps do not possess yourself.


Many virtual receptionists provide extended hours of cover, such as out of office hours, weekends and twenty four seven services. This is something that can be very beneficial to your business in terms of customer service. Your customers will be much happier knowing that they can contact your business at their convenience.

Your virtual receptionist will take messages for you, so you will never miss an important telephone call again. If you run your business from home you will know just how difficult it is to separate your business from your personal life, but outsourcing work to a virtual receptionist will make this a whole lot easier. In-house receptionists are not able to provide this extended cover, unless you are willing to hire a whole admin team, which will end up being very expensive.


If you run your business from home, then there really is no need to hire an in-house receptionist, as a virtual receptionist can meet all of your business's needs and requirements. However if you lease an office space, the main benefit of hiring an in-house receptionist is their physical presence. They will be there to meet and greet your clients, as well as tackle filing and other tasks which need to be carried out on site.

Having said this, the services of virtual receptionists tend to be targeted at those who run their businesses from home, as it enables them to benefit from having a receptionist to manage their admin work, without having to take on the costs of hiring someone full time.

The main benefit of in-house receptionists is their physical presence onsite, but this is something that many small businesses do not require


After weighing up the pros and cons of in house and virtual receptionists, it is clear that for home-run and small businesses, outsourcing work to a virtual receptionist would work out much more beneficial. Not only is it more cost effective, but it also gives you instant access to trained workers, without having to go through a lengthy recruitment process. Virtual receptionists provide all the benefits of an in-house receptionist at just a fraction of the cost.

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