The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and placed a strain on healthcare systems around the world. It has also upended households by disrupting routines, placing significant stress on both parents and children.

With schools and daycare centers temporarily closed and many companies encouraging their employees to work from home, parents and children now find themselves competing for limited resources at home.

Across the United States, many schools remain closed, with the students encouraged to attend virtual classes. Parents, in turn, have shifted to telecommuting, and those bereft of a home office have transformed their dining tables and living room couches into their new workspaces.

With caregivers (like babysitters and grandparents) often no longer accessible, parents are dealing with the strain of managing their family and work responsibilities, according to a recent report from Catalyst, a global nonprofit that supports female-friendly work environments.

Most mothers and fathers have had to modify their work routines to adapt to caregiving needs and balance their family responsibilities,” the report stated. “This disruption has left parents across genders, races, ethnicities, and job levels feeling guilty about caregiving responsibilities.

Mothers, in particular, are experiencing far greater strain than fathers, as the former are primarily responsible for childcare tasks like “preparing meals, supervising homework, and even monitoring playtime with their child(ren),” the report added. Adding to the general anxiety about job security, many parents also feel guilty about their inability to fully focus on their jobs due to competing responsibilities at home. Many worry this will negatively impact their career growth.

Table of Contents

Should Parents Hire a Family Assistant to Manage Overloaded Schedules?

What are Remote Family Assistants & How Can They Benefit Your Household?

Tasks You Can Delegate to Your Remote Family Assistant

Make Time for Your Family by Offloading Your Work-life Tasks to a Sigrid.AI Family Assistant

Should Parents Hire a Family Assistant to Manage Overloaded Schedules?

The short answer is: absolutely yes!

Parents struggling with overloaded schedules and a growing list of responsibilities should consider hiring a family personal assistant to ease their burdens and help them achieve better work-life balance.

While sometimes mistaken for nannies and au pairs, family assistants (FAs) provide more than just childcare, as they often act as the parents’ personal assistants and the children’s secondary caregiver.

In their capacity as personal assistants, FAs help parents with their scheduling; run personal errands; and work on the filing, emailing, and bookkeeping, among other tasks. As the children’s secondary caregiver, FAs may be responsible for driving the children to school, minding the children while the parents are at work, and engaging in light meal preparation and housekeeping, etc.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many families are reluctant to hire personal family assistants as they’re afraid of increasing their households’ exposure to the virus. Moreover, family assistants are a pricey investment and only the wealthiest households can continue to hire additional staff to help manage their work and personal lives.

Thankfully, there is a viable alternative to traditional FAsand these come in the form of remote family assistants.

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What are Remote Family Assistants & How Can They Benefit Your Household?

Remote family assistantsalso known as virtual family assistants—perform many of the tasks traditionally performed by on-site family assistants. However, since they’re based remotely, they won’t be able to perform many of the caregiving and housekeeping tasks that typical FAs would perform.

Parents struggling to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their work commitments would still find remote family assistants useful as various work-life and household management tasks can be delegated to them. Remote family assistants are also cheaper than traditional FAs as they can be hired for a certain number of hours per week or month. Some even charge for a set number of tasks, helping households economize.

 

Tasks You Can Delegate to Your Remote Family Assistant

Household Management

A remote FA can help ease parents’ overloaded schedules by assisting with household management. Busy parents can delegate recurring household-related tasks to their remote FA so that they can focus on their work or business, spend more quality time with their children and spouses, or free up more time for rest and leisure activities.

Examples of household management tasks include:

Managing household budgets

Your remote FA can create manageable budgets for your family by keeping track of all the income and expenses going in and out of your account. Using this information, she can set a realistic monthly household budget that covers expense categories like the rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, gas, tuition, and others.

Moreover, she could identify non-essential expenditures you could cut back on, potentially increasing the amount of money going into your emergency fund, savings account, or investments.

Having a household personal assistant manage your budget will ensure that your bills get paid on time and that your accounts don’t get overdrawn.

Online Bills Payment

Aside from managing your budget, your remote family assistant can also pay your bills each month on time to prevent any interruptions in service or penalties.

Scheduling home maintenance & repairs

Need to have your home cleaned, your lawn mowed, or your roofing inspected? Your family’s remote personal assistant can manage all of these tasks remotely. She will vet the right vendors and contractors (based on your budget and requirements), book the appointments, and ensure that they arrive at your property to perform the service at the given date and time.

If you need to hire a home contractor to perform renovations on your home or its environs, your remote FA will use reputable sources (such as Angie’s List and Checkbook) to find reliable home contractors.

Aside from interviewing the shortlisted candidates and asking for references, she will also check their licenses, conduct a formal background check, and assist with every aspect of the contract drafting and payment schedules.

Shopping for essentials online

Need to have groceries, medicines, pet food, tools, clothing, prepared meals, and other essentials delivered to your home on a regular basis? Coordinate with your personal family assistant and she’ll ensure that these goods are secured and delivered regularly to your home. For your convenience, a virtual debit card will be used to ensure smooth transactions.

Managing calendars & scheduling appointments

Your remote family assistant can also manage your family’s individual and combined calendars to keep your lives running smoothly. She’ll remind you of important upcoming events (like birthdays and anniversaries, or your children’s exams and recitals). She’ll also ensure that your personal commitments don’t clash with your professional ones (e.g. a Zoom board meeting with a PTA meeting).

Just as importantly, your FA can schedule appointments for you, ensuring that none of them are in conflict and that canceled appointments are rescheduled. Whether it’s booking an appointment with the pediatrician or dentist, getting COVID-19 vaccinations, scheduling a playdate, or booking a Zoom conference with tutors or school teachers, your FA will manage the logistics for you.

Managing bookings & reservations

Need to book or cancel a flight, or make or cancel a hotel reservation? Your virtual family assistant can manage all of these tasks for you. They can also follow up on any reimbursements if you’ve made down payments.

Interviewing & hiring household staff

Just as importantly, your virtual family assistant can source, interview, and hire household staff for you. Whether you need a new gardener, babysitter, nanny, housekeeper, or driver, your FA can help you hire the right candidates.

Similar to other forms of vendor procurement, your virtual FA will perform extensive background checks, ask for references, and ensure that the new hires have been tested for COVID-19 and have been vaccinated.

Performing miscellaneous errands

Your remote family assistant can also run miscellaneous errands for you. Whether you need her to buy the perfect gifts for your nieces and nephews, manage your appliance warranties, or have your summer property rented out, your FA will handle these tasks efficiently, freeing up more time in your schedule.

 

Work-related Tasks

As previously mentioned, family assistants can also act as personal assistants for the parents. Working parents can delegate work-related tasks to their virtual FAs, giving them the headspace that they need to focus on their major projects and objectives.

Examples of work-related tasks include:

Document & inbox management

Your virtual FA can help keep your work and personal foldersas well as personal and work inboxesup to date and organized. Spam messages will be deleted, labels and sub-labels can be deleted or reorganized, and important emails can be archived in appropriate folders.

Bookkeeping & expense management

If you need assistance with your bookkeeping and expense management, your virtual family assistant can step in and provide you with the help that you need.

With the help of professional bookkeepers, your family virtual assistant can:

  • Categorize your daily expenses into labels
  • Generate and send invoices to your clients
  • Collect payments
  • Monitor revenues versus expenses
  • Assist with payroll
  • Send weekly reports so you can keep track of your money’s movement

As for expense management, your virtual FA can work with your existing software and expense management processes. Just send photos of your receipts in real-time and your FA will categorize and file them, among other tasks. You also have the option to sign expense reports on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.

Posting job vacancies & interviewing job candidates

Your virtual FA can assist you with your hiring concerns by setting up job postings on job search websites like Workable and LinkedIn. She can also vet candidates based on your specifications, collate resumes and portfolios, administer exams, and perform initial interviews. She can then endorse qualified candidates to you for the final interview.

Scheduling meetings & managing appointments

As previously mentioned, your FA can manage you and your family’s calendars and appointments, ensuring that no commitments clash and that canceled appointments and meetings are rescheduled.

Your FA will set up all of your work-related meetings using Google Hangouts and Zoom. They’ll also take into account the different work schedules of the participants and the various time zones they’re located in to ensure no conflicts.

IT Support

Whether you’re experiencing difficulty installing new software, have issues with your computer hardware, or are struggling with some other IT-related issue, your virtual FA can step in. If she cannot resolve an issue on her own, she’ll willingly contact IT support companies that may have long hold times and patch you into the call once a representative becomes available.  

She’ll also email tech support teams on your behalf and coordinate with them until your issue is resolved.

Specialized research

Need a list of reputable wholesale suppliers in mainland China for your dropshipping business? Or perhaps you need the contact details of all the real estate agents that offer pre-sale luxury condos in Vancouver.

Your virtual family assistant can work with a team of research specialists to get this info to you, helping you make better-informed business decisions.

Data entry & other clerical tasks

Your FA can also assist you with various data entry and clerical tasks so that you can focus on your major work responsibilities.

For a more exhaustive list of the tasks a virtual assistant can perform for you, check out our blog post on how virtual assistants can simplify your life.

 

Make Time for Your Family by Offloading Your Work-life Tasks to a Sigrid.AI Family Assistant

If you need some serious help managing your daily to-do list and want to free up more time for yourself and your hobbies, or friends and family, consider hiring a Sigrid.AI family assistant.

Sigrid.AI is a subscription-based remote managed virtual assistant service that fuses the top 1% virtual assistants and specialists with purpose-built technology to deliver a game-changing experience for our clients.

Just sign up for a free 14-day trial and you’ll automatically get five free tasks, together with support from an on-demand team of shared assistants and specialists. When your trial is over, you can purchase more tasks or upgrade to one of our dedicated VA plans.

Once you’ve picked a plan, just pay for your first month and download our free To-Do-List mobile app (iOS) custom-built for delegating tasks to our remote team (an Android version will be released soon).

Not sure if a virtual assistant service is right for your family? Check out our blog post on the five most common concerns clients have about hiring a remote executive assistant . (Spoiler alert: we’ve successfully addressed each concern!)

Hiring a virtual family assistant is a cost-effective way of ensuring that all of your complex work-life tasks are resolved in a timely manner. To learn more about our services and how we can help you and your family in this difficult time, book a free 20-minute discovery call today.

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