At one point in time, you didn’t need to differentiate between virtual receptionists and “in-house” or “onsite receptionists” because a lack of technology made it impossible for administrative work to be done from a remote location.
Now, with the advent of VoIP technology and the far-reaching arm of the internet, most receptionist and administrative duties can be handled easily online or from a remote location.
In-house receptionists declining sharply
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the number of in-house receptionists is declining sharply as technology – often in the form of virtual receptionists – takes the driver’s seat. A quote from a Forbes article about careers that are ‘headed for the trash pile’ stated the following about in-house office and administrative jobs:
“About 300,000 administrative jobs disappeared in the five years before 2009, and the BLS projects continued contraction throughout the next decade. File clerk positions, for example, are expected to decline 23%. Employers are under pressure. If they can do this work more efficiently, they will.”
And if efficiency is the name of the game, virtual receptionists and virtual assistants are the star players.
While the number of in-house receptionists are declining sharply, virtual receptionists and virtual assistants are growing at a faster rate than ever.
That’s not surprising, considering the new focus the business world is putting on productivity and working efficiently. Technology has made it easier than ever to manage a company from the ground up, with tools and apps like Trello and Harvest making it easy to track to-do lists, invoicing, payments, and tax information.
Technology has also made it possible to allow a trusted third-party provider like Conversational to handle your incoming and outgoing calls, manage appointments and scheduling, interface with clients, and perform call transfers – from a remote location. That wasn’t possible 15 years ago. Think of what will be possible in another 15 years!
The factor driving the shift to virtual
The number of in-house receptionists declining sharply has a lot to do with the simplicity and growing popularity of virtual administrative services. Virtual receptionists and virtual assistants have effectively “disrupted” the in-house reception industry.
With a much lower cost and requiring no office space, hiring a virtual receptionist instead of an onsite receptionist is the number one choice for many small business owners and startup founders. Budgets are limited and it’s not difficult to make the choice between hiring a traditional receptionist at around $35,000 per year and hiring a team of virtual receptionists to do the same work for around $1,600 per year.
So while the availability of new technologies has certainly boosted the virtual reception industry while simultaneously chipping away at the in-house receptionist industry, it’s not the driving factor of change. The significant difference in cost is.
What changes can you expect?
You may begin to notice fewer in-house receptionists at the businesses you frequent in the coming years due to this change. Over time, we expect reception areas to shift away from being “the receptionist’s corner” to becoming a welcome area for the business. Read our article about turning an old reception area into a welcome area if you’ve already made the switch to a virtual receptionist here.
As more companies begin utilizing services like our team of virtual receptionists provide, you may notice better customer service, more efficient company operations, and more accurate appointment booking and cancellation services.
What do you think about the trend of in-house receptionists declining sharply? How will it affect your business or the way you do business with other companies? We’d love to hear from you!