The main advantage of having a personal assistant over a smartphone is the personal touch, believe it or not. Your assistant can act as an extra memory bank, a fresh pair of eyes or ears for new ideas or thoughts, and, as they get to know you and your preferences, almost like a ‘mind-reader’, anticipating and completing tasks before being asked.
In fact, in a study carried out, ‘mind-reading’ ranked as one of the top five most required skills within the PA role, along with communication, common sense, confidentiality and organisation. By taking care of the details and knowing which items require the attention of their boss or client and which can be handled by themselves, personal assistants free up time for people like Richard Branson to “think about the bigger picture”.
In the end, Richard agrees that “while gadgets like smartphones and tablets certainly do have a huge positive impact upon my working life, it is the people around me who really make the difference.”