front desk receptionist

Should You Hire a Front Desk Receptionist or Go Virtual?

By now, we all know that the future of the workforce is technology-based. Sure, there are a lot of things that can’t be replaced (i.e., computers can’t quite write articles yet- thankfully).

But, there are a lot of benefits to integrating modern solutions into your commercial space. Especially if you’re a new startup, “hiring” (or purchasing), a virtual receptionist can really help you save money.

However, there are still plenty that argue the value of a brick-and-mortar store with a person waiting to greet you. If you’re not sure whether to go for a front desk receptionist or a virtual one, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should know.

Pros of Hiring a Front Desk Receptionist

Why hire someone to man the front desk? Well, it’s more than just putting out a friendly smile.

More Personalization

This is one of the more common reasons businesses hang on to actual staff members for reception work. If you have a business where people visit frequently, it’s nice to have a real person at the door.

They truly offer your visitors intangible inexperience. Everyone can appreciate a friendly greeting from an actual person, as it provides a more personalized touch.

Now, if you don’t have a lot of visitors coming in and out, this may not be as important. If that’s the case, a virtual receptionist may not be a bad choice. They’re still able to greet visitors as they come in, without the in-person experience.

In-Staff Help

Much like the above point, this is dependant on the company’s preferences. For some, it may make sense to have a front desk receptionist for the sake of extra help.

Many receptionist gigs are above and beyond the typical “answering phones, filing papers” duties. For example, it’s not uncommon for a receptionist to handle social media accounts and more general accounting work.

If you’re looking for productivity on other tasks, a front desk receptionist may be the way to go.

Pros of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist

Are virtual receptionists as efficient as front desk receptionists? The short answer to that is- yes and then some.

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There are few pretty strong reasons one would consider hiring a virtual receptionist. Of those, availability comes in as a pretty high concern among business owners.

Like other staff members, your receptionist is probably there 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday. But, is that how the business world always operates? Of course not.

Sometimes it’s required to have a less traditional schedule. Most human receptionists aren’t interested in that kind of flexibility. So, a virtual assistant can be of huge value.

In addition to working on your schedule, virtual receptionists also don’t require breaks and vacations. You can have someone around the clock whether it’s a holiday or a weekend night.


Going along with the above point, it’s beneficial to have someone who can replace themselves if needed. Most receptionist companies have a team of trained members who can tackle your needs.

For example, this service allows you to be in constant connection with their team. Instead of finding a replacement or doing without when your receptionist is out town or sick, you can have someone on your own time.


A major factor for business owners is how much they’re willing to pay for administrative work. Glassdoor reports the average salary for a front desk receptionist is $28,729.

That’s obviously quite a pretty penny. Sure, if your staff member provides great value to you, that’s not too steep of a cost to pay.

But, if you’re looking to save money or you’re just starting out, a virtual receptionist can help. They’re usually just a fraction of the cost of human receptionists.


While there are some key differences between the two, there are also some commonalities.

For example, the reliability among both parties is relatively similar. With a front desk receptionist, you’re granted more one-on-one training. That may lead to a greater comprehension of tasks and company information.

But, virtual reception companies are also very considerate of business’ specific needs. Most offer very personalized services that surpass taking calls from a forward line.

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Another key similarity is the essential job function. Whether you go virtual or not, you’ll still have someone to handle administrative work. Your emails will be answered, calls forwarded, and paperwork completed.

Having someone to direct calls is usually of importance to companies and employees. It gives time back to staff members, as they have a plethora of other responsibilities. Also, it makes your company appear more professional.

Final Verdict

So, what’s the best option? Should you go for a front desk receptionist or a virtual helper?

Well, sadly, there is no right answer. There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to picking a business’ needs.

In many cases, it does make more sense to have a person in-house to handle the workload. It’s easier to engage with this person. Also, guests appreciate having a person greet them at the door.

But, virtual receptionists are the way of the future for a reason. A lot of companies simply don’t require an actual body that’s on the clock for 40 hours a week. Many can make it on their own and get help on their preferred schedule.

When deciding which route to go, consider what value each option would bring. If it’s important to have a body at the door, then you know your answer. If that’s not as high of a priority to you, then you may want to consider a less expensive route.

Let’s Wrap This Up

It’s good to know you have options for reducing cost and increasing productivity.

If you’re interested in other hacks for running your business, you’re in the right place. PalDrop is full of useful hacks, interesting facts, and just all-around good information.

Check out our “Hacks and Tips” page for more business-related info! Also, contact us today if you have any questions.