How does working with Athena differ from a virtual assistant or a traditional staffing company?
Athena is different in two ways. First, our mission is a win-win for you and your remote Executive Assistant. With Athena, you'll form one-to-one partnerships where your goals become your Assistant’s to help you reach your highest potential. And your Assistant will access an incredible career opportunity not readily available for them locally. Second, your dedicated Assistant is more than just a one-off task taker. You'll leverage significant impact across your career and reach new levels of fulfillment, health, and stronger relationships. The goal of an Athena Assistant partnership is complete integration into the landscape of your life.
Why should I hire an Athena Assistant instead of hiring an EA on my own?
We hire and train the world's best Executive Assistants. We start with the top 1% of applicants, perform thorough background and reference checks, and provide ongoing training and education, so your Assistant continuously improves their skills. Every Assistant has a personal coach and an extensive network of peers they can rely on to answer their questions and conquer almost any obstacle. And to take additional work off your plate, your Assistant is employed through Athena and receives fair compensation, benefits, and more.
Does Athena offer delegation inspiration?
Yes, Athena teaches you how to delegate like the best in the world. Our Playbook Library is stacked with inspiration designed to supercharge the partnership with your Executive Assistant, sharpen your delegation skills, and take back more time. Playbooks use real-world experiences tested by delegators and their Assistants.
We have an incredible employer reputation and receive nearly 1000 EA applications daily. Of which only 1% of applicants are accepted. Every Assistant undergoes our rigorous recruitment process. We screen each candidate for soft skills and enormous potential. Before being eligible to be partnered with you, they must take personality, cognitive, and English tests before undergoing immersive training on real-world tasks, including calendar, travel, and inbox management
What training does Athena provide my Assistant?
Your Assistant undergoes extensive training, including remote classroom work, apprenticeship, shadow sessions with Athena leaders and high-performing, experienced Assistants. They also receive ongoing, one-to-one mentorship from their operations manager and continuing education to elevate their skill sets.
What does onboarding look like, and how long will it take?
Our onboarding process lays the foundation for a long-term successful Assistant partnership. We'll go from assessment, orientation, and launch in 60 days; you'll spend about five hours with our team, based on your availability, and you should invest additional time with your Assistant to get them up to speed on your needs.
What is the typical lead time for working with an Assistant
Prospective members who request membership are added to the waitlist. Waitlist times vary from a few days to a few weeks and depend on our current demand, Assistant availability, and the ideal start date you specify. Once you're off the waitlist, it takes two to four weeks from signing off on your partnership until you complete onboarding and launch the relationship with your Assistant.
Why is the time commitment upfront so important?
Athena's leadership has experienced 20,000+ Assistant-Member partnerships over the past 10+ years. We've learned that the most successful partnerships are when clients fully invest in onboarding their Assistant to transfer context effectively. Based on these insights, we've designed your onboarding journey to maximize the likelihood of creating a thriving, productive partnership. The work you put in is worth the investment.
Who do I receive support from during onboarding?
Athena staff are with you every step of the way. Your Client Onboarding Manager guides your first two weeks, establishing a list of your immediate needs to pair you with the right Assistant. Next, you'll meet your Client Success Manager, who will champion your evolving needs throughout your Athena Membership. Additionally, your Assistant has an Operations Manager whose primary goal is to support their growth so they continue to thrive in their role.
How can my Assistant help me?
During the first 60 days, your Assistant works on three foundational projects (calendar, inbox, and travel management), plus three additional projects you select during the assessment phase of onboarding. After that, the sky's the limit for what you can delegate to your Assistant.
Here are a few examples of what Athena Members have delegated to their Assistants:
- Research and information seeking - Identifying networking opportunities - Event planning - Meeting preparation - Household management - Personal shopping - Meal planning - Communication management - Database and reporting management - Health and wellness management - Appointment booking - Recruitment efforts - Online branding and presence - Habit forming and goal management - Family and relationship management
Does my Assistant work with any other clients?
No, your Assistant works with you and no one else. We believe in the power of a one-to-one relationship to maximize leverage in your professional and personal life.
Can I share my Assistant with my executive team and or business partner?
No. Athena offers one-to-one, dedicated partnerships. Your Assistant will occasionally support colleagues and loved ones (organizing a team offsite or family trip), but you are their one-and-only delegator. We do not allow sharing because your Athena Assistant is unlike any other direct report—their primary focus is to help you achieve goals big and small so you can live a fuller life.
What time zone does my Assistant work in?
Our Assistants are located overseas but work on a schedule determined by your needs. Whether your Assistant works during your time zone or asynchronously is up to you.
Are there best practices for setting up my Assistant's work schedule?
We recommend a fixed working schedule with daily overlap between you and your Assistant, especially at the beginning of the partnership. Most Assistants start one hour before their client to complete inbox sweeps and brief them at the top of the day. As the partnership evolves, you can shift to whatever schedule works best for you and your Assistant. Some clients build a team of Assistants to increase coverage and capacity.
How many hours a week does my Assistant work?
Every Assistant works 40 hours per week (five business days) with two consecutive days off. You can discuss your preferences with your Assistant.
What happens if my Assistant works more than 40 hours some weeks?
Some weeks are busier than others. But if your Assistant consistently works more than 40 hours a week, we recommend bringing on an additional Assistant.
How do I provide feedback on my Assistant's performance?
Our most successful partnerships provide real-time, direct feedback on a daily cadence. During onboarding, we'll check in regularly, facilitate feedback sessions to get you up and running and send out regular surveys to ensure your partnership is progressing.
What happens if the partnership with my Assistant isn't working out?
Substantial leverage is born from long-term partnerships between a Member and an Assistant. But sometimes, a partnership doesn't work out. If this happens, your Client Success Manager will address any concerns or performance issues and work to resolve them. We will partner you with a different Assistant if things don't improve.
Pricing & Payment
What are your pricing and payment terms?
You will have a dedicated, full-time Assistant at $3,000 per month. That price includes training and continued education for your Assistant and best practices for you.
How does my Assistant receive payment?
Your Assistant is employed and paid through Athena. They also receive health insurance, pet insurance (one of our most loved benefits), social perks, and mental health support.
Executive Assistant Benefits
What benefits does my Assistant receive?
Athena offers the following to every Assistant: - Annual raises to adjust for the cost of living - Continuous training and programs for upskilling - Best-in-class Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) for the Assistant and their family - Pet insurance and a pet reimbursement program - Free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for the Assistant and their family - Established communication channels to share things they've learned, exchange best practices, and celebrate achievements - Mental health support
Does my Assistant receive PTO, and how does the process work?
Your contract stipulates that your Assistant is entitled to 20 days of paid time off per year (typically used for holidays, personal events, etc.). They will seek approval from Athena first. This process is in place because each type of leave has corresponding qualifications, conditions, and limitations. If Athena approves the PTO, the Assistant will then request your approval. When your Assistant takes PTO, your monthly payment remains the same. If your Assistant needs longer extended leave, we will coordinate the necessary training, shadow sessions, and meetings to ensure your life-work flow isn't disrupted.
Security & Devices
What measures are in place to ensure security, privacy, and confidentiality?
We take security, privacy, and confidentiality very seriously. We have a Chief Information Security Officer in place, and in addition, every Assistant receives a comprehensive third-party background check, character references, and previous employers are contacted. Security and privacy rules are reviewed regularly during and after training to ensure your Assistant is aligned with all precautions. Information Security Awareness Training is required annually for all employees. Learn more about our Security Measures.
Can I require my Assistant to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
Yes, your Assistant can sign a company NDA. Your Assistant also signs a contract with Athena that covers client confidentiality.
What device does my Assistant use?
Every Assistant receives an Athena-issued MacBook at the start of a partnership. They are not permitted to use personal devices. Alternatively, you can provide your Assistant with a device by signing a waiver. If you opt to use your own device instead of Athena's, you are responsible for the device, including security and repairs.
What tools are provided to my Assistant?
Athena provides every Assistant with a MacBook, NordVPN, and OpenPhone.
How do you keep my Assistant's device secure?
Mobile Device Management software is installed on the laptop of every Assistant. It enforces security measures such as hard drive encryption, strong password setting, regular password updates, device lockouts, OS updates, location tracking, and more.
Can my Assistant make international phone calls for tasks like booking international hotels, following up on a refund etc.?
Yes, we provide your Assistant with a US phone number through OpenPhone.