Help from a personal assistant can be a half world away

More than 2,200 miles separate New York City architect Alfredo Munoz from his personal assistant, Karen Cohen, who is based in Panama.

They’ve never so much as shaken hands, and yet he trusts her with everything: his credit card numbers, his worldwide travel, his research. She schedules his business appointments in Spain, India and the U.S. She also buys flowers for his family and friends. (She has even screened a few online dates for him, too).

“It’s a 24/7 challenge,” says Cohen.

A mother of four, she stresses that a virtual assistant gig allows her to enjoy the perks of working at home. Plus, she loves working with a U.S. client because of the time zone match between Panama and New York City. “Its easier to schedule appointments and to deliver on time,” she says.

After more than three years, the arrangement is working out beautifully, says Munoz, the founder of Abiboo Architecture. “It’s funny what globalization can achieve.”

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