How to Work With a Remote Personal Assistant

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You may find it a little daunting to hire a virtual personal assistant as you may not know how to manage a remote worker. However, as virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular for small business owners, you will find that it is actually quite simple to manage a virtual assistant.

Technology has allowed for more flexibility in schedules to allow all workers to be able to complete a wide range of tasks that doesn’t necessitate them to be physically present in an office.

We know, however, that delegating is a huge challenge for many entrepreneurs, as it is difficult relenting control. However, there are many ways you can hand over the workload to a virtual assistant while still being in control, and this is how:

Remember you’re not always going to be bumping into each other

In order to work well with a virtual assistant, you need to make sure you have set up programs for collaboration. It is always a great idea to include your virtual assistant in your work-life, introducing them to colleagues and making sure they aren’t “forgotten.”

As you would in an office environment, create opportunities for team members to just catch up both formally and informally. At Outsourcery we understand this and have implemented effective options online to have the team collaborate and share stories. We would recommend using Skype for business for online chat, Slack, or Yammer. As for Project management software, the software’s like Asana or Basecamp, work very well. You can host video conferencing either on Skype or on a free platform such as Google Hangouts.

Have an “open-door” policy

It is always great to build a lasting relationship with your virtual assistant, after all, they will be doing everything from personal duties to family duties for you.

Make sure they are comfortable enough to come to you with a problem and or a solution. Your virtual assistant should feel as though they are part of the team, and able to chat openly about critical issues as well as being connected as a team.

It can be a lonely existence working by yourself at home or remotely, thus it’s always a great idea to include your VA in the office environment.

Choose the best communication platform to keep in touch

Choosing a type of communication that best fits your needs, as well as choosing the right virtual PA for you, is of high importance.

Even though you are delegating a lot of your workload, you still need to understand and provide direction on exactly what tasks you need to be done. Allow your virtual PA to feel comfortable before you take a step back. It is very important to remain as transparent as you possibly can, but also trusting your virtual PA to get the work done.

There are many ways you can keep in touch with your virtual PA, for one, there’s email. This can be included in the project management system that will help with quick interactions. Project management systems are helpful in managing virtual teams because they help to organise documents and conversations into projects, making it easier to find them at a later stage.

By using Skype, you are able to conduct video calling with your VA. Skype for business even allows you to share a screen, which is a huge plus! This tool allows you to control a screen remotely which can help both you and the VA get things done a lot faster.

Lastly, It is very important to catch up telephonically at least once a week. Keeping in touch telephonically can help solve many issues you may have with your VA or urgent business problems.

Collaborate on documents 

Google Drive is a simple yet efficient way to share documents for multiple people to edit and collaborate on. It is also automatically saved to your drive, thus you won’t need to stress about misplacing the document. Many project management tools also have file sharing and collaboration features, so that’s another alternative for collaborating on documents.

Always be Realistic

Before making rash decisions, get a feel for what your VA may or may not be good at. Try testing your VA with a variety of tasks to see what their strengths are. This will help you to decide what tasks you can relinquish to them. You need to, however, understand that a Virtual Assistant cannot do everything, there may be tasks that take a bit longer than others, so you need to set realistic deadlines as well as realistic tasks. Don’t make your VA feel as though you want them to “fail.” Instead, encourage them, and you will reap the benefits.

Try to be Patient

Your Virtual PA is “new” to your business, so try to understand that your business tasks may not be second nature to them. It also takes some time for you to get into a groove with VAs. In the beginning, handover one task at a time – you can stay on top of things this way. The relationship will only flourish if you remain confident in your VA. Once that relationship has grown, you will find that handing over more and more tasks becomes easier.

Work with the best of the best, for less

Many businesses struggle to find high-quality support at affordable rates, slowing their growth.

Since 2015, we’ve empowered thousands of businesses to scale efficiently and optimise their operations with seamless access to a pool of quality remote talent through a flexible subscription model.

Download our free guide to find out more.

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