Bringing on a virtual assistant to your team can save you hours of work, lower your costs, and get you back on track to focus on tasks that really matter – but only if you are maximizing the use of their talents effectively and managing your time working with them efficiently.
Learn how to optimize your virtual assistant’s time and their work output with our 5 tips to work successfully with a virtual assistant.
A top priority when working with a virtual assistant is communication. Effective communication should not be overlooked and is a key foundation to success when working with a remote team member. When working with a virtual assistant, it is imperative that you provide clear and concise instructions for the work that needs to be completed. Checking in with your virtual assistant and scheduling regular meetings is critical, especially in the beginning, to ensure that your virtual assistant is clear on the tasks that need to be completed, to build trust and confidence in one another’s abilities, and to form a working relationship that lasts.
Here are some of our favourite Simple Tips to Communicate Effectively Across Remote Teams.
Working in a virtual setting is completely different from a physical office environment. Having an understanding and being reasonable about which tasks can be completed remotely needs to be in place from the very beginning. First, draft a list of tasks that you would like for your assistant to help you with. Then, consider carefully which tasks could reasonably be completed remotely.
Generally speaking, virtual assistants are well-equipped to complete a wide variety of tasks from home and are skilled in specialized areas, such as social media management, bookkeeping, day-to-day office management, sales calls, digital marketing campaigns, real estate administration, and tax return preparations (just to name a few).
Once your task list has been finalized, delegate these tasks accordingly and ensure that your assistant is able to complete them remotely.
Provide Reasonable Deadlines
When delegating tasks, it is important to share your clear expectations of deadlines. If they are routine tasks performed on a daily basis, make sure your assistant is aware of your expectations and that they are equipped with the right tools to complete these tasks daily. If there is a deadline or multiple deadlines, make sure you communicate these in a timely manner with your assistant – preferably at the same time you are delegating the project or task. Of course, virtual assistants are only human and there are limits for how much work they can produce within a limited timeframe. By giving them a reasonable timeframe to complete the work you need done, you are allowing them the opportunity to return high-quality work to you and ensure their success.
Use the Right Tools
When working with remote team members you must use the correct tools to ensure your team is working together collaboratively and efficiently. Using tools such as Google Drive, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox, and Trello will have your team working together with ease. Make sure you do your research on what tools your team will need to collaborate. Keep it simple as you don’t want to have too many tools, which might cause more confusion among team members. Make sure your virtual assistant is trained on the tools you will be using and is comfortable executing their tasks with these tools.
Check out our recommendations for the Top 7 Tools Every Virtual Assistant Needs.
Document All Your Processes
Documenting all of your processes might seem like a tedious task at the beginning, but will save you a whole lot of time in the long run. By creating manuals or detailed guides on what tasks need to be completed and how, you are showing your assistant that you want them to work independently, be resourceful, and take initiative with the work you are delegating to them. Having these processes documented for your assistant to refer to also minimizes room for error and allows for quicker training of new assistants.
Working with a virtual assistant has immense benefits for you and your business – save time, save money, and focus on what really matters to grow your business. Practicing these 5 tips with your newly hired virtual assistant will ensure a seamless, successful working partnership for years to come. If you are looking to add a virtual assistant to your team, contact us today to learn about the types of services we can help your business with.