Wouldn’t it be nice to have a virtual assistant to shave hours from your work week, set your appointments and leave you to focus on the things that matter in business? Outsourcing with Deployed makes this idea a reality.
First off, we need to reassess the name virtual assistant. Yes, they perform their tasks by virtual means but they are people, real people so will need to be communicated with; treated and trained like a tangible person – as that is what they are.
Virtual assistant sounds far more intriguing but we’re not talking Siri or Alexa here who evolve and learn our personal needs from data mining. Until technology and our pockets allow, virtual assistants will be real people working from remote locations to help us with business functions that we don’t have the time to do. As with any delegated task, if there is little instruction, there will be mistakes and if there is no communication, mistakes will continue to happen.
Be clear from the start
As with any business function, you need clear goals and expectations for you and your team to understand and follow. Build a trusting relationship from the beginning and explain your business, their role and your expectations. Insufficient knowledge will lead to mistakes and unproductivity of staff. If this is new to you, start with one or two tasks until you have built up a relationship and are confident in handing over business functions.
Your virtual assistant can keep you up to date with work and progress but it is a two-way street. You must inform them of any changes to schedules and respond to them when they have a query. If you do not effectively respond to their queries, the communications will break down and mistakes will happen.
Let them work
The balance of communication is key. You have hired a virtual assistant because you don’t have the time to complete the tasks. Do not waste more of it – and theirs by trying to micromanage every task. This will leave them feeling incompetent, unmotivated and you still out of time.
For employees to perform at optimum productivity, they need to know what they are doing and feel confident to do it. Hold weekly Skype meetings to offer constructive feedback. If your virtual assistant is not performing to your reasonable expectations, be a manager and address the problems.
Be open minded
Outsourcing tasks to a remote employee is a great way to free up your time to concentrate on the core business competencies. It’s not magic and it won’t happen overnight, but it does work. Once you have mastered and reaped the benefits of outsourcing to one virtual assistant, you will be keen to see the benefits of growing a remote team in the Philippines.