Why go virtual?
Time is the resource almost every entrepreneur lacks and needs the most. When your whole business’ success rests on your enthusiasm, energy and effort, you can’t afford to waste precious hours filing and photocopying. And the only real way to make time, without letting something slip off the radar, is to share the workload and delegate.
Virtual personal assistants, like any other assistant, help you work more productively by taking care of the scheduling, organising and everyday tasks that swallow hours of your day. The difference with a virtual employee is that you can find someone on the other side of the world to join your team remotely, saving you office space, money and most importantly, time. All of our personal assistants work part time so that they are working exactly when you need them most.
Whilst the lack of face-to-face contact can be a little unsettling at first, if you build a good relationship with your assistant and set clear guidelines, you and your company can soon reap the benefits.
Find out if you need a PA with this simple test.
Remember virtual PAs aren’t mind readers. Whilst all of our assistants are highly trained and dedicated to their jobs, they can’t be expected to automatically understand the workings of your company.
Take the time to sit down and work out exactly what you need from your virtual assistant. Keep a work diary to help you figure out where most of your time is wasted and which tasks you could outsource, such as research and booking travel arrangements. For example, use Google Chrome plugin timeStats to see which sites you visit most often.
Then schedule a call with your PA to make sure they really understand their responsabilities, allow them time to get to know you and the way you like things done. Encourage your assistant to ask questions and provide examples where possible.
Maintaining a good working relationship
Treat your virtual assistant like any other employee. Just because they’re working remotely, it doesn’t mean they don’t need support and appreciation for the work they are doing. No employee will go the extra mile if they feel their efforts go unnoticed. So take time to get to know them too. Check in to see how their day’s going, how they are getting on with the work and even what they’re up to over the Easter break.
Communication is key. Make sure you have all the tools you need for a smooth working relationship with your virtual PA.
Skype is the most popular for communication and allows to speak face-to-face from separate corners of the world.
- Google Hangouts is also a great communication tool if you’re looking to manage a whole team of virtual workers.
- Google docs is an easy and simple way to share documents, task lists and spreadsheets with your assistant online
Trello works as a virtual pinboard to share ideas and keep track of your assistant’s work progress
Alternatively, ask your PA to introduce you to some of the programs they’re familiar working with.
Most importantly, enjoy the extra headspace, hours and peace of mind. Your virtual assistant might well be your new best friend.