When it comes to working remotely with a Virtual Assistant (VA), having the following steps in place will ensure a seamless operation resulting in tasks being completed correctly, on time and without fuss:
Communication is key in any relationship and should be your top priority. I always ensure I’m clear with my clients on the method of communication we will be using, whether this is via WhatsApp or email.
During your communication, it helps to:
- Be clear and advise your VA on what tasks you want completing, whether any changes are to be made and if there are deadlines. It is really important to keep your VA in the loop, we’re not mind readers.
- Listen and always be open to suggestions and take advice from your VA. We have years of experience in similar type roles, we’ve researched and tested the best tools in the business (to help in our own businesses) so we can offer advice and steer you in the right direction if needed.
- Have weekly/fortnightly calls as they are a great way to help build your relationship and to get to know each other better. You can use these calls for brainstorming sessions, checking through current to-do lists and to also make sure you are both happy with the way things are working.
2. USE TOOLS / FILE SHARING SYSTEM
Being virtual means that cloud based tools for collaboration are a huge help. The main ones I use with my clients include:
- Last Pass – password sharing
- Drop Box/Google Drive/One Drive – file sharing
- Asana/Trello – project/task management
- Googlemail/GoogleCalendar – email/calendar sharing
- WhatsApp – for texting and voice messaging (great for firing over quick instructions)
- Philips SpeechLine – dictation and transcription (audio typing)
3. BUILD A RAPPORT
As mentioned above, having a weekly Zoom call will really help you to build the relationship with your VA. Speaking face to face helps to personalise the interaction.
4. SHARE EXPECTATIONS
Helpful for reaching your overall goals, start with sharing your expectations, your priorities and what you want to achieve from having a VA, it helps to be on the same page.
Communicate your vision so that your VA is on the same path as you and knows where you and your business wants to go. The clearer you are from the outset, the easier it is for you and your VA.
5. BE WILLING TO LET GO / DELEGATE
I know this is a hard thing to do, especially at the outset when you are still learning to trust your VA. The moment you start letting go of tasks for your VA to complete is when you’ll start to notice that you have more time for the more important things.
Delegating does get easier over time especially once your VA has gotten used to the way you work and the way you like things doing.
6. AGREE ON A WORKFLOW / SYSTEM
How are you going to delegate tasks to your VA? By email, text or via a shared tool? How do you like your day to be structured? Sharing this sort of information with your VA will really help to get workflows and systems in place from the outset.
7. ON-BOARDING FORMS
Your VA should have her own on-boarding forms to capture all information at the outset meaning that you won’t need to keep providing information in the future.
“Working remotely with a virtual assistant gets easier and easier.”
Whilst working remotely with a VA can seem like an impossible task, especially if you have come from an office where you’ve had a PA to hand, it really does work.
Just think of the times when you’ve been working from home and your PA is in the office, you email her tasks to complete and she does them. Working with a VA is no different, once the initial set up has been completed you’re good to go.
Do you want to work with me?
If you are interested in finding out more about working with a Virtual Assistant, please do check out my services page. With over 17 years experience working with professionals at all levels, I offer a wide range of services suitable to any business owner or small to medium sized business.
Alternatively you can contact me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org