How to Work Remotely with your Virtual Assistant
March 22, 2020
When you first start to work remotely with your virtual assistant (VA) it can seem daunting. You might have lots of questions. What can I ask the VA to do? Will they do what I ask? Will they do it on time? Will it be up to my standard? It can be hard to relinquish some control to someone who is new to your business. It’s understandable that you don’t want the virtual assistant to act in a way that is not in line with your business aims and persona.
Here are a few things to consider to make it easier for you both.
It seems obvious but communication is the most important aspect of working remotely. Your VA will use your preferred form of communication whether that’s email, text, phone, video calls or even smoke signals! Set aside regular blocks of time to check in with each other and discuss ongoing work and expectations.
Share Your Goals.
Your VA wants to do a good job so they need to know what your expectations are. Share your business vision and goals and let them know what your priorities are. Discuss what you hope to achieve by working with a VA. They will have their own on boarding forms and they’ll make notes to understand your requirements.
Use Tools and File Sharing.
It’s always best to give the VA their own access to any online tools you use. That way their activity is separate from yours and you can’t be accidentally locked out of your own accounts. Some tools to try are:
- LastPass for password sharing,
- Dropbox/Google Drive/ OneDrive for file sharing
- Gmail/Google Calendar for mail/calendar sharing
- Asana/Trello/Slack for task sharing
Set up a System.
Discuss such questions as:
- How will you delegate tasks to the VA? Email/text/Slack…
- What will the daily structure be?
- Will the VA need to be available at certain times?
- Will you be available at certain times?
- When will regular check-ins happen? How? Skype/Zoom…
Give Detailed Instructions.
When you begin to work with the VA make sure to give detailed instructions for the task. Be specific about what it is you need done. You can’t assume the VA will correctly infer what you leave out! They’ll be working with other clients too so will be doing lots of different tasks in lots of different ways. It’s worth even getting the VA to explain the task back to you. That way you can answer any questions at the outset.
Check in on the Task.
Both you and the VA will be reassured if you check in on the task 10% to 20% of the way through. You’ll both find out if it’s going the way you expect and you’ll be able to update any instructions or stop the task if you’re expectations have changed.