Many people invest in online personal assistants – more commonly known as virtual assistants or VAs –for a good reason: they make life a lot more convenient for them. Based on so many testimonials from those who have worked with these virtual employees, it’s not hard to see why. Online assistants basically take over routine administrative tasks that many consider a waste of time but can never let go of, and even be asked to perform complex work within the assistant’s field of expertise.
Indeed, online personal assistants can bring you convenience, especially if the assistant is managed efficiently. Lack of proper management often decreases your virtual assistant’s productivity as well as your own. At worst, it can render the investment made to hire the virtual assistant rather pointless.
There are many mistakes people make when working with their online assistants. One, however, stands out: micromanagement. It cannot be denied that some people simply can’t help but micromanage their VAs out of fear that they may not get things right on their own. This is pretty much a trust issue, which is understandable if the online assistant had just been hired. Nevertheless, it is very counterproductive, as the employer wastes more time than is necessary to hold the hand of their virtual assistant while the VA is not given the freedom to do things their – often more efficient – way.
Of course, you will still be able to work efficiently with your online assistants without holding their hands on every single task. For that matter, here are some tips that can help you manage your VA effectively and not worry that they’ll somehow get things wrong:
- Give your VA one task at a time. Regardless of how good your online assistants are, they’ll still be prone to mishaps and mix ups if you make them work on several tasks at a time. Never let them do more than a single task at once.
- Give clear and detailed instructions. Most VAs have honed themselves in order to be able to do things as they are instructed to. As such, it is important that you know how to give clear instructions to your online assistants for whatever task you need for them to get done. Explain clearly the what and how of the task, then let them handle the rest.
- Set deadlines and goals. You don’t need to prod your virtual assistant in order to have them get up to speed. Just give them a reasonable deadline and objectives to accomplish within the given time frame. Remember that VAs are professionals and are sensitive with their goals and deadlines.
- Be around as your VA works. Better yet, request your assistant to work in sync with your own schedule. That way, you can provide real-time input when the task needs to be altered, priorities have shifted from one task to another, or whenever else necessary. In the same way, it also allows your VAs to ask you questions when needed, especially when they are working on complex tasks.
These are the things that you need to consider practicing if you are looking to work with your online personal assistant with efficiency. As you can tell, you really won’t need to hold your VA’s hand if you are able to recognize that your online assistant is a professional that can handle almost any tasks with clear instructions, goals, a time frame for work, and minimal stress.