Once you’ve made the decision to hire a virtual assistant (VA) the next step is to arrange how that VA can work seamlessly with your current employees and effectively aid the organization. Just like when you hire a new employee, the onboarding process (and the pre-onboarding) is crucial to the success of the new employee (or VA) as well as your organization. For example, if you are unable to effectively accommodate new employees, soon enough word will spread about your weakness as an organization, and you’ll find yourself struggling to get new applicants.
The first thing you should consider when you hire a VA for your organization, would be that they operate their business remotely. This is what draws most people to becoming a virtual assistant in the first place– the freedom to work remotely, when they want and where they want. That being said, you as the employer need to consider your current operations. Will your employees be able to communicate with the VA using video calling and online chatting software? Do you have a concrete list of projects or tasks for the VA?
Prior to the VAs start date, it would be useful to have your employees brush up on their video calling skills, and brush up on their navigation of apps such as Zoom, Google Meets, Slack and more. This will help lessen any miscommunications between employees and the VA. It also ensures that work is done effectively and efficiently.
Another way to boost efficiency prior to your VAs start date is checking your email regularly. This way any lingering questions that the VA might have prior to starting a new contract with your organization, will be answered. This also is helpful for you for instance, when it comes to video calling software. Each virtual assistant can prefer different methods of communication, and they might let you know which software or application they prefer prior to their start date. Checking your email beforehand so that you can adeqautely train employees and ensure your server can uphold such applications will help the first day and week go much smoother.
Lastly, be prepared to make digital copies of relevant documents or transition parts (or all) of your business to online. This way you won’t have to mail documents to the VA, and it will be easier for them to access the important information. Documents such as employee files, rules and regulations and other pertinent documents relevant to the specific projects or tasks the VA will be undertaking.
If you opt to transition your operations to online, you will need to be prepared to navigate some growing pains while employees adjust to the new way of work. Some organizations offer a home-office set up of sorts– laptops, docking stations, iPads, etc. Alternatively, employers might cover the cost of subscriptions or memberships to applications that are required for them to complete their work.
If you find that some work is unable to be done remotely, you can opt for having one or two days in office, while the rest of the work is done remotely. Moving operations online can also provide multiple benefits such as a decrease in heating and electrical costs, less money spent on items such as printer ink or paper, and in instances such as COVID-19, your employees are already versed in remote work and the change won’t be so drastic should your business be told to work solely from home.