Did you know one in three Australians now work from home? If this wasn’t a viable workplace solution, no one would be doing it. It’s clear to see virtual staffing is now a common solution to workplace problems. Is your physical location too small for a big team, but needs all hands on deck? No problem. Farm the work out to someone who can work from the comfort of their own home.
With all the positives associated with virtual staffing, there are sure to be some downfalls. One such downfall is knowing how to keep all your staff members in the loop.
Below you can find some great tips on how to make sure your entire virtual team knows as much as your team within your physical workspace.
From the day that you first hire your virtual staffing team, to the day their services are no longer required, you should always aim to be in constant contact. There’s no way faster for a team to feel undervalued, unappreciated and overwhelmed than by their boss not providing them with regular contact. Your staff need to feel appreciated, but they also need to know what’s going on. That’s why it’s important that you schedule regular check-ins into your diary. This doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but it does need to be at least weekly.
When you provide your virtual staff with a task, you want to make sure they are completely comfortable with it. It shouldn’t be guess work and they shouldn’t have to rely on others for help purely because you didn’t provide them with the necessary information and materials to complete the task.
This entire problem can be solved just by your staff knowing you’re there. Check in, say hello and ask if they have any questions. It’s as simple as that.
In today’s modern world, everything is done with technology. Why should your best virtual assistant’s payment structure be any different? Time tracking technology not only allows you to truly understand the time it takes for each task you set, but it also enables you to pay fairly and much easier.
One good example is TimeDoctor. It is a time-tracking software that allows clients to manage and monitor their virtual assistant’s daily workload.
Your virtual assistant will also no longer have to worry about keeping track of their time, and noting down each and every time they take a break or stop for an hour or so. They simply have to hit a button and their time can be tracked or stopped. This keeps the business manager in the loop about the jobs being worked out, and that means they’re able to mention key information for each milestone to ensure it’s done correctly.
Another good reason to buy time tracking software is if you ever doubt your virtual assistant’s workload. Although no manager ever wants to think their virtual assistant is lying about their time and work output, it has been known to happen. The risk of overpaying is almost completely removed, as the virtual assistant’s screen is captured for proof of work completed over time.
The best part is, this kind of software is often free, or very cost effective to buy.
A virtual assistant’s job can be a very beneficial one. Not only does it allow you to work from home, but it gives you the flexibility to spend quality time with your kids, attend their school plays, and complete errands during the day. The biggest mistake a business manager with virtual staff can make, is thinking standard 9-to-5 hours are necessary. The general work a virtual assistant undertakes can be completed at anytime, anywhere. As long as it’s ready by a certain date, there should be no reason why a single administrative assistant should be bound by the confines of the standard working day.
The only time flexible working hours is not so easy is when two or more virtual team members are working on the same project together. However, between them they can work out a good schedule. The most important part is to make sure you’re aware of the approximate working hours so you can keep your staff members in the loop, and vice versa.
It should be up to the individual to decide what time of day works for them best. Are you more productive at night or during the day? Do you like your working hours to coincide with your significant others? The sky’s the limit and any business owner should be flexible with their virtual assistant’s working hours.
Some business owners hire a team to work on any one project at a time. The aim is to complete it in record time with all hands on deck. However, the business owner will benefit more from the virtual staffing team if they play to each team member’s strengths. Is one person better with financial information than another? Is one a whizz with software whilst the other struggles? Is someone in a better time zone to communicate with staff in the business physical location? Over time, a business owner will work out the strengths and weaknesses of each staff member. This will help assign particular jobs to particular people for a well-oiled machine where all staff members are kept in the loop. After all, not everyone is good at everything.
To ensure your staff are properly kept in the loop, it pays not to forget about anyone. This is true in the case of sending out mass emails for updates on tasks, timelines, business changes or other. If you have a large staff and you think someone may be forgotten, keep a list of everyone and what their job is. This ensures you don’t keep vital players out of the loop.
Do you work as part of a large virtual staffing team? How do you make sure everyone is kept on track and in the know about what’s going on? What are your tips and tricks? We would love to hear about them.