Remote staffing isn't exactly new. Companies like AT&T, COX, and other large corporations have been using virtual assistants since the 90's. With that being said, the majority of business owners have not utilized them before. Due to recent events, employers had to adapt to a new remote working environment.
Seeing Facebook publicly announce that they are going to a more virtual remote setting has encouraged smaller businesses to venture in the same direction. Demand for virtual assistants has increased as a result of this.
If you want to scale your company, there's no better alternative than to hire remote employees. Not only will that be more cost-effective, but it will also open up opportunities for you and your company.
That said, working virtually has created new hurdles for teams. One of the biggest challenges clients often struggle with is communication. There are too many questions about it - how should I communicate with my virtual assistant? When? Where? What tools can help?
When it comes to communicating with a virtual assistant, part of the best practices include having a proactive mindset. As the employer, you need to be able to set the tone and establish your goals with your VA, particularly what you want to accomplish on a daily and weekly basis. This approach is more effective compared to having your VA do something, only to correct it and have them do it again.
The frequency of how actively you must engage with your virtual assistant would depend on the importance of the task and its duration. For example, a VA that manages your social media platforms would need to constantly send reports on daily engagements, leads, and messages. On the other hand, an online graphic designer or video editor would only need to send the first draft for feedback, maybe a second one, then finally the finished project. So how often should you meet with your virtual assistant? Depending on the project you're working on, meetings can be held daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually.
There are plenty of platforms that allow communication with remote employees, two of our favorites are Slack and Zoom. Slack is a messaging and file-sharing tool that allows teams to create department-specific channels to organize communication through messaging. Zoom is a live video conferencing tool that allows you to have meetings with your team when you need to and have fewer distractions when you don't. The combination of these two platforms allows you to create a working environment that mimics an actual office but with a more efficient workflow. By setting distractions to a minimum, the team will be better optimized for productivity in their own remote workspace.
From our own experience and clients' testimonies, no other platform has performed better in online work practices than Slack and Zoom. They were designed specifically to provide a team-oriented work culture that boosts productivity and organization, resulting in a more systemized workflow for a remote team.
When it comes to features, Slack simply outperforms the competition in every category. Flexibility is probably its key selling point, being the only platform to have the most number of compatible applications and websites for integration. Because of this, teams are able to implement automation in their system so they can focus on more important tasks.
File sharing? Not a problem! Slack allows the sharing of files while also guaranteeing security so that no one can take your ideas and strategy away from you. Unlike similar platforms, the storage limit on the free plan is 5GB. That may not seem like much, but that's a lot of documents for a team working on a FREE subscription plan. Of course, a user is able to upgrade the plan based on the team's needs featuring a Pro Plan, Business+ Plan, and Enterprise Grid Plan with 10GB, 20GB, and 1TB of file storage per user, respectively.
Zoom is a free video-conferencing tool for hosting and joining virtual meetings or strategy sessions. It is very easy to set up, and like Slack, you are also able to integrate it with Google Calendar. For an industry that values time and convenience, the goal will always be to identify easier and faster methods that achieve the same tasks. Depending on the priority level, some meetings are just better suited to be dealt with face-to-face, and Zoom is the perfect place to do it.
The combination of hiring a virtual assistant, Slack, and Zoom allows your team to maximize their full potential without sacrificing cost. At the end of the day, every business owner aspires to scale their business, earn as much as possible, and remove themselves from their business. The best way to do that is through the use of virtual assistants for $4 - $8 an hour and utilizing virtual systems.
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