How to Ensure Successful Virtual Collaboration
So, you’ve decided to hire a virtual assistant. Finally, you can see some freedom in your near future as you have someone who can take some of your most pressing tasks off your plate. One of your top priorities at this point is to set up your new virtual relationship for success so you can both enjoy its benefits.
There is no shortage of tools that can facilitate virtual collaboration. But tools are just that — tools. You still need to know how to use them. They’re a small piece of what you really need to create a collaboration that’s sustainable, effective, and efficient. Here are some things you can start doing now that will ensure a smooth transition when your assistant comes on board.
Set Expectations for Communication Up Front
What is a reasonable response time when sending and receiving emails? Do you have certain working hours where you need your VA to be available? How should your VA get in touch with you — text, Slack, email, phone?
Everyone communicates a little differently, and you need to share your expectations upfront so that everyone is on the same page.
Schedule “Live” Time
When working remotely, syncing schedules is more of a challenge since more people feel they can work outside of their normal 9-to-5. Working at your convenience can be a good thing for productivity, but you also need some “live” time just like you would collaborate side by side in an office. This gives each person a chance to offer real-time feedback, ask questions, and gain clarity on projects.
It’s a good idea to build this time into your daily or weekly routine. Use it for brainstorming and working on projects, not just giving instructions.
Limit Your Virtual Tech Stack to Just the Necessities
Slack, Zoom, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, Skype — the list of collaboration tools go on for miles. You know you don’t need all of them, but be selective about the ones you do bring into your processes. Too many tools can lead to app fatigue and productivity losses, not to mention confusion about which tool to use at any given time.
Ideally, you can stick to one tool for project management, one for files and documents, and perhaps one for rapid communication, such as Slack. Outside of these, think carefully about the purpose another tool would serve and whether it’s valuable enough to add to the noise.
Regularly Ask for Feedback
Working remotely has tons of perks, but it can also make team members feel isolated from your company and the goals they’re helping you work toward. The best collaboration happens when everyone feels like part of the team and like they’re making a difference. To help spur these feelings, make it a habit to ask for feedback from your VA. Find out what’s working well, what could be improved, and what you can do to make them feel at home.
Ready to hire a VA to help you grow? Reach out today to see how Thankz can help.
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