How To Work With Outsourcing Teams And Virtual Assistants Three Tips Of The Trade

Submitted by: Diana Barnum

Virtual assistants are rapidly becoming a popular alternative to hiring directly. A virtual assistant or outsourcing team can provide many of the same services that an in-person assistant does, but there’s less of the hassle that direct hires bring. Virtual assistants don’t require office space or equipment, and because they’re considered outside contractors, instead of employees, you don’t need to worry about safety concerns or benefits. The virtual assistants or outsourcing team are either employees of the firm your contract is with, or they’re independent contractors, and self-employed. This means that they’re responsible for their own work space.

Since you pay for time spent on your work, overhead can be significantly reduced. The organization that a virtual assistant provides can help you save time and money, as well as reducing your workload. For instance, hiring an assistant to deal with your email responses can be a big help, saving several hours a day in certain circumstances. Your virtual assistant or outsourcing team can also manage passwords, keep track of clients and customers so you don’t have to, and create timelines. Like traditional secretarial services, these virtual employees are also able to help you set appointments and remind you where you have to be and when.

While virtual assistants can be a great help and save you a lot of money, there are some tricks to working with them effectively. Going about things wrong can be a big headache, both for you and for your outsourced help.


Here are just a few tips to help you work with an outsourcing team or virtual assistant to get the most done with the least hassle:

1. The world is a big place. Remember that outsourced employees can be working from anywhere in the world, and that they need sleep to. It’s wise to find out what hours your virtual assistant or outsourcing team members are likely to be active, and time requests to coincide with those times.

2. Communication is vital. While outsourcing teams usually speak and understand English very well, even if it’s not always their first language, that doesn’t meant that they’ll automatically know what you mean unless you spell it out. Standards for simple things like reports and letters can vary widely between clients, so if you want something a particular way, be sure to make it very clear. Don’t be tempted to rely on the “standard.” That standard can vary enough that you might end up with work that’s not what you were expecting. Having work done over wastes your money and your virtual assistant’s time. Appropriate communication will ensure that everything gets done right the first time.

3. Get to know your long distance workers. If possible, find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then, you’ll know what tasks will work out really well, and what jobs are better off done yourself. Most virtual assistants have backgrounds in other fields. You’ll be surprised by the amount of knowledge and the variety of skills they can offer. However, don’t assume that your virtual assistant has the same background that you do. What you consider common knowledge may not me, outside your field of expertise.

If you have too much on your plate and aren’t sure about hiring an in-person assistant, consider outsourcing the work. A virtual assistant and / or outsourcing team can do a lot for you, if you keep communication channels open.

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