You may have heard of virtual assistants. Although the job title is used so often, few people know what a virtual assistant is or what it does. This is something to consider if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the administrative aspects of your business, if you know that tax season would be infinitely easier if you kept better records all day, but you just don’t have the time, or if letters and contacts with clients take up so much of your time that you don’t get around to doing the actual work you need to do.

Here are some of the things you need to understand about virtual assistants before you decide to hire them. Of course, assistants can help in a wide range of areas. When hiring, ask assistants or agencies what they can offer you based on their knowledge of your business. Great optimization ideas can be revealed to you.

What is a virtual assistant?

In short, a virtual assistant is an administrative assistant who supports your company from a distance. You may have heard them called online secretaries (but don’t use that term because it sounds a little old-fashioned) or online assistants. They do all the work of a traditional secretary, but take up no space in your office or workplace.

Some agencies allow you to hire virtual assistants on an as-needed basis, when sometimes you need help and sometimes you don’t. One of the key benefits of a virtual assistant is that it can dramatically increase response time to customer inquiries in today’s world of instant numbers – response time can make the difference between the success and failure of a business.

Clarify responsibilities

Whatever position you are recruiting for, if it is a remote position, you should have a clear idea of the different tasks you are expected to perform. Working virtually is not like working in an office; you will not be able to see your colleague; you will only be able to check if and how things have been done.

Clear responsibilities help you and your future employees better negotiate the cost of a virtual assistant from the start. Moreover, everyone knows which responsibilities belong to him and which belong to someone else.

Making communication a priority

As with the previous point, if the employee is working virtually, make sure you have clear lines of communication so nothing gets lost in the mailbox. Many people try too many forms of messaging when they start working with remote colleagues – they have a shared document that everyone updates, an instant app (or two), company emails, phone numbers, calls to a……. And so on.

Choose one or two means of communication and stick to them. There are too many places to look for articles or updates, and every subscriber runs the risk of missing something important.

The above points should help point you in the right direction when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant. It is important to note that even if the employee is in a remote location, you have a legal obligation to ensure that their working environment is safe and meets health and safety standards. You may need to undergo training on home office management, among other things, to ensure that you are doing your due diligence.

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