Management of virtual staff in an online office is very different to managing staff in a bricks and mortar office environment. However, it is really just a matter of getting used to a different management style, as you are still dealing with human beings.
One crucial aspect of any relationship is trust. It is important for your virtual staff member to feel as if you trust them. Screenshot software can be installed on a person’s computer and it will take regular shots of what they are working on every half hour or so. In this way, you could be sure that the person is working on what they should be working on every moment of every working day. However, if this type of software is installed, the assistant will instantly feel as if you do not trust them.
It is the same as the marriage partner who insists on a prenuptial agreement. If you can’t trust the person you are about to enter into marriage with, how is that relationship going to survive? If you are already planning for the time when you will separate, what sort of confidence does that inspire in the other partner? Similarly if the only way you can be sure that someone is going to work for with your best interests at heart is by installing a type of spy technology on their computer after they complete a virtual assistant training, this is surely a very poor way to establish any kind of relationship.
Pay close attention to the type of people you hire in the first place, and you will build a team of honest and trustworthy individuals. You can be sure that the faith you put in them will not be not be misplaced. Most people are honest and can be trusted.
Keep a log of the average time it takes to get these search engine optimization strategies and tasks done which you assign to your virtual staff. That way, if they are consistently taking longer than the average, you can provide them with valuable feedback and tips about how they can use their time more efficiently.
Also, it is a good idea to give them more work than they can be expected to accomplish in one day. If they are working an eight hour day, give them twelve hours’ worth of work. Of course you won’t expect that all of the extra work will be done, but it is true that work always expands to fill the time that is given. By giving them extra tasks, you will ensure that no extra time is taken for each task than is absolutely necessary.
Communication is vital when you are employing virtual staff. They cannot simply walk into your office whenever they encounter a problem. Organize to speak to them at the start of every day. This Start of Day (SOD) communication should take about thirty minutes, and should include a list of what they expect to accomplish during that day and the time each task will take.
The virtual assistant should also send you an End of Day (EOD) email each day, listing what they have done, the time taken for each task, any issues they have encountered and what they hope to complete the following day.
With this regular contact and with a feeling of trust on both sides, your virtual staff should enjoy many years of fruitful work with you.
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