Many managers grapple with how to ensure their remote employees (and/or VA’s) are actually working. Without the ability to physically monitor your virtual assistant, it can be difficult to know if they are staying on task and meeting their deadlines before it is too late. However, there are several strategies you can use to keep your remote team productive and accountable. Here are some tips on how to know if remote employees and/or virtual assistants are actually working:
Establish a Baseline
Gather information from whomever has been doing the work you are planning to outsource (even easier if it was you!) and establish a baseline. If it a new role, you will still be able to gather useful data from a contact in your industry or even some basic internet-based research. Try to determine the factors that influence the performance of the work, the key role players and the time needed for the bulk of the tasks. This will give you an indication for realistic deadlines and expectations.
Set Clear Expectations
Before your virtual assistant starts working, it is important to establish clear expectations regarding their work schedule, deadlines, and performance goals. Make sure that they understand what is expected of them and what they need to do to meet those expectations. You may also want to establish clear communication protocols, such as setting up regular check-ins or using messaging or project management tools to keep in touch.
Set Up Regular Check-Ins
Schedule regular check-ins with your VA to discuss their progress, answer questions, and provide feedback. This will help you stay up to date on their work and ensure that they’re meeting their goals. During these check-ins, you can review their work, discuss any issues or challenges they’re facing, and provide feedback and guidance.
Encourage your remote employees and/or virtual assistant to communicate regularly and use messaging or project management tools to keep in touch. By monitoring communication channels, you can get a sense of how engaged your VA is with their work. You can also use these tools to answer any questions they may have and provide feedback on their work.
Trust Your Virtual Assistant
It is important to trust your remote team. After all, you hired them based on your own sound research and recommendations. By showing your trust and support, you can help your remote team feel more engaged and motivated. After you have given clear guidance, respect your team member’s autonomy and trust that they are capable of getting their work done. Give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are working to the best of their abilities until proven otherwise.
Finally, managing remote employees and/or virtual assistants requires a different approach to managing employees in a traditional office setting. However, by setting clear expectations, using productivity tools, and establishing regular check-ins, you can monitor your remote teams’ work and ensure that they are staying on track. By using these strategies, you can build a productive and accountable remote team that meets its goals and delivers high-quality work.