A remote executive assistant (also known as Virtual Assistants) can make a huge difference for your business. With more people than ever making the move to work remotely, hiring an executive assistant who works remotely can allow you to utilize those skills to full advantage within your office without needing to bring someone else into the office.
WHAT DO REMOTE EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS DO?
A remote executive assistant can take on a number of tasks that can free up your time and leave you able to complete the tasks that only you can do. An executive assistant, including one working remotely, can:
- Take care of travel arrangements, including booking and sorting out any special accommodations
- Maintain meeting schedules
- Take care of paperwork
- Manage some organization tasks
- Return phone calls and emails on your behalf
- Provide support when needed
Most of these tasks can be completed with the same level of skill remotely that they can when you hire an executive assistant to work in the office, but with a higher level of convenience.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF AN EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT WHO WORKS REMOTELY?
Using a remote executive assistant can pose some challenges. By understanding those challenges ahead of time, however, you can take the steps necessary to minimize those challenges and experience the best possible results.
*Communication can pose a substantial challenge for many remote employees, including EAs. *You may need to set up a specific communication protocol and method for your remote executive assistant and ensure that you check in regularly.
*Some remote workers show decreased productivity. *While some workers are more productive when they work from home, others, especially those who experience more distractions over the course of the day, may struggle with decreased productivity. Clearly setting expectations based on performance, however, can make it easier to overcome that challenge.
Remote assistants may take longer to learn your personality and personal likes and dislikes. Working with a remote EA means that you won’t have that person in the office, where they can take personal note of your foibles. As a result, it can take longer for them to fit into the existing company culture.
*There are some tasks that just can’t be done remotely. *A remote assistant can’t, for example, make your coffee or take care of tasks that just require running out of the office for a few minutes, nor can they take care of physical organization within the office environment. They can, however, take on most of the administrative tasks you really need to streamline your day.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A REMOTE EA?
While there are some challenges associated with remote executive assistants, they also bring with them a number of benefits. Consider:
You can increase employee retention and your odds of attracting top talent. More people than ever are seriously considering the benefits of working from home. By opening up your position to a remote worker, you can increase your available talent pool and the odds that you’ll get exactly the right worker for your needs.
*Remote work can help EAs stay focused on the task at hand. *They’ll spend less time socializing and more time focused on taking care of job responsibilities, which can increase overall productivity.
Working with a remote EA can decrease your costs. By outsourcing your EA needs, you won’t have to pay for a full-time executive assistant unless that’s what you really need. You also won’t have to worry about office space, which can prove extremely expensive, especially as you add to your talent pool.
HOW TO OUTSOURCE WORK TO A REMOTE EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Your remote executive assistant becomes an integral member of your team who just happens to work in a different physical environment. Connect with Zirtual to get access to highly-qualified team members who have the skills needed to handle your available tasks. Then:
Set a communication plan in place. Utilize an effective communication plan to ensure that your EA knows exactly what is needed from them.
*Decide what tasks you want your EA to handle. *Often, your EA can take many tasks off your plate, freeing you up to focus on other things.
Continue to check in regularly. Communication is key to an effective relationship.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORK WITH A REMOTE EA
If you want to make the most out of your remote EA, consider these key tips.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. The more you communicate, the better your assistant will understand your needs.
Meet when necessary. Video chats can help develop a deeper connection and relationship. Keep in mind, however, that those meetings should not detract from other tasks.
Clearly define expectations. An executive assistant who knows exactly what you need is better able to deliver.
Address problems promptly. With remote work, it can be challenging for the employee to know whether they have done something wrong unless you tell them. Address problems promptly to keep them from getting worse.
A remote executive assistant can make a big difference for your business and free up your time for other tasks on your To Do list. Contact us today to learn more about how we can connect you with a remote executive assistant for your business.