Helping Managers Collaborate with their Virtual Assistants

The trend nowadays for most business entrepreneurs is to spend less on overhead expenses without compromising the functions that are needed in the daily operation of the business. This means using less employees. Is that even possible especially for a business to run efficiently?

The answer is yes. Less employees can mean more virtual assistants or VAs as they are known in the online world. These are workers engaged to do specific functions of the business (administrative, accounting, personal assistant, etc., without really having to be physically present in the business premises or office. They often work from hundreds of miles away. Virtual assistants may be from overseas but the distance and time zone difference are not reasons for an employer – VA relationship not to be effective. With the help of some really cool software, the employer and the VA can really stay in sync, some of which are listed below:

Basecamp

This is a very useful project management tool. All employers would like to monitor the progress of work of their VAs without asking them (the VAs) to submit a report on what they have done so far. Basecamp takes care of that. It enables storing files, tasks, due dates and discussions on specific projects. The employer will just have to review the daily activities on Basecamp and would know if any of the VAs are lagging behind.

Dropbox

Talk about file sharing and you’ll hear a mention of Dropbox. Big files are difficult to attach to email. When files from the employer’s computer are synced in Dropbox, a link can be shared with the VAs. Employers can create specific folders per VA and share a link with each of them so that everyone can access project files that are important to the VA’s scope of work.

GroupMe

This is a web-based and an iPhone application designed for group chatting. The employer and the VAs can use this in discussions when doing live events and teleseminars. This app makes sure that everyone is able to communicate to everyone else in real time. When dealing with a large group, this app is more convenient than simple text messaging.

LastPass

Remembering passwords and log-in credentials for multiple accounts can’t be that easy without this app. As employers would have to share these information to virtual assistants, LastPass allows two ways to communicate the information without compromising security. The employer can give the VA the password so they can see the password and use it. Or the employer can share the password where the information remains masked but the VA can use it without seeing the password itself. This usually works for VAs who are not that tech-savvy because it’s not 100% secure.

Skype

This app is very helpful for individual and small group meetings. It allows video calls where everyone can see everyone. An employer can have a daily meeting with a VA though Skype where they can share screens if necessary to better understand what is being communicated. Chatting is convenient as is sharing files and text links. Sessions can even be recorded for documentation purposes. One can leave a voice message in case the employer or VA is not online.

All these tools and many more, are constantly being improved to enable better and a more effective communication between people from different places in real-time.

Related post: motivate your online assistant