Jul 06

Pitfalls to Avoid When Working with Filipino Virtual Assistants

The concept of working with a virtual assistant is enticing if you think about one solely based on the word “assistant.” Assistants are supposed to make your work (and life) easier by accomplishing tasks you do not have the time of day for. They also tackle repetitive tasks you are not good at or tasks that do not require much of your focus and input.

However, nurturing a healthy and productive working relationship with a Filipino virtual assistant is not a walk in the park. If you’re not too careful, you may commit irreversible mistakes in the process that could cause you a huge portion of your resources. Regardless of your reason for hiring or working with a Filipino virtual assistant, there are some pitfalls you must avoid at all costs when managing one. 

1. Assuming that your virtual assistant knows what needs to be done

woman scratching her head while looking at her laptop screen

If you want to succeed in working with a virtual assistant, it is important to set goals and expectations even before you start the hiring process. This requires an understanding of how you intend to utilize your virtual assistant.  Otherwise, you are going to end up wasting valuable time and money on a bad hire.

2. Not providing clear instructions to your virtual assistant

man with his back facing front, looking at a white wall with who, what, when, where, how, and why question words

It is imperative that you give clear instructions to your virtual assistant, especially in terms of the amount of work expected. Ideally, outlining the tasks required in completing the job and going over them one by one is the best way to do this, but you might not have the time. What you can do is to check whether your virtual assistant understands your instructions by asking him/her to repeat what needs to be done. Doing so saves yourself a lot of time correcting mistakes made by your virtual assistant. 

3. Not providing your virtual assistant proper training

woman wearing a white blouse in front of her laptop

Surely, your virtual assistant comes with an advanced set of skills or knowledge you require, but it doesn’t mean that he/she does not need further training. Conducting an onboarding process for your new virtual assistant is paramount in helping him/her accomplish tasks accurately and on time. Besides, your virtual assistant might not be familiar with how you do things in the company, particularly the tools and systems you utilise. Make sure your virtual assistant is trained well in using software, apps, platforms, and other systems you utilise in the company. Moreover, train them on your overall workflow process. These trainings keep your virtual assistant aligned with your business goals. 

4. Not preparing yourself for managing a virtual assistant

man with his laptop over the back of his head

While most virtual assistants are already familiar with the concept and challenges of remote work, there are managers who are not quite familiar with them. Managing a virtual assistant might be more complicated than they expect it to be. If you are not comfortable with the concept of managing a virtual assistant, try asking other fellow entrepreneurs for some insights. This will help you prepare in terms of setting expectations concerning your remote arrangement with your virtual assistant. 

5. Giving your virtual assistant one task or too many tasks

two sets of hands working on three different things

Always think long-term when hiring virtual assistants as you gain more value out of them this way. Giving them one task makes them feel that you will get rid of them as soon as they complete it. Giving them too many tasks at once makes them think that you do not care much about their career growth. Again, setting expectations is crucial, but remember that your VA is a real human that has anxieties about his/her job. It will help to give much thought to the tasks you assign your virtual assistant.  

6. Not understanding cultural differences

man bowing to a woman and woman holding her hand out to the man

The Philippines has its own rich history. It has its own social norms, values, and beliefs that can be quite different from yours. It is crucial not to expect your virtual assistant to forget them as soon as they start working for you. Instead, try to factor in their unique practices and beliefs into their work performance. This ensures that they can be welcomed into your team and accommodated in your company.

7. Lack of communication

one head with colorful origami and another head with black origami

Communication is key to any successful business. Without it, productivity might plummet. This is true especially for your virtual assistants who are not in an office with you or their managers. The differences in time zones may add another layer of challenge. So keep lines of communication open and transparent at all times. Make sure to provide feedback, criticism, and expectations as soon and as often as you can. Maximise the use of available online tools and digital platforms to make communicating regularly with your virtual assistant much easier and more efficient.

At Remote Staff, we help you avoid these pitfalls when working with your Filipino virtual assistants. Schedule a call back now or call us to speak with our recruitment experts about hiring or working with a Filipino virtual assistant.

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