“Long distance relationships never work.” – Not Me
It’s no secret that long-distance relationships are difficult. Many long-distance relationships certainly succeed, but they require careful navigation from the people involved to steer through the obstacles brought on by geography. More often than not, it’s all a matter of choosing the right partner, in love…and in outsourcing.
In no particular order, here are the characteristics that we most appreciate from our virtual partners:
- “He talks to me every day.”
Find remote staff that are able and willing to communicate with you often. Set expectations early in the relationship and don’t tolerate someone going missing without warning. Your business depends on these people. If they don’t care enough to send you a simple email before leaving for 3 days, then they don’t belong in your business.
Obviously, you also want someone who can articulate clearly and responds in a timely manner. Other less obvious qualities include being proactive about work reporting and asking clarifying questions.
- “He knows what he’s doing.”
Technical skills can make a big difference in a great remote worker as opposed to a mediocre one. It’s been my decision in my own personal career to only work with A-players. I refuse to deal with someone that can’t get the job done the right way, right away. I’ve found that it’s much cheaper and faster to hire people that have the right skills instead of trying to get “great value” and having to settle for second-rate output.
- “I can always count on him.”
You need a virtual assistant who takes responsibility for his own actions, who cares about the end result, and does what they say they are going to do. If you have a remote worker who’s accountable, it means you can take their words as truth. That’s what we all want as virtual managers but rarely get because it’s too easy for outsourced staff to skip out on their word, and it’s too hard to reign them in from across the world.
However, remember to take a look in the mirror as well. Have you assigned a dozen or so tasks to a low-level remote staff member? Do you set unrealistic deadlines? Accountability is a personality trait, but it also works the other way as well.
Do your virtual employees have these same characteristics? Are there others that you really value in your organization? If so, we’d love to hear about them.
Since 2007, Remote Staff has empowered over 2,000 entrepreneurs in Australia, New Zealand, US and Europe to do more and make a meaningful difference in their businesses using our remote staffing platform. Backed by more than a decade of outsourcing experience, our 70-strong in-house support team are purely focused on making offshore staffing a success for our clients.
We’ve helped hundreds of business owners assemble their offshore dream team. See how Remote Staff could make the difference for your business.