How To Work With A Virtual Assistant

Thinking about hiring a virtual assistant?

This guide is an easy introduction to the virtual world. Learn what a virtual assistant is and how they can dramatically change your professional and personal life by boosting your productivity and reducing your stress levels. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you hire and how to effectively integrate a virtual assistant into your culture.

What is a virtual assistant?

A live virtual assistant can do everything you’d expect of an in-house assistant, except bring you coffee. The main difference is that virtual assistants work and communicate remotely. You can choose your preferred online tools and if you’re unsure where to start, your virtual assistant can offer suggestions to suit your lifestyle and business. For virtual “face to face” conversations, we like Skype, FaceTime and Whatsapp calls.

How can a virtual assistant help me?

All of our virtual assistants are hand-picked, highly trained professionals. They have in-depth knowledge of the business industry and are always eager to learn more. Their main priority is to make your life easier and more productive. Unburden yourself by handing over time consuming, administrative tasks so that you can refocus and concentrate on the big picture strategy that grows your business. Your virtual assistant can help you save time in numerous ways, from managing your diary and appointments, booking travel, maintaining social media accounts to bookkeeping, family administration and much more. Best of all, you can hire a dedicated virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost of an in-house assistant.

Outsourcery assistants are a cut above; professional, talented and successful graduates of our exclusive and rigorous Seven Point Training Programme. Our clients are assigned one dedicated and fully qualified virtual assistant. You can rest assured that your Outsourcery assistant will guarantee the highest levels of efficiency, productivity and confidentiality.

The secret weapon of successful people

Individuals and teams are streamlining their success in work and life with a dedicated virtual assistant. Establish a sense of balance in your life by delegating to your assistant and giving yourself time to concentrate on what you love. Propel your business forward by allowing your virtual assistant to manage the lower priority, administrative based tasks, whilst you work on developing your vision. It’s not about giving in, it’s about giving yourself the opportunity to be the best version of yourself at home and in the office.

There are no contracts, no commitments and no overheads. Choose the hours that suit you and get the qualified help you need to reach your full potential.

Working with a virtual employee

So you’ve decided to take the virtual plunge, but where do you start? Some Outsourcery clients come to us knowing exactly what they want, when and how they want it. However, the vast majority of our clients get in touch because while they’ve heard positive feedback, they’re still wary about how a virtual relationship works and what we can do for them. Have no fear. Our job is to make your transition into the world of virtual delegation as smooth and easy as possible. Here are some of the steps, procedures and technologies that have been successful with current Outsourcery clients.

Get to know each other

Schedule a time to speak to your virtual assistant before you start working together so that you can learn more about their skills and experience, and also outline your expectations and needs.

Introduce the team

Will your assistant help your colleagues or family members? Introduce them over email and make sure your assistant understands these relationships and priorities.

Use spreadsheets

It might sound old fashioned, but spreadsheets are an easy and effective way of keeping track of the tasks you set, progress and deadlines. We love Google Docs. View an example from our founder, Richard Walton here.

Share your calendar and contacts

Your assistant should have access to any collaboration tools you currently use. If you’re interested in trying something new, your Outsourcery assistant can introduce you to and implement the latest tried and tested tools to potentially boost productivity and improve communications.

Request updates

Depending on the hours of assistance you require, timely updates via email are the best way to stay on top of goals and assess priorities.

Set a regular meeting time

We recommend using a video call on a weekly basis so that you feel more connected to your virtual assistant. Skype meetings or a Google Hangout tend to work well as clients and assistants can discuss progress face to face, assign new tasks and offer concise feedback.

Be patient

It can take time to adjust to a new way of working, but you’ll soon notice the change in your productivity both professionally and personally.

Best practises

“I cannot recommend Outsourcery enough. My virtual assistant has helped me to prioritise my workload. Without so much administration, I feel that my mind is clearer and more open to the creative processes upon which our business is based.”

Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship

Virtual assistants find basic administration a breeze. Most clients are so impressed with how a virtual assistant impacts their calendar that they decide to hand over more and more responsibility. Many clients even take on several virtual assistants who each focus on different realms of their business.

As your virtual assistant’s responsibility expands, you may need to spend more time on training and developing your assistant’s knowledge so that they can provide you with the optimum return on your investment. If your virtual assistant is committed and interested in your business, and you develop a solid relationship with them, you will have a greater opportunity to progress towards your goals.

But how do you foster this commitment and relationship growth with someone you’ve never actually met? We’ve put together some useful tips to guide you toward success.

Be friendly

You started off your working relationship with a chat, but it’s important to keep the good vibes flowing. Continue with the small talk. At Outsourcery, we think our virtual assistants are the most interesting and fun group of people around. Ask them about their family, what they did at the weekend and their personal interests. Just like an office employee, your virtual assistant will respond well if you take interest in them as a person, rather than just another cog in the machine.

Keep the communication channels open

Check in with your virtual assistant regularly, using Skype video or FaceTime so that you can read their facial expressions and gauge how they are really feeling about things. Encourage your virtual assistant to ask questions and put forward their own suggestions. They may be able to offer valuable insight into a particular aspect of the business.

Make them part of your team

Adding your virtual assistant to your inter-company networks such as Facebook or Slack groups will make him or her feel part of the action. Invite your virtual assistant to join off-site and company meetings remotely so that they have the chance to expand their knowledge on your industry and better understand the dynamics of your office.

Show appreciation

Everyone likes to be shown recognition for hard work. Let your virtual assistant know when they’ve done a good job. Even better, share it with your whole team.

Take it slow

Entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to work at lightning speed, but virtual assistants, however talented, are not mind readers. Provide clear instructions when you set a task for the first time so that your assistant knows exactly what you’re expecting and make sure they know that it’s okay to ask questions or request more information.

Use the right tools

The right tools can make all the difference. Here at Outsourcery, we are passionate about new technology. All of our virtual assistants are trained in the latest productivity and collaboration tools available, and supported by a centralised technical support centre.

There are a number of tools out there to facilitate delegation to your virtual assistant as well as throughout your organisation. Here are a few of our favourite tools (recommendations based on their simplicity and value). If you’re looking for something different, your virtual assistant can help you find the best tools for your organisation.

  • Google Spreadsheet – for easy collaboration with your virtual assistant
  • Dropbox – for easy file sharing
  • Jing
  • Sunrise
  • Trello

Focus on driving your business

Often we don’t consider delegating until we are desperate. Neglecting responsibilities, feeling lost and disorganised, and constantly exhausted are often impetus for change. Don’t ignore your work life balance. Friends, family, exercise and hobbies are all crucial to our personal wellbeing, and your business’s success relies on you operating on top form.

Delegating productively takes some thought and practice. In an urgent situation, it’s often necessary to buckle down and get the job done. When the smoke clears, it’s time to delegate to your virtual assistant so that you’re not drowned in deadlines again.

Delegation is the key to making time for work that matters

As business leaders, we must recognise where our contribution will make the most impact. Executing strategy, building important relationships, new business opportunities and profitability. We are in charge of the big picture, and taking on too many projects simply clouds our focus.

Outsourcery for supporting teams

Streamline projects and get swift results with Outsourcery assistants for teams. Sometimes teams just have too much on their plates. Virtual assistants offer extra support to small teams with big workloads, maximising your team’s efficiency without the hassle and overhead. Use an Outsourcery assistant to tackle the administrative challenges that sidetrack team members from their goals, such as:

  • Calendar coordination
  • Meeting notes and agenda distribution
  • Travel booking and itineraries
  • Expense reporting
  • Administrative burdens
  • General research

Your team’s coordination, productivity and sense of achievement will soar thanks to an Outsourcery assistant. Team members can concentrate on what they do best, whilst their virtual assistant takes care of everything else.

No longer for just for individuals, the Outsourcery team assistant will keep your team connected and on course, so that goals are achieved as quickly and effectively as possible.

If you’d love to work with a virtual assistant, but you’re not sure how it will work for you, why not try our 5 hour free trial? No credit card or sign up required, just see how an Outsourcery assistant can change your life. Request one now.


Outsourcery Office
Unit 1 Ground Floor
Demar Square
45 Bell Crescent
Westlake Business Park
Tokai, Cape Town 7945


Phone: 021 201 1581

If you think you have what it takes to join our team of professional virtual assistants, please visit