By: Milour Allen De Leon
There is no lie that hiring an offsite professional is a huge game changer. Offsite professionals play a big role in the company’s success and can drastically transform to cover a wide variety of areas and responsibilities such as customer service, administrative tasks, social media marketing, transaction coordination, and the list goes on. The opportunity to work with talented individuals is great yet keep in mind that there may still be some obstacles along the way. Having said that, here are some challenges you might encounter working with an offsite professional.
1. No Show / Disappearing Offsite Workers
One of the biggest challenges working with offsite workers is they will suddenly disappear and stop communicating with you. The usual causes are frustrations with you, workload, and or the business. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but you might encounter one. The main reason for offsite professionals disappearing is them being embarrassed for not meeting your standards or they think they are unable to do what you expect them to do. When you give them a task they are not familiar with, tendency is they will get stuck and don’t know what to do. Some offsite professionals are not comfortable reaching out, they could be afraid or shy to approach and admit that they are struggling. Most offsite professionals are non-confrontational and would just disappear to avoid issues.
That’s why it is important to set expectations on day 1 that they can also rely on you to clarify tasks they are not familiar with. Emphasize and assure them that they can come to you for help. Tell them you are available to support and answer whatever questions they may have. Work closely with your offsite professional especially during their first 60-days with the company.
2. Work Tools, Power Outages, Unreliable Internet
Set proper expectations with your VA when it comes to work tools. We would usually ask our offsite professionals what their contingency plan is in case of power outages, internet issues, and computer issues. There may be some cases of scheduled power outages, and this is totally out of the offsite worker’s control. They should be able to provide their back up plan in case they experience one of these issues. This is a requirement for most offsite professionals. For them to be efficient at work, they have to have good work tools, equipment and resources they need to become successful. If you hire reliable offsite workers, train them properly and develop trust, your offsite workers will definitely give you outstanding performance at work despite these issues.
3. Not Enough Tasks
List down the things that you are planning to delegate before hiring your offsite worker. We don’t want to hire them and not do anything, right? Keep your offsite workers busy and productive. When you give them more tasks and responsibilities, they will not feel stagnant instead they will feel more motivated to perform well. Here are three steps in figuring out what tasks can you can give your offsite professional:
· Write down a list of all the tasks that need to be completed within your business
· Split the list into two columns, tasks you want and love to do, and tasks you have to do
· You focus on the aspects of your business you love, and outsource the rest to your trusty offsite professional
4. Hiring Someone to Do Everything
How would you feel if you got hired for a job and is expected for you handle all tasks for all the departments of the company? You will certainly feel overwhelmed and burned out, right? This is not how you’re suppose to delegate tasks to your offsite professional. Create a scope of work or a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), so your offsite worker knows what is expected of him/her. Don’t expect for an offsite professional to be a jack of all trades, as that will take them some time to develop. You can invest to your offsite worker by training them to expand their skills and take on new roles. Importantly, start off by hiring them to do a specific task and for sure you will get great results.
5. Ignoring Your Offsite Professional/Not Giving Feedback
It’s possible that your offsite worker has never worked for a foreign boss in the past. This set up can be a new experience to them. They might feel overwhelmed, nervous, and worried that they might not meet your expectations. Don’t ignore them because if you do, they may just disappear. Make them feel wanted and welcome. If they feel that they can count on you to answer questions, they will be more willing to work on tasks themselves and come to you for help. When constant communication is present, your offsite worker will definitely exceed your expectations. Give them compliments, acknowledge them, and give valuable feedback. When you make them feel appreciated, you are building long-term relationship.
When challenges are present along the way, do not feel frustrated or give up. Instead, overcome the challenge and have action plans that will work for you, your offsite professional, and your company. This will require hard work and definitely your efforts will be fruitful in the future.