Virtual office workers are becoming a common addition to many small businesses. Whether you have a traditional office or a completely virtual office you will still, most likely, need to hire a virtual employee at some point. When hiring virtual office employees it’s important to take a few considerations into account since they are a bit different than traditional office employees. You’ll want to make sure that you find someone reliable, self-motivated, and talented at what they do. Aside from finding the right person, you’ll also want to keep these dos and don’ts in mind while you begin your employee search.
Don’t: Assume they’ll act the same as traditional office employees
Virtual employees will not be the same as traditional office employees and you wouldn’t want them that way. In order for someone to be an effective virtual office employee they need to possess certain personality traits that are not as important for a traditional office employee. Since they’ll be spending a lot of time in a home office or working in a solitary environment it’s very important that they have excellent self-management skills as well as the ability to maintain relationships virtually, with their team, regardless of location.
Don’t: Neglect internet and digital communication
With virtual employees it is imperative that you maintain open lines of communication over several forms of digital venues. This is not something that you can walk them through either, they need to possess these skills before they start working for you. If you’re not able to communicate with them effectively over email, phone conferencing, or video conferencing the situation is doomed from the start.
Do: Require deadlines and accountability
While a good virtual employee will already possess a great degree of self motivation and internal accountability, it is still a good idea to make sure that there are firm deadlines and check-ins so that you’re both on the same page when it comes to work output. It doesn’t matter if the deadlines are set by you or your employee what matters is that you’re both aware of when projects are due or when deadlines are to be met. As long as communication is kept open this should be a simple process that makes your work relationship run smoothly.
Do: Make sure their references are solid
Before hiring a virtual employee it’s important to ask a number of questions about their previous place of employment to make sure that they will be a good fit as a virtual employee. Were they good with teamwork and working independently? Did they meet deadlines and stay on task? Have they worked virtually in the past and if not what was their last office environment like? This is essential information to have before deciding if they’d be a good fit for a virtual office.
Virtual employees can be a great addition to any small business as long as you take a few things into considerations before hiring. If you’re able to find virtual employees who are self-motivated, can meet reasonable deadlines, and maintain work relationships while still working remotely you can rest assured that they will be an excellent addition to your team.