I’ve been working as a virtual assistant since 2007 and I’ve just about seen and heard it all. From people wanting me to work for free to wanting to pay $1 per hour, I’ve been there. But, there’s still one thing I continue to see and it’s time to stop!
Just because your virtual assistant is virtual and can work from anywhere, it doesn’t mean that he/she is available 24/7. These people usually set office hours just like you do, and deserve to have those hours respected. Just as you have a life outside of your office, so do they.
It’s one thing if there’s a true emergency that requires working late or on weekends, but, generally, your VA is available to you during regular office hours. If you can’t utilize him/her during the 8 or so hours they’re available, don’t don’t think they’re going to handle a task that comes over at 10 pm.
I’ve experienced this more times than I can count and I’ve always tried to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. There are, however, some exceptions. In addition to there being an emergency, time zones must also be taken into consideration. I’ve worked with client on the west coast for several years and, because they’re 3 hours behind me, I’ve had to adjust accordingly.
It’s another thing entirely if you virtual assistant wants to work late or on weekends. I’ve done this. Saturdays are usually the day my husband takes the kids out of the house for the day, spending time with them. When that happens and I get bored, I’ll log on to work and get some things done, especially if I know I’m going to be out of the office one day the following week.
Overall, we love what we do so don’t take that away from us. Respect what we do for a living, just as we respect what you do. If you’re working with a virtual assistant for the first time, or are transitioning to a new one, be sure to have the discussion on office hours early on.
What do you expect from your virtual assistant?