Every remote worker deserves a nice home office where they can get things done.This article lists down some of the essentials each home office must-have.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/the-7-basics-you-need-to-create-the-perfect-home-office/
Recruitment is more than posting a job ad and waiting for top talent to apply.Here are a few strategies you can use to make your recruitment more effective.https://remoteworkmate.com/outsourcing-offshoring/use-these-recruitment-tips-to-get-the-best-remote-talent/
Are the benefits of working from home as real as online articles say?Here's what remote workers shared about why they left corporate jobs for home-based ones.https://remoteworkmate.com/virtual-assistant/why-people-are-exchanging-corporate-jobs-for-home-based-jobs/
Are you concerned about the future of working from home and online jobs?Emerging Trends in the remote work scene tell you that everything looks bright for you.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/how-does-the-future-look-for-online-jobs/
Finishing a college course is neither cheap nor easy.See how you can maximise what you’ve studied even when you want to work online here.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/here-are-possible-online-jobs-based-on-your-college-course/
It's possible to stay safe, productive and sane even when forced to stay inside during the coronavirus outbreak.We’ve got some tips to help you out.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/how-to-stay-safe-and-sane-during-he-coronavirus-outbreak/
Scheduling your workforce requires a delicate balance that can change anytime.Here are a few scheduling tips to help you stay on top of your staff's timetable.https://remoteworkmate.com/project-management/here-are-7-proven-scheduling-tips-for-growing-your-business/
When applying for a remote job, a Skype interview is often a vital part of the application process.Here are some preparation tips to avoid messing it up.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/how-to-avoid-messing-up-your-skype-interview/
Team building is gradually becoming a useful tool for telecommuters as they get used to their virtual office.Here are some ideas to help them further along.https://remoteworkmate.com/collaboration/10-team-building-activities-to-boost-your-remote-team/
It’s hard to find the drive to work when you’re under quarantine but it’s certainly possible!We share 5 proven ways to get you motivated at work right away.https://remoteworkmate.com/remote-work/5-proven-ways-to-boost-your-motivation-at-work-immediately/
Procrastination is a problem that every remote worker encounters.See how you can beat it and get things done through the reliable tips we share here.https://remoteworkmate.com/virtual-assistant/8-reliable-ways-to-beat-procrastination-in-the-workplace/
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Resumes tell a story about what its owners went through in life.Regina Hartley of UPS discusses why we should consider these stories before discarding resumeshttps://remoteworkmate.com/business/the-best-hire-might-not-have-the-perfect-resume/
Some roles are often hard to fill but still possible to find top talent for.Apply these seven strategies if you want to make the hiring process a tad easier.https://remoteworkmate.com/virtual-assistant/7-strategies-for-hiring-hard-to-fill-roles-in-your-business/
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At Remote Workmate, we like to make the grueling recruitment process in finding your Filipino virtual staff our problem and your ultimate win.But what if you want to find your online staff by yourself?The virtual assistants in the Philippines world is a wonderful but wild marketplace, so here are a few things to look out for if you want to try it out alone.Pool Quality CandidatesIn hiring, starting with a good range of candidates can be difficult, but it’s vital to get more than a handful of applications in your inbox.Compensation, benefits, nature and schedule of work, and stability of the employing company are just some of the things that experienced candidates take into consideration when applying for job opportunities.VA Location MattersTo maximise your candidate reach across the Philippines, you will want to look into as many online job platforms and recruitment sites as you can.When looking for those candidates, keep in mind their geographic locations.There are plenty of fantastic virtual professionals in the Philippines, but if they are working in towns where electrical outages are common, this will seriously impact your business’s outcomes.Infrastructure, population, and the area’s ability to deal with natural disasters are all considerations you need to take on board when hiring your candidate.Beware of PhoniesFinally, it’s important to get authentic candidates.
No daily commute, traffic jams or inclement weather.IBM, which previously embraced remote work, reversed its policy in 2017, with its CEO citing the need for its people to work “shoulder to shoulder” to be successful.Google allows a limited number of telecommuting jobs (like this one), but the search giant – particularly its senior leaders – aren’t fans of the concept.Yahoo abolished its work-at-home policy a few years back as well.Significant performance boostBut while many employers think telecommuting hinders productivity, a Stanford University study says otherwise.Researchers studied Shanghai-based Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, and found that over a span of nine months, employees who worked from home (and came to the office only once per week) recorded a 13% improvement in performance.Stanford business professor Nicholas Bloom, who was one of the researchers in the study, noted two reasons for this increase:In the office, people have to deal with traffic, take long lunches with co-workers, or leave work early.The World Cup sweepstakes is going.Whatever it is, the office is super-distracting.”Remote work benefits employersThere’s more: resignations were reduced by 50% when employees were allowed to work from home.“Not only do the employees benefit (by working from home), but the managers benefit because they can spend less of their time painfully advertising, recruiting, training and promoting,” Bloom explained.Telecommuting also helps with the rent, apparently, because Ctrip saved about $1,900 per work-at-home employee.
When the worldwide corporate playground was made a level playing field thanks to the internet early in the 21st century, the Philippines eventually emerged as one of the top outsourcing destinations across the globe.Today, the Southeast Asian archipelago has turned into a remote working hotspot as well.Here are several major, quantifiable reasons why more organisations are hiring Filipino virtual assistants, and why you should too.CostLike other outsourcing destinations like China or India, the cost of living in the Philippines is pretty low, especially when compared to western nations like the United States, Australia or United Kingdom.As of this writing the minimum wage in the Philippines is 537 pesos per day, which converts to 14+ Australian dollars (or around AU$1.75 per hour).For reference:The Australian minimum wage is AU$18.93 per hour.The US minimum wage is US$7.25 per hour.So in an offshore staffing company like Remote Workmate – where you can hire a Filipino virtual assistant starting at AU$7 or US$6 per hour – clients save on salary costs and earn way more than a regular job.English proficiencyWhen it comes to business, law and education, the Philippines primarily uses English.Most speak at least basic English, but the well-educated are fluent.It’s no wonder instructions are typically written in English in the Philippines; so are billboards and street signs.The quality of the English is pretty good too, so much so that tens of thousands of foreign students visit to learn the language, and their numbers are steadily increasing.Filipinos also speak with a neutral or American accent, partly because the country was a US colony for nearly 50 years.Having this level of proficiency enables your virtual assistant to minimise communication challenges that come from such arrangements.This collectively influenced the Filipino identity; as a result, its language, media and way of life are steeped in Western culture.In fact, according to Britannica, the country is strongly Euro-American in terms of culture.From the New York Times: “It helps that Filipinos learn American English in the first grade, eat hamburgers, follow the NBA and watch the TV show ‘Friends’ long before they enter a call center,” [emphasis added].Meanwhile, call centres trainers in other countries use “Friends” as a teaching tool.Why does this matter?
#1 Write code in a range of computer languagesMost IT-focused VAs are professionally trained to write code for computer programs.
Testing your program’s source code is necessary because it results in clean, reusable and easy-to-maintain code.
Doing this will help in training employees, improving existing systems, preserving company knowledge, and maintaining operational consistency.
#15 Use CASE tools to generate codeYou can instruct your VA in the Philippines to generate code by using computer-aided software engineering (or CASE) tools.
The generated code is usually limited and may need to be edited, but this will help your team save time and to focus on creating quality code for crucial areas of the software.
#20 Update your website’s plugins and/or themesThese days, updating one’s site’s plugins/themes is a simple enough task that anyone can do, but it would be smarter to get your IT-focused VA to handle it.
Naturally, when workers produce more, their output adds directly to any company’s bottom line.2) It’s the most important driver in employee engagementA Cicero 2015 paper identified 9 important drivers of great work:Source: Cicero Group | Employee Performance: What Causes Great Work?Notice the largest section of the pie?It’s employee recognition.If that isn’t enough, the Boston Consulting Group undertook a global 2014 study of 200,000 employees from 189 countries and here’s what they found:Globally, the most important single job element for all people is appreciation for their work.3) Disengaged employees cost you moneyDisengagement exacts a heavy price as well.According to Gallup, disengaged workers are twice as likely as engaged workers to seek new jobs (73% vs 37% respectively).Now consider the various costs of staff turnover:The loss of productivity while other employees do their job plus the vacant role.The time lost to in-house hiring processes.Training and induction costs for new employees.Termination administration costs.Loss of productivity in the last stages of the employee’s time with the company.The productivity loss in a new employee’s early months as they learn the job.The 2013 State of the American Workplace Report estimated that employee disinterest and discontent also cost the US $450 billion to $550 billion per year.4) Recognised employees stayIf you’ve managed to keep your remote virtual assistant employee happy with the recognition they deserve, you have a much higher likelihood of retaining them, which comes with several benefits including:More experienced employees.A positive workplace culture.Prevention of high staff turnover.Unfortunately, according to a Gallup analysis, only 1 in 3 US workers strongly agreed that they received recognition/praise for doing good work in the past 7 days.Thus, there’s certainly room for improvement.Employee recognition for remote workersWhile there are different approaches to rewarding employees, dealing with virtual assistant recruitment teams isn’t exactly the same, because at the very least, they’re not physically together.But because your virtual assistants in Philippines team works remotely, you’ll need to put up its virtual staff in Philippines equivalent.Bulletin boards help with employee engagement, virtual or otherwise.Having this type of medium will enable your remote assistants to connect with each other and help them feel more involved with the organisation.Tip: There are many apps out there that your team can use, such as Padlet (paid) or Google Keep (free).2) Regularly give out awards and rewardsUsing your virtual bulletin board, you can regularly hand out awards to acknowledge individual or team accomplishments.For instance, you can give monthly awards for:Most Creative WorkspaceCalmer of ClientsPerfect AttendanceYou can then give e-certificates or physically send engraved trophies as proof of their achievements.Tip: How about implementing a reward system where remote workers earn points for winning these awards?
After navigating the precarious early months, the entrepreneur’s next focus usually shifts to sustaining and growing the business, but it’s easier said than done.
These include (but are not limited to) the following:
There are several reasons why having a VA is cheaper than regular employees:
More often than not, your only expense when employing a VA is their fee, which is computed on a per-productive-hour basis.
This means you won’t have to spend on office space, electricity, supplies and (as mentioned earlier) employee benefits – unless you require the use of particular paid software.Consider this hypothetical scenario: a startup of 5 will probably need a 90-sq-ft office, which costs upwards of $200 per sq ft in prime locations like London or New York.
VAs offer the reliability of in-house staff
Unlike outsourced departments whose operations are external to your company, employing VAs is essentially like having someone in-house.
This setup gives you the dependability of an established team, minus the associated upkeep.
At the same time, this allows you to focus on your core business – the primary activity your business was founded on.
water cooler talk, sharing cake) which help develop relationships among work teams don’t normally happen in remote teams.And yet, rapport is vital in leadership.Among other benefits, it:Motivates workers.Makes people more receptive to feedback.Gains employees’ loyalty.Helps foster a positive work environment.When dealing with remote team members, it’s easy to just talk about what you need to delegate then end the call – and it’s necessary when you’re in a rush – but you miss out on opportunities to gain and maximise its benefits for your team.Instead, develop rapport with every member of your offshore assistant remote team.ask about their hobbies) during breaks.Try to know more about them, their family and their personal goals.When listening to others, don’t respond with your own story.This approach is especially helpful if you have members across different time zones: people can leave messages for the sub-team they’re part of; and when others go online, they can respond.Having an open chat room for each sub-team enables each member to:Still feel connected even if the others are several time zones away.Coordinate tasks.Discuss sub-team issues.However, don’t limit your sub-teams to work-related matters.Open a company-wide chat for miscellaneous topics like sporting events and popular TV shows.Trello, Asana, GitHub, Jira).To get the best results, use the medium that best suits what you need to convey at that moment.Tip #7: Utilize screen sharingSometimes, video calls aren’t enough, particularly when you need your team to see exactly what you’re doing – like when you’re carrying out a procedure.
Consider that in remote teams:People can’t see others’ body language or facial expressions during phone calls.Determining tone in emails and instant messaging is mostly context and guesswork.Remote assistants who are effective in conveying information clearly and concisely on written and spoken media are better equipped to deal with problems.Plus, they are less likely to cause delays due to poor communication.FocusThis isn’t merely the act of concentrating on something; focus is more of a skill (which can be developed) that lets one start a task without delay, and maintain concentration and effort until the assignment is complete.But when working at home, people need to strengthen their focus and constantly draw from it.ConscientiousnessSelf-control is a good quality to have, but conscientiousness is far better.Conscientiousness will compel them to do the same, but at the same time, they’d want to provide quality output.Time managementIt’s not enough for employees to put in some work; in a remote setup, you need people who use their time effectively, enabling them to stay on task and deliver quality results in a timely manner.For individuals to accomplish this, they need to manage their time wisely and know how to prioritise their responsibilities.They must be capable of working independently and figuring things out by themselves.Knowledge of technologyUnless you have an IT specialist supporting your virtual workers (which isn’t a typical setup if you run a startup), you’ll need remote employees who are tech-savvy and know basics like:How work-related devices work.How to troubleshoot them when they inevitably act up.How to use common software like MS Office and G Suite.How to keep data secure.Remote work is actually best suited for employees with a thorough grasp of digital tools because they can still function even when they encounter tech issues.Results-drivenIt’s unfortunate but busywork is a common practice in the office, virtual or otherwise.People finish their to-dos in the first half of their day, then fill the rest with activities that have little value.This is precisely why you need remote workers who are focused on outcomes.
Among other benefits, they get more things done; save you more money; improve your cash flow, and give you access to a larger talent pool.However, these benefits come at a price: working with a remote team may expose your data to risks, which may arise from:CyberattacksA cybersecurity attack – or cyberattack – is an attempt by hackers to damage, destroy or gain unauthorised access to a computer system or network.Examples include phishing, vishing, and impersonation.Malware infections – Malware (or malicious software) is created to invade, damage or disable computer systems, networks or devices.Company-issued devices are made more secure against attacks.But if you hire staff in the Philippines and work with remote workers, they will most likely use personal gadgets, whose security isn’t necessarily as iron-clad.Data security best practicesSo what’s the solution?If you work with an offshore assistant remote team, there are several strategies you can use to protect your company’s data:Implement a cybersecurity policyThe first step is to develop and enforce a cybersecurity protocol that outlines:The company assets you need to protect.The risks to those company assets.The guidelines for protecting those company assets.Here are examples of policies that may be covered by a cybersecurity protocol:How to store passwords properly.How frequently should users update passwords.How to handle confidential information.How to handle removable storage devices.What business information is appropriate to share on social media.How to respond to a cyberattack (e.g.documentation, internal communication, how to contain the breach).The roles and responsibilities of each employee in the event of a cyberattack.Having a comprehensive cybersecurity policy in place means your organisation will know exactly what to do in specific circumstances.Use a password managerJudging by the worst password lists published every year (this one is one of the latest), it’s clear that people aren’t very good at creating their own.Worse still, everyone with an account online needs to create a unique password for each and remember everything.To get around these issues, have each member of your team use a password manager, which will help them generate, store and retrieve complex passwords.There are many password managers out there.
You’ve probably heard the saying: “Time is money.” It refers to the value of time (which is finite) as a commodity.If you’re not making the most of your time to earn money, you’re essentially losing money.Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or professional, time is your most important asset – and knowing where you spend it on is crucial.Otherwise, you waste your time on activities that are less productive or profitable.That’s where the need for time-tracking software comes in.You’d likely forget the little things, and they add up.Manually recording each block of your time and indicating its corresponding activity is time-consuming and tedious.With a time tracker, you – or each member of your virtual assistant team – can record tasks as they’re carried out, then generate a report or invoice (depending on the software you use) to bill the client.This allows you to save time on administrative tasks and ensure that you bill every activity.It lets you better utilise your teamIf your remote team tracks all activities, your organisation will eventually gather enough information that would let you:Monitor how much time is given to each client.See how each member of your team spends their time.Plan your team’s tasks and adjust them when necessary.For example, let’s say you add each client as a project in your software.As everyone on your virtual assistants in the Philippines team tracks their time on each, they also create different categories based on the various tasks they do for every client.If you budget a certain amount of hours for a project but notice that your team has nearly used up all the time you allocated, you can address the issue right away by:Budgeting more hours (and informing the client, of course), or;Instructing the team to focus only on urgent tasks for that client.Likewise, if your remote team is finishing a project earlier than expected, you can plan ahead and ask the client for additional work, or reduce the amount of non-billable work.You can standardise tasksAs your remote assistants’ team gets used to tracking time and categorising different responsibilities, you’ll be able to eventually create benchmarks on how long it takes to complete different types of tasks.
In its yearly report, freelancing platform Upwork revealed that up to 63% of companies today employ remote assistants.This means remote teams are becoming increasingly diverse, enabling organisations to innovate and tap into larger talent pools.But with all its benefits, diversity comes with a few pitfalls.Consider this: it’s tricky enough to chat with people online without seeing their body language or hearing their tone.Imagine how much harder it would be to communicate with someone having different cultural norms but without the convenience of seeing them face-to-face.How do you ensure that you:Don’t offend them?Establish rapport?Promote a productive and friendly work environment?Here are some cross-cultural tips to help you avoid these issues.Get to know each member of your teamWhen you work in the same office, it’s normal to get acquainted with co-workers through situations like water cooler conversations and lunch outs.You can:Participate in off-topic (i.e.non-work related) chats.Engage in small talk and ask them about themselves (without being nosy).Organise occasional meetups with colleagues nearby.Learn more about how they communicateTo better collaborate with colleagues from other cultures, familiarise yourself with how they communicate.You can do a quick online search and read about the basics, which may include:Cultural expressions and norms.Do’s and don’ts when it comes to humor.Better yet, ask individual virtual assistant team members about their own culture; they’d probably be eager to talk about it.
Have you ever asked yourself why you get out of bed in the morning?Is it because of the money?When we encounter difficulty, we lose the will to push forward and inevitably fail.Others could succeed somehow, but the achievement that follows isn’t fulfilling.The Story of Viktor FranklIn the 1940s, Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl was held in Nazi concentration camps where he suffered grueling conditions for months on end.It’s also this thinking that he used as inspiration for his world-famous book titled Man’s Search for Meaning.Once you’ve found you why the how and what becomes more comfortable, with purpose, you can maintain your focus and keep going forward.The Golden CircleInterestingly, this applies to life and business (including remote teams).Your business needs to find a why to create a product or service that people would want to pay for so that it can do much more than just fail in a decade or so.According to the author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek, every career and organisation runs on three levels:What they do.How they do it.Why they do it.Sinek illustrates these levels in what he calls the Golden Circle:Source: Nick NijhuisEvery person and organisation knows what they do.They have a unique selling proposition or a proprietary process, which differentiates them from the rest.But only a few know why they do what they do.
Here’s why:You need a social media strategyYou can’t just jump into social media without a plan and expect great results.In fact, having no strategy might even be bad for your brand.To achieve the results you want, you’ll need a social media manager who will create a detailed plan that considers various key factors such as:Your company’s target marketTrends in your industryThe type of content your site producesYour audience’s peak hoursDeveloping and executing this plan successfully will also require your social media manager to collaborate with other departments (e.g.the content and marketing teams), to ensure that your online promotion efforts are unified and work well together.Social media rules are always changingBack in 2016, Facebook announced that in addition to bringing family and friends together, their news feed is designed to inform and entertain.If you’re serious about your online presence, you need a remote virtual assistant to keep track of everything for you to remain competitive.With a social media manager, you can monitor these developments and have your organisation adapt quickly.So you can focus on your businessIf you run a small business, you need social media.You need social media to establish credibility and compete in your niche, but not at the expense of your core business.If you hire a social media manager, you’ll have someone who can take care of matters like growing your online following and scheduling posts on a full-time basis, enabling you to focus on what you do best.To engage with and help your audienceOne of the most effective ways to develop your companies that hire virtual assistants' reputation online is to engage with your followers on social media.Because customers now demand a relationship with brands and ignoring your audience in social media is bad for business.But unless you can answer questions and help your audience with their concerns on a daily basis, you need a social media manager to do it for you.
You’re convinced you should hire a social media manager or specialist.They enable you to focus on what you do while engaging with your audience and generating targeted leads for your company.You’ve also decided that you need someone to do this remotely because a) paying on-site employees is beyond your budget, and b) hiring a virtual assistant gives your small business access to expertise and higher output.The question now is: where do you find and hire social media virtual assistants/specialists?Because unlike freelance marketplaces and job boards where you do everything yourself, we handle the heavy lifting for you, including recruitment, screening, and payroll.All you have to do is:Tell us what you need.Interview and hand-pick the candidate you want.That’s it.Plus, if your social media virtual assistant underperforms or is a poor fit, we’ll find you, new candidates, for free until you get the one you’re satisfied with.After you select your Workmate, we’ll also:Make sure they’re working online during your specified schedule.Provide ongoing support with whatever Workmate-related matters.UpworkWhen it comes to freelancing platforms, Upwork has what is probably the largest pool of talent in the world.The platform now has multiple ways to verify freelancers (e.g., authenticated email, job success scores, video verification), and has introduced a paid service where they help you, source freelancers.You have two payment options: hourly or fixed-price.If you’re on a tight deadline, you can set a turnaround time as short as 24 hours.FreelancerFreelancer.com is a crowdsourcing marketplace.Here are the steps involved in hiring a remote worker from there:Register an account.Post your project details, requirements, and budget.Freelancers will then place bids on your project.Pick the best qualified and cost-effective candidates.Every freelancer has their profile where you can see their qualifications and feedback from past clients.
Usual workplace routines like commuting, walking to meetings and having water cooler chats are all gone.Your home has become your office nearly overnight.Seasoned telecommuters shouldn’t have any problem with such a setup, but the novices in your now-remote team will have to get used to a new normal when they make the shift.That’s because we’re surrounded by distractions: kids, pets, significant others, video games, and the new Netflix show that’s just begging to be watched.When we get distracted (and we inevitably will) our productivity suffers.To keep your team accountable, implement the use of time-tracking software, which would allow you to monitor their:AttendanceProductivityHours workedPlus, time-tracking software comes with the ability to periodically take screenshots of one’s desktop.This will likely be based on your original office hours, enabling all members to collaborate in real-time.You can also allow others to follow different schedules, especially if their work requires it (e.g.Because a large part of communication is non-verbal and everyone is missing out a lot if your team is limited to instant messaging, email or voice calls.Without video, you won’t enjoy the benefit of meaningful details like eye contact, body language, and facial expressions – all of which are important in building rapport.Be responsiveAt the traditional office, it’s easier to be more available for colleagues because everyone is physically there.But when working remotely, you have to make the extra effort to let colleagues know they can depend on you.