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A Guide to Working with a Virtual Assistant

Delegation takes practice.


At Notebook & Pen we work a little differently than other teams of Virtual Assistants (VAs), and with Amy leading the client relationship, there is always an enthusiastic pool of resources to tap into.

Lady typing on keyboard in office

Our team of VAs have vast experience, top skills and lots of knowledge, which means they can do so much more than basic admin tasks (although we are more than happy to manage these too).

When leveraged correctly, a VA can be one of the most important tools you have access to, freeing up space to focus on challenges facing your business.

Bringing on board a VA is one of the most under-utilised resources available to every business. Fundamentally, you want to be working on the highest-value projects. Any time you are spending time on routine tasks that could be performed by someone else, it’s not only a loss for the business, but it’s limiting your ability to reach your full potential.

The time taken to hand over a task feels onerous especially when thinking the task might be a matter of minutes to complete. But what most people fail to realise is that it might only take five minutes, but that’s five minutes every day (or every week). It also adds cognitive load, along with the cost of context switching — which is far more than five minutes.

So many people at the beginning underestimate a VA's abilities and experience. We have VAs in the team who have backgrounds in law, PA experience, solicitors with strong legal knowledge, HR, and marketing. On top of this, they have all been doing their role for some time. They bring a wealth of experience from working in different sectors, with different clients and have been exposed to different ways of working, systems and processes that they can share with you to gain efficiencies in your business.

Delegating tasks to a VA is where the challenge lies when starting to work with someone new. Trust needs to be built and earned in any new working relationship, and we understand this. Taking time to understand the task, its background, any process required, and the people involved is key to fully understanding the situation, and for us to offer any advice where we can to make things work well.  

To capture the process for delegating tasks we recommend using recorded, asynchronous video and voice memos. It’s more time-efficient and allows the video recording to be used as an asset in the future. It’s far easier for someone to watch a recording than it is to have a new, synchronous onboarding call for every new task. Loom is a great tool for this purpose.  

Don’t expect things to be always right the first time. We can tell you from personal experience that the vast majority of the time if a VA is not able to complete the task correctly, it is because there needs to be clearer communication and/or explanation. Be patient and give feedback, we want this feedback to be able to ensure we complete the tasks as required.

We are here to support you and want to ensure working together is a complete pleasure, so talk to us and share information with us; the more context we have, the more we can help.

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