As we look ahead to 2021, it’s easy to question what the world will look like in the upcoming year. While COVID vaccinations give hope of the pandemic ending, many large businesses such as Twitter and Target opt to continue working remotely indefinitely. Other businesses are not being so cautious, slowly reopening offices and storefronts around the country. Whatever your company chooses, it’s worth considering what integration of in-house employees and remote virtual assistants will look like. During the time of remote work, it’s likely that your remote virtual assistants and internal employees worked fairly seamlessly. Because all of your business existed online, it was likely easy for everyone to work together because they used the same platform. Now that things may begin to shift again, it’s time to start formulating your plan of action when employees begin to come back to work in person. There are a few simple tips to make this transition easier and use all workers to their full potential.
1. Schedule All Team Meetings
Scheduling virtual meetings that include everyone on staff is a great way to unify and organize your two groups of people. Because many of our virtual assistants are in Latin American countries such as Belize and Argentina, these meetings will likely have to occur at least partially online. However, even a mixed media meeting can create a sense of kinship and help your team check in with each other regularly. Regular meetings can:
- Encourage brainstorming and idea creation among staff members of any position.
- Make your business feel more personal. Though online tools are great for everyday use, they don’t exactly inject humanity into daily tasks.
- Help you stop problems before they happen. When given the space to voice concerns, you may find that a staff member mentions an issue that would have become serious if left unchecked.
- Lead to innovative strategies. If given a chance to problem-solve together, your team may find ways to be more efficient and work more reliably.
- Foster a sense of community and reliability. If staff members feel like they are on a team, morale goes up, and turnover goes down.
2. Be Extra Communicative
Because your in-house employees and your outsourced latino virtual assistants might be using different platforms and have distinct tasks, it’s imperative to give extra information and detail when making assignments. Let your in-house employees know what your virtual assistants are in charge of and vice versa. Be clear about who is responsible for which tasks and where to go for extra help. Make team roles and email addresses accessible to everyone on the team. These types of communication strategies have multiple benefits, including:
- Fewer questions asked of the wrong people.
- Your staff is empowered to take charge of their position.
- Collaboration can happen between departments when needed.
- Knowing who’s on staff creates a sense of community.
- It’s easier for employees to ask others for support on large projects if they know who on staff can help them.
Creating a staff directory with as much information as possible is a key step in blending your in-person and virtual staffs.
3. Include Everyone in Communication
With online culture, it’s easy to send information to small groups of people rather than the entire staff. The days of staff-wide memos and conference room meetings are dwindling, and there are times when it’s not possible or feasible to gather everyone together. When using virtual assistants or virtual personal assistants, this is especially true. There is no way you can have your assistant from Brazil join an in-person meeting. However, including everyone on your daily updates or emails can be a great way to make your staff feel unified. Hiding information in exclusive Slack channels does not.
4. Plan Regular Team Bonding Opportunities
While holding in person team bonding activities may not be currently possible, it is a great time to start planning future in person events that can take place when it is feasible. Incorporate regular virtual team bonding events into the work schedule in a few ways. Choosing non-work-related activities provides an organic team building experience, which is likely to translate into a stronger team bond. Activities such as online happy hours, chocolate tastings, virtual pasta making events, or virtual games based on classic TV shows like Jeopardy, or Family Feud, all bring virtual staff closer despite not being able to meet in real life. This will strengthen bonds between outsourced virtual assistants and your in house team.
5. Prioritize Combined Staff Training
Staff training is key to maximizing the return on your company’s greatest asset – your employees or contractors. Over the past year, the way employees work has evolved. With that evolution, the necessity for training staff to adapt to newly merging work styles has also emerged. Staff training must now become more collaborative in nature. By making training programs interactive, they provide a social-learning experience that is beneficial to both onsite and remote workers. One of the benefits of having virtual assistants on your team is that they already possess many of the soft skills you will need to access for training team members who are new to virtual working environments. Virtual assistants can offer insight on ways to stay engaged and motivated while working virtually. Their strengths can help your team maintain high productivity levels in hybrid work environments.
Virtual assistants can utilize their experience with remote learning to develop content such as live streams and interactive blog posts. They can also host question and answer sessions during training. Having remote and in-house team members exchange information during training builds leadership skills and supports team engagement. By incorporating more virtual training and staff development methods into your business training model, you provide more flexibility to workers on-site and for those who work remotely.
Why Virtual Latinos
When it comes to a sense of community and kinship, Latin American cultures have the process down. It’s part of the culture to be genuine and friendly with coworkers and hold our communities close. If you’re looking to foster a stronger sense of community while still needing a virtual assistant, let us know. Our staff is fully vetted, completely professional, and bilingual to boot. We offer virtual assistant services ranging from marketing virtual assistants to sales virtual assistants to virtual assistants for the healthcare system. No matter what your business or what you’re looking for, Virtual Latinos is here to help you create a stronger work environment, a deeper sense of community, and higher levels of productivity at your company. Don’t wait; contact us today!