This year I’ve started using 3 remote personal/executive assistants for my work projects. Our remote assistants have been awesome and super useful, so I thought it would be useful to try and write a guide to help others get started with using remote assistants.
If working with a remote assistant doesn’t work out for you I think you’ll lose around £300 and 12 hours of your time in 1 month. But if it does work well, then I think you have a lot to gain - my estimate is my assistants save me around 20-30 hours a month.
Ways in which my remote assistants have helped me
- We have a remote assistant who does all our events logistics work, including sourcing and booking venues, booking transport and catering, and handling comms with participants and venues.
- Our assistant handles paying our bills and invoices, and sending out invoices
- Doing one-off tasks for the team e.g. booking appointments, making purchases, booking travel, finding accommodation for our interns
Where to find a remote assistant
- If you’re based in the UK or in Europe (and communicate in English), I recommend https://virtalent.com/ which is the company I use.
- I haven’t used a US-based virtual assistant before, but you could try timeetc.com. There are some other suggestions here.
- If you're looking for a full-time assistant, we use https://www.athenago.com/ and they seem consistently great.
Some tips for working with a remote assistant for the first time
- Be prepared to invest time in explaining the task and process well for your assistant. I think it’s worth spending 10 minutes explaining a task that will take 60 minutes - that will feel like a long 10 minutes and it might feel frustrating, but it’s worth it.
- Use loom.com to make video tutorials of how to do a process, instead of describing it in text
- Bring your remote assistant into Slack to be able to DM them quickly
- Invest in the relationship with your assistant from the beginning - take the time to call them once a week and message them each day to check in on how things are going because it’s easy as a remote person to feel disconnected. More communication is better.
Tips on how to delegate well
Taking next steps
- Most remote assistant setups have very flexible monthly plans. You can start with just a few hours a week and scale up from there.
- I think it’s worth just giving it a go; there’s a lot of info value in trying to get a remote assistant, and if it doesn’t work well then you can always just stop using the service.
- Book a free consultation call with Virtalent UK or Timeetc USA
Happy to answer any questions that people have, or DM for more info.