A few years back, working remotely seemed to be unrealistic and impossible. Well, not anymore. With the advancement of technology, things we thought impossible are now possible.
There are already a lot of businesses around us that can be managed remotely. Also, professionals can now become productive while working outside their physical offices.
This is possible through the help of different types of virtual tools and platforms.
Even though there are several advantages you can get from hiring from virtual assistants, it will still prove to be challenging. To ensure the success of your VAs or virtual team, you need to have a medium for you to collaborate, communicate, and easily share your ideas.
Different Types of Virtual Tools to Work with Your VA
In the workplace, the collaboration of each team member is a must to achieve a shared goal. To complete the highest level of collaboration of each of your VAs, you need to have a medium where all of them can efficiently and effectively collaborate despite their distance.
Here are the 10 different types of virtual tools you need to have for your VAs or virtual teams:
1# Email Platform
Emails are considered as an essential medium for communication in the virtual world. As a business owner, setting up a plain email account for your virtual assistant will still fine. But it would be better if you were able to customize your email with your domain if you want to look like a legit professional.
To do that, you need to avail of an upgraded email account. For example, Google has they have this GSuite account which you can connect your plain email and pay $5/month. With an upgraded account you can customize or name your email address with your business name. It also includes an upgrade of your Google Drive, instead of having 15GB space you’ll have 30GB.
Other email platforms have their perks. Here are some of the best email platforms you can use for your VAs:
- Zoho mail
- Yahoo! Mail
2# Chat Communication Platforms
Once you already have a handful of clients, juggling with tasks and keeping in touch with them will prove to be challenging. It will be frequently for you to lose track of your inbox as the number of emails keeps growing every day.
To avoid that from happening, instant messaging applications allow you to manage all incoming messages in one place.
As an example, Slack allows you to create different channels for different specific topics.
Here are good chat communication platforms you could use with your VAs or virtual teams:
3# Video and Audio Communication Tools
If you have an important subject or topic you want to discuss with your VAs. Platforms such as Skype and BlueJeans allow you to connect with your VAs through video and audio calls. Through these applications, you can conversely communicate with your team as if your having a conference meeting with them.
Through video calls, you can freely express and discuss all the necessary agenda. Unlike instant messaging, sometimes you can’t freely express what you have in mind. To help you build a collaborative synergy with your VAs, here are some helpful applications that offers quality video and audio calls:
- Google Hangouts
4# Payment Portals
Depending on the type of payment portals/methods you’ve been using these years. Still, it’s good to have a reliable online payment gateway (e.g., Payoneer, and Paypal) for your VAs. This type of tool allows you to directly send all of your VAs their salary into their accounts. The best part is there’s little to no fee at all.
You can also use these platforms for your business, especially if there are clients who would prefer to send their payments through one of these platforms.
Try searching for which payment portal would perfectly fit the type of business you have, and which is more popular in your area. To help you, here are some of the best payment gateway provider on the market:
- Amazon Payments
5# Project Management Tools
Managing several projects and tasks to your VAs who currently lives hundreds of miles away can be challenging. To solve this problem, project management tools were created.
These types of tools enables you to manage, plan, and assign projects and tasks to your VAs through this platform. Also, this type of tool enables you to keep track of the progress of each project, how far or near they are on finishing it.
If you haven’t yet chosen a project management tool, here are some best you want to use:
6# Document Storage
File sharing is common when working with virtual assistants. As the employer, it is your job to provide to your VAs a reliable document storage platform where both of you can access, retrieve, and share documents.
The level of accessibility of documents and data of your VA can determine their efficiency when working on a project.
Here are some of the best file-sharing platforms you can use with VAs:
- Google Drive
7# Time Trackers
Time trackers help you to keep track of how much time did your VAs worked with their projects. It will also help them keep track of which project they should work on after.
One of the best things about time trackers is that multiple users can use it simultaneously. You can also manage their tasks through this tool.
Here are some of the widely used time trackers:
- My Hours
8# Password Management Tools
Trying to come up with multiple cryptic passwords for every account can be frustrating. Sometimes we have this fear of our passwords and pins get leaked out to the internet when we try to share it with our VAs. It is not that we doubt our VAs, but the level of security and assurance that these vital information aren’t leaked out we are concerned about.
But with a secure and easy-to-use password management tool, helps you manage all login credentials on all of your devices and your VA. Keeping your passwords safe and it automatically fills any form and syncs your data.
Here are some password management tools you’d want to try:
9# Document Co-creation Tools
You might have encountered working with someone who uses a different application/platform on creating certain documents. However, it leads to incompatibility because his file isn’t compatible with the one your using.
To solve this issue, declaring a common document creation platform with your VAs avoids unnecessary file formats.
Document co-creation tools allow you and your VAs to co-create as well as co-edit certain documents simultaneously. This improves your team’s efficiency and productivity if all of them use the same platform on creating documents.
Here are some of the common platforms used for document creation:
- Google Docs
10# Meeting Tools
Meeting tools enables you to connect with all of your VAs on a single platform to conduct weekly or monthly meetings. These tools help you to collaborate and meet with them despite their distance.
To help you choose which meeting tools to use, here are some suggested meeting programs/platform:
- Google Hangouts
- HubSpot Meetings
Collaborating with your VA team alone can be hard and frustrating. But with the help of these different types of virtual tools, you can now work efficiently and effectively on any projects with your VAs. Have you already used some of these tools? What are you waiting for? Try some of them now!