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5 Tips for Setting Expectations and Boundaries with Your Virtual Assistant

Picture this scenario: your business has just hired a virtual assistant to take on administrative tasks. Maybe it’s scheduling, bookkeeping, or even marketing strategy. The point is that you’re about to put your business into the hands of someone else. Your time, money, and resources are valuable, but you don’t know quite yet what to expect from a virtual assistant. You might be wondering how you’ll best communicate, delegate tasks, and set deadlines with a newly hired virtual assistant. This blog covers five tips for setting expectations and boundaries with your virtual assistant. 

Be clear and intentional about the scope of work

clear scope of work

As a business owner, you already know which services, tasks, and roles you need fulfilled by a virtual assistant. Now, it’s time to guarantee that your virtual assistant also knows the scope of work to be accomplished. Start by writing a list of tasks with deadlines, required working hours, and objectives to meet. Be as specific as possible beyond the job posting. Your clarity and intentionality helps virtual assistants to meet your needs as efficiently as possible. 

Establish preferred lines of communication

If it wasn’t obvious enough, having a mutually agreed upon communication system streamlines productivity. Communication channels include phone calls, email, video conferencing, text, and other communication platforms built for workplaces. Many options exist, so it’s crucial to narrow down which lines of communication work best for you and your virtual assistant. You don’t want to end up annoyed with your virtual assistant who emailed instead of texted about a concern because you were traveling and away from your email. Set the communication lines, but also determine which ones are appropriate for certain topics, concerns, and agendas. 

Disclose your schedule to avoid last-minute protocols 

disclose your schedule

On a related note, your virtual assistant must know when you are not available to communicate or work. This concept ties closely with communication as it defines the parameters of when and what is appropriate to communicate on which channels. For instance, your business may meet with clients across the state. As a business owner, you are often on the road and balancing work and life by disabling work-related notifications at a certain time on Friday. Inform your virtual assistant when you are not available to communicate or work with them. This will allow them to work according to your schedule and be prepared to tackle issues and concerns before they become a last-minute item on a Friday afternoon! 

Provide feedback and suggest improvements

Feedback is directly tied to productivity. Your virtual assistant may feel they are properly meeting your objectives and deadlines when they may not be according to your standards. Inform them on the matter and suggest how they might improve in the future. Your virtual assistant will likely thank you for bringing up concerns, clarifying expectations, and offering ways to become better. 

Leave room for your virtual assistant to ask questions

leave room for questions

Setting expectations and boundaries wouldn’t be complete without your virtual assistant’s valuable questions, comments, and concerns. They may touch on areas you missed or haven’t previously considered. By having their questions answered, they feel ready to handle the certain and uncertain situations, mundane and complex tasks, and work routine. You may be surprised with what your virtual assistant asks of you, but know that they do it in an effort to best serve you and your business. 

It can be nerve-racking for businesses new to hiring virtual assistants to set expectations and boundaries. Your business may feel uneasy about when to set lines for communication, task assignments, deadlines, and so much more of the smaller details. In this blog post, we provided five tips for setting these expectations and boundaries that will exponentially benefit your business in the long-run. From day one, your business needs to be clear and intentional about disclosing the scope of work to be done. Additionally, communication affects both your business’ and your virtual assistant’s productivity, performance, and planning. Productive feedback from both parties also contributes to clearer expectations, future improvement, and efficient work routines. At Milrich Virtual Professionals, we champion our virtual assistants, remote work culture, and effective communication. We want to know how your business sets clear expectations and boundaries with virtual assistants. Comment below and share your insights. 


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