When we speak about fixing an appointment with a manager or supervisor, we generally imagine a person physically sitting in an office with a laptop in front of him/her and surrounded by important files all around. With a shift in the paradigm of thought, this concept has changed to a great extent, yet has not yet been applied everywhere, with full effect. The position of an office manager or supervisor is not necessarily a role that can be managed only by the office. Managers can now work virtually without any compromise on the quality of work or the degree of delegation and reporting structure. Thankfully modern virtual technology has made it possible.
Hiring a virtual office manager is anytime more affordable and economical than hiring a full-time manager for your office. Research has found that managers commuting from home to office are comparatively less productive than managers working virtually, since the latter can work more flexibly, balancing both work and family life. Additionally, the time taken for commutation, particularly in cities is time actually wasted, which could have been used productively otherwise.
What Can You Achieve With A Virtual Manager?
As your business grows, it needs to be segregated into various departments such as accounts, finance, human resource, IT, and so on. At this point, you find that numerous responsibilities can be no longer micromanaged by a single manager and must be segregated into different segments to manage them efficiently. Managing each of them virtually, can reduce the cost of the company to some extent and increase productivity. Thus if you are a business owner, you can find that by hiring virtual managers, you are getting more time to focus on other productive aspects of your business.
Let’s have a look at how it works:-
#1 Administrative Support: –
The sole aim of administrative officers is to make the business run more smoothly and efficiently. It requires a lot of skills, tenacity, and patience to manage administrative work. At times it involves a lot of hassle, working virtually and managing administrative tasks over the phone and laptop. But sitting in a peaceful environment, it can be efficiently managed and completed on time.
#2 Office Supply Management: –
An office needs to be always stocked with certain promotional materials, goodies, food materials, hardware items, stationaries, etc. which depends on the industry you are working with. Outsourcing this work to a virtual office manager and letting them handle the research part on what can be needed is a better option, to help full-time employees manage their regular tasks.
#3 Time Management: –
Timeboxing is an efficient tool that can be applied both to business and our daily lives and is imperative in managing tasks efficiently. Sometimes businesses need to outsource their calendar management duties to a virtual office manager, to complete their long pending tasks within a short span of time or rather to manage the daily tasks efficiently, and on time. Now Artificial Intelligence tools have also come up to handle this kind of tasks, but human management works better for diversified situations.
#4 Project Manager Assistance: –
Taking the assistance of a project manager for handling different projects from time to time, is of vital importance. Most companies are project-based and plans different projects from time to time. To successfully launch them on time, project managers are hired to ensure smooth transitioning and functioning.
How To Onboard A Virtual Office Manager?
At first instance, it might seem very difficult, to train a virtual office manager working remotely. But research has shown that employees working remotely are 48% more productive than those working on-site. Also when working remotely, it has been found that employees grasp rather quickly as compared to offline training at the office.
So onboarding a virtual manager might seem challenging, but all thanks to modern technology, it is no more difficult and can be easily achieved with time and effort. But of course, there should be a detailed plan on how to successfully engage a virtual office manager, some of which are listed below:-
#1. Create A Formal Onboarding Plan: –
Research has found that companies with a proper onboarding plan and formal approach to onboarding, are more effective, than those places or companies which keep things informal.
#2. Create A Flexible Time Period For Adjustment: –
Just like you wouldn’t expect an employee working from the office to adapt to the working style of the company overnight. Similarly, you won’t expect it from someone working remotely either. Only when you are confident enough that the person has learned the concepts clearly can you delegate tasks to him/her and start working smoothly.
#3. Give The Virtual Office Manager Full Access: –
Once you give the virtual office manager full access to work, you can realize his efficiency. Following the formal approach of doing it, sounds more promising and has a long-lasting effect on the mind of the newly joined employee who feels more secure, when things are followed in a pattern.
What Makes A Successful Virtual Office Manager?
If you can clarify exactly what you require in a virtual office manager, you may successfully hire a good candidate. Additionally, there are certain checkpoints that need to be verified and clarified.
#1. Create A List Of Administrative Tasks That Take Up Most Of Your Time: –
These should be tasks that are necessary yet are not included to make you productive at work. Moreover tasks that require calendar management, calendar management itself, data sheet maintenance, report generation, tallying etc, consume a lot of time, yet are important to complete on a day-to-day basis. Such tasks can be easily delegated to virtual office manager after training the person about the work conditions, and type.
#2. Hire Someone, Experienced In Standard Office Administration Tasks: –
Virtual office manager, who has previous call center experience, or virtual administration experience can efficiently manage any task on time. Also, a person with a good track record is easier to trust and delegate vital tasks. Therefore such managers can smell success over time if tasks delegated and delivered are satisfactory and on time.
Why Do Small Businesses Need A Virtual Office Manager?
With a virtual office manager, you can delegate any and every task. Apart from some job roles such as sales jobs, engineering jobs, security jobs, all other work requires physical activity. There are plenty of benefits of hiring a virtual manager such as. Let us look at ways on which organizations can save:-
- Saving on employment taxes or professional tax
- Sick leaves and leave encashment
- Space utilities
- Office equipment depreciation
- Depreciation of other office assets
- Employee health insurance
- Overtime charges and so on
#1. The Office Runs Smoothly:
There is a number of specialized virtual office assistants are available in the market belonging to different fields. Hence the whole aim of hiring virtual managers is to ensure that the office runs smoothly. Virtual managers manage the tasks in a more professional and synchronized manner.
The tasks when dedicated to a full-time employee above the responsibilities handled by him/her, becomes a burden on the employee. Since these are not directly related to the productivity of an employee. These tasks are not important from an employee’s point of view but from an organization’s point of view. These are vital and must be completed on time. For eg many government papers works, bill submissions sent letters to government officials, received feedback, and report publishing. They work on huge data sheets containing data on office purchases, made in the last six months.
It’s not a necessity to hire a virtual office manager, nor have we entered a competitive era where hiring virtual assistant is a mandate set by higher officials. It’s really a judgmental call that the company must take if feels it requires an additional person to complete tasks from time to time. The best part is such online managers can be hired at a relatively lower cost than managers who work physically onsite. However, the role of the virtual manager is a promising one and employees can make good money by choosing it.
#2. Creates A Proper Balance:
Today many well-known companies are even fully remote, which does not require any employee to travel to office. Moreover you might ask yourself if it works for them how can it work well even for you? Research has shown an increase in the productivity of employees since the time the organization went totally remote. This happened due to more added satisfaction that they had, working from their own place. Moreover a good balance is there. Hence employees can devote time to other work. Such as while studying there are many who might have had a knack for gardening, reading, cooking, and baking which they could not do due to strict office hours.
Virtual setting results in time management. One can derive the pleasure of mind and happiness. Therefore being happy makes a person more productive and efficient. This further encourages the ability to accept feedback and work on it. Also, a happy and productive person is more open to accepting challenges that might come up on an everyday basis.