Many of us have gotten used to working remotely, but it doesn’t mean we’ve gotten good at it.

If you’re like many people, your home office looks a bit like the Grand Canyon, with stacks of papers and files propped up around computer monitors. You have endless to-do lists that are encroaching on your calendar. Your days seem made up of 90% Zoom meetings, and so many tasks are left undone.

Apparently remote work didn’t mean less work.

In fact, it might have added to the workload because you had to compensate for not being there in person. Maybe the blur of work-life balance even overwhelmed you a bit.

Right now, you’re sure you need to hire a virtual assistant. But you’re a little concerned that if you hire the wrong person, that new virtual assistant will end up adding more work to the pile instead of reducing it.

It’s a tough spot to be in, but you can skip the drama if you understand the magic ingredients that make up a motivated remote team. We’ve come up with five characteristics for stellar remote working relationships so you’ll know what to look for when you go to hire.

Trust Is Non-Negotiable

We can’t overemphasize that one of the most important qualities to look for when hiring a virtual assistant is finding someone you can trust. It’s one of the pillars of successful remote working relationships, and can actually make or break your team.

Virtual assistants have high-trust positions. They’re dealing with clients, your finances, scheduling meetings and travel, and managing your email. They have access to the most important things in your business (and sometimes personal) life.

If you can’t trust your virtual assistant, you’re going to limit how much help they can be. That doesn’t create a working relationship, and it definitely doesn’t help with your workload. You’ll end up spending time managing them instead of trusting them to do the work.

Trust is built through frequent communication and avoiding micromanagement so your virtual assistant has a chance to show you what they can do. Establishing ground rules and expectations early on also helps. But those are things you do after you’ve hired a virtual assistant. How do you choose someone who will be trustworthy?

You’ll look at references and experience, of course. But you should also consider that people you can trust are often found in organizations you can trust. It’s one of the reasons it matters how and where you find your virtual assistant.

Think of it like this: trust grows more trust.

When your virtual assistant comes from a culture where trust is bedrock, they are able to trust and be trusted. At Boldly, one of the reasons we have a thoughtful approach in hiring team members is because we know that you’re counting on us to provide you with a virtual assistant you can rely on.

Trust is a core principle of how we build our culture and community, and that is passed on to you.

Great Work Culture Promotes Growth

We’ve heard the stories.

Someone desperately needs a virtual assistant. They post a job description somewhere and choose an assistant based on their skills and experience. Or maybe they decide to use a company that has a pool of virtual assistants that they’ll assign as needed, or simply hire an independent contractor directly.

Basically, they do what they usually would to hire a traditional employee: recruitment or going to a temp agency. They technically get someone to help them with the work, but it’s not the forward-moving work relationship they imagined.

Maybe you’re thinking of doing the same. You’re not sure how to find the perfect virtual assistant, but you figure it’ll look something like that traditional model.

Go that route, and you’ll miss out on the benefits of a virtual assistant who’s rooted in a great culture, because great culture makes a great team.

A solid work culture is closely associated with better performance, and improves team members ability to adapt to change. People feel valued and have a sense of purpose. Remote work can be isolating, so it’s important to be connected to a team through the culture.

Boldly’s culture is unique in the remote work world. We’ve strived to build a virtual company culture that helps our team members thrive. When you hire a virtual assistant through Boldly, you get the benefits of the culture that we built and maintain.

Freedom To Choose Is Empowering

When people trust each other, there’s freedom to choose.

One of the reasons we created a system for matching clients with the perfect virtual assistant is that it gives both parties a chance to decide if it’s a good fit or not. Being able to choose is empowering, and it leads to long-term satisfaction.

Clients should be able to say no. Virtual assistants should be able to say no. Getting this wrong at the start sets everyone up for failure. For us, it all starts with how we hire virtual assistants for our team, and how we connect them with clients who are a good fit with what Boldly stands for.

A remote team with the freedom to choose is a strong team. When you hire a virtual assistant, find an agency that embraces the freedom to choose in their entire recruitment, selection, and matching process.

Great Remote Teams Embrace Challenge

People choose to work as virtual assistants for a lot of reasons. Work-life balance is high on the list, but so is the love of variety. And usually, if they love variety, they love a challenge.

That is great news for you. Change, crises, or sudden surprises don’t phase someone who likes a challenge. It’s what they thrive on. They pull every new experience in as something learned, and they are ready to use it down the road.

Boldly brings in clients who need a large cross-section of services, which means variety is part of our DNA. We’ve built our team by finding people who love a challenge and are seeking variety in their work day. They get to work with different clients who have different expectations and are in different industries. It gives them a chance to constantly learn new things.

When you hire a virtual assistant, look for someone who isn’t afraid of a challenge, and who loves variety in their work.

Greater Flexibility Means Long-Term Success

Organizations that last do so because they’re flexible.

Their people are able to adapt to change. The organization itself is flexible, weaving through trends and roadblocks.

Virtual work lends itself to being flexible. It’s less controlled than traditional work settings where the start time and location of workers is defined. But for it to work, each remote team member has to be flexible, someone who’s open-minded and able to deal with change.

We understand that. It’s one of the things we look for when we recruit team members. Plus, our entire subscription staffing model is built on knowing that you need flexibility to succeed today. We get that your needs change, and you have to be able to scale up and down in many areas, including how much help you need from your virtual assistant.

A team that can adapt to change, is rooted in great culture, and is connected through trust—this is like the unicorn of virtual assistant hires. That’s hard to find on your own.

Are you looking for someone to just churn through your to-do lists, or are you wanting a motivated team member? The former clears the inbox, the latter helps grow your business.

You can hire a virtual assistant on your own, or you can come to us and take the guesswork out of it. Getting started on the right foot is as easy as contacting us to find that perfect remote team member today!