15 replies
We are getting ready to hire some Filipino VA's and Im wondering if they should work on my schedule or their own. What is the norm? I dont want to micro manage, but Id feel more comfortable if I could get a question answered during my business hours. Thanks in advance
#mine #time #work
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    You can work it either way. For a good VA you may want to make exceptions. Remember why people work online though - most are here to avoid the ridiculous schedules that they have offline, so it might be hard to find good help if you are too inflexible. Of course, by saying this I am assuming that you are somewhere like the US, UK, or AU and planning on outsourcing cheap from the Philippines or the like.

    There is a compromise for you also as even someone half way around the world will have some of their normal waking time overlap with your own. Guess you just have to see who's available that is really competent, then see what kind of compromises you can work.

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  • Profile picture of the author sadiecopywriter
    I'm no accountant, but I do know (from my accountant) that if you set the time then they're an employee, not an outsourcer. This means you pay more (and different) taxes.

    Also, you would be limiting yourself because those who might be better want more freedom and might not want to work with you. Also, do you know the time zones over there? Your business hours and theirs might not be the same…

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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    Well, it really depends on the VA. For mine, I don't care when they work as long as they provide quality work and meet deadlines. I do ask that they turn on Skype or another instant messenger when they are working so I can get in touch with them quickly if needed though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Winlin
    You can likely get a VA to work the hours you want, if you're willing to pay a little extra. I do, however, see two issues that may make your need for spontaneous control problematic.

    #1 If you expect someones best work, you will likely get it during traditional business hours (theirs), rather than asking them to work through the night

    #2- You are probably limiting the number of quality candidates that would be interested in the position if you are mandating that they work a non-traditional schedule.

    -just my thoughts
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    • Profile picture of the author bitriot
      If having your outsourcer work similar hours to your own is important, consider hiring an outsourcer from central America such as Costa Rica.
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  • Profile picture of the author davejug1
    It's a difficult one since they are the ones working at bad times. Personally I would hire a project coordinator over there who will be your go-between, means you only need to converse with one rather than all of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author pinkmaddy
    The "norm" is that they work during their normal waking hours. Some have jobs outside of the home and take on VA work during their evenings to supplement their income. It's safe to say that asking them to be available during your work hours is a little much. Perhaps you could agree on a period during your early morning and their late evening where both of you are available to answer questions. You might also consider the quality of work that would be a result of someone working during the "night shift." I think you should go into your work arrangements with the expectation that communication will have a 24 turnaround time.

    An extra piece of advice is to be crystal clear in your assignment instructions. The more clarity and explanation (including examples) the less chance for error and miscommunication that leads to back and forth "clarifying" emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    You don't really have to micromanage if your VA team is good. The best way is to keep weekly meetings for feedback and let them work at their own time and you stick to your's

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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I have found that most virtual assistants work on their own pace. It is their hours and if they are college students they might not always be available due to exams coming up. For a VA the hours are long and pay is minimum. Hate to say it, but anyone with talent will soon be moving on.
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  • It depends if it's a one-off outsourcer or an established member of my staff.

    If it is indeed an established staff member who's paid a monthly salary, ANYONE who's in my team (and thus is paid a salary by ME), must work on MY time and must be available on skype during my working hours. I don't mind paying extra, but immediate skype availability is crucial for me.

    What good is an employee if I cannot directly contact him whenever I need him?
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    • Profile picture of the author DSTeam
      From my own experience it all comes down to money... pay a VA more and eventually you'll find one willing to work at any time YOU desire/need to.

      As long as you pay him/her on time you'll pretty much have it your way.
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  • Profile picture of the author revstan
    It depends on the quality of the VA. If he does something simple like creating articles, it isn't really necessary to work on the same time as you, as long as they deliver the articles.

    Is he/she managing a bunch of your site, than it maybe useful for you to have the VA work at the same time.

    Just determine what you like on account of the job you have given the VA.

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  • Profile picture of the author elitesalesgroup
    Thank you.. The one we are hiring tommorrow is doing Web Development. The others we plan to hire will be doing SEO. I think I will let him work his own hours. I want to keep him happy and he does a really good job.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
    It all depends on time-zones and what not. - However, I personally just tell anyone I outsource to that I want something done by the given time. Do it whenever you want. For example I may need something done and I give them lets say 3 days in advance. They can either do it straight away or last minute. It's up to them aslong as the quality doesn't suffer.
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Originally Posted by elitesalesgroup View Post

    We are getting ready to hire some Filipino VA's and Im wondering if they should work on my schedule or their own. What is the norm? I dont want to micro manage, but Id feel more comfortable if I could get a question answered during my business hours. Thanks in advance
    Hey elitesalesgroup, you're the boss in this situation (so-to-speak), so you can set specific time-frames of accessibility as a contract requirement.
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