APU acts as a humanlike colleague; it’s not just a simple bulletin board. This is one of the reasons why a Virtual Project Assistant carries a real face. Give yourself a minute and imagine it’s a person.
It can take a few weeks at least, not only a couple of days, for a new colleague to be fully trained and integrated. Months can pass before you actually start to benefit from your live worker. Please, forget for a while how much time and money the previous searching process (advertisements, interviews) cost. Let’s consider the cost of equipment and working tools only, then all the energy and time of colleagues who help with the training of a newcomer. Add wage costs including social security and health insurance (levies) - regardless of whether the onboarding process will be successful.
“It takes three weeks to find the right door on the first try”, says one of our clients. And she’s not the only one. The onboarding process takes between one and three months in most companies, depending on the complexity of the job and the newcomer’s previous experience.
You need to explain to a new colleague what the company does and for whom, introduce to other colleagues in individual teams, the teamwork style, the working environment and the company’s contracts, the rules for communication. We pass on corporate know-how. We dedicate our time and the time of our colleagues to them. We do this to achieve a single goal with one expectation: after a trial period, they will work autonomously, create added value for the company as a whole and be beneficial for their colleagues. In other words, our investment will pay back. If we’re successful, it can take several months, sometimes years.
The onboarding process of APU is almost identical. You only need to subtract all uncomfortable aspects.
APU starts as a very junior intern. It literally absorbs all the information from you like a sponge. It immediately and permanently remembers everything that you tell about the company and the teams. The more time and energy you invest in the beginning, the more you get back. Immediately. No waiting and uncertainties.
APU needs to know its colleagues and their roles, working time, their agenda in the calendar, what they’re working on, which projects they’re involved in, what the company’s priorities are, as well as deadlines that are binding and must be met. It does not care who works full-time or part-time, whether one is an internal or external team member. It cares whom, when and for what can be used.
Once it gets the necessary information, which is usually a matter of hours, the junior intern becomes an executive assistant. It turns on its IT skills and, in just a few seconds, it sets up optimal work schedules for the entire company, fully taking into account all the requirements mentioned above. It will not forget anything, and if you did not make a mistake when entering the inputs, you will get the perfect result.
It will immediately reveal what can and can’t be accomplished in real. Who will slow down other colleagues because they won’t be able to get the job done (none of us – unless we are robots – can work 24/7 at full pace). It will calculate when the job can actually be done. It’s up to the project manager or company management what they do with the information – whether to support the team more or move the deadline.
For each team member, APU prepares a “to do list” or task list, carefully sorted according to priorities. The important tasks are “in the first row”; the less important ones can be found at the end of the list. Of course, you can start working on any of them, but it pays off to follow the APU recommendations.
From the first assignment (since the first task is placed), it carefully keeps the company on “the right track”. Non-stop. It responds immediately to any changes of a team member (e.g. a new meeting in the calendar), checks all schedules and performs adjustments if necessary.
Further education? APU can learn from every common task, project, and change. Each additional step will make it possible to plan a little better (based on previous experience).
Notice? You won’t like to give one, but if so – it’s only a matter of minutes. No severance pay. Simply contract termination in a second. At most, your real team can protest because they already got used to their APU.
Thus, the most difficult task when hiring APU is to agree on its name.
APU does not make mistakes, it’s always full of energy, does not go for vacation or is sick, does not leave before the end of the trial period, does not make phone calls in the office, does not drink loads of coffee, does not envy. It’s always in a good mood. It loves constant changes and complex tasks. It never objects, nor criticizes anybody or anything. It receives information and offers possible ways to accomplish goals.
APU is emotionless. It does not recognize when we’re tired. It will never replace a human. However, it can replace unproductive work so that we humans can create, develop our company, and ourselves and have time for what’s TRULY important.