The workplace is continually evolving, and with it, the types of team members companies rely on. Today, instead of forcing employees to be on-premise all the time, companies recognize the value of remote work and have team members all over the world. Once this shift took place, many companies realized that their team members do not need to be salaried employees but can be remote freelancers instead.
Having freelancers as an integral part of your team is a great way to get top talent for cost-effective prices; however, it brings with it its fair share of challenges. One of the main challenges business face when working with remote freelancers is how to manage remote team members that are not full-time employees.
Fortunately, there are ways to make working with remote freelancers seamless and effective, as you will see below:
Have an Onboarding Process in Place
One of the main benefits of working with freelancers is the fact that it is a cost-effective solution for an immediate need. However, if there is no on-boarding process in place, the cost-effectiveness of freelancers may decline – especially if you a looking to work with freelancers over a long period of time.
That is why businesses looking to work with freelancers need to have an on-boarding process that conveys their company mission, values, and culture. Not only will this help freelancers understand your needs better, but it will make them feel valued, fostering a stronger, more meaningful connection with your brand.
The onboarding process should include an overview of your company as well as the relevant internal documentation for the project the freelancer will be working on. If there are technical requirements, such as setting up a VPN or file share system, make sure your IT team is prepared in advance to make the technical on-boarding seamless. Be sure to introduce freelance members to other employees and make sure they are virtually connected to your office in every way possible.
Rely on Virtual Tools for Everything
Since freelancers are, by nature, remote team members, it is vital to have virtual team management and communication tools in place beyond traditional emails. Having such tools will help make the work process efficient and help monitor project process with ease.
Project management tools such as Asana, Trello or Monday are great ways to set goals and establish deadlines for deliverables. If you do not have a file sharing system, using cloud solutions such as Google Drive/Google Docs or Dropbox can make it easier to share files and work in tandem. If working with freelancers on an hourly basis, time management and tracking tools such as Time Doctor, Basecamp and Toggl all offer a good solution for remote management of your resources.
In addition to monitoring the work progress, it is important to communicate with freelancers directly. Real-time communication solutions such as Slack are ideal for companies that have multiple projects going on and want to organize team communications efficiently. It is also a good idea to have a virtual solution for face-to-face meetings such as Google Hangouts or Zoom.
Treat Freelancers Like Employees
While they may not be officially on your payroll, freelancers are just as crucial to your team as in-house employees.
To make work with remote freelancers effective, cost-efficient and a positive experience for all, remember to treat freelancers with respect. This includes providing freelancers with adequate feedback on their output and setting attainable goals.
Since freelancers are often selected because they are experts in their field, it is important to remember to treat them as such. Instead of micro-managing freelancers, make sure they have the space they need to provide you with the best outcome.
If your remote freelancers come from different cultures and work in different time zones, be considerate of these differences and make sure that all team members are aware of them.
Pay Freelancers on Time
Freelancers provide you with work, and in exchange, they expect to be paid the agreed upon amount by the agreed upon date.
As a business hiring freelancers, you can control the payment method and pick one that helps you manage payments with ease. Global payment solutions such as Payoneer are ideal for companies that work with remote freelancers all over the world and want to manage payment in multiple currencies through multiple banking systems effectively.
If you pay your freelancers, treat them with respect, and have the right onboarding process, communication and project management tools in place, there is no reason why you should not be able to effectively work with them to scale your business.