In today’s competitive business environment, smaller businesses are always looking for cost-effective ways of growing their business. One viable solution to this problem is to hire a remote working team of freelancers.

However, the idea of operating with a remote team is one that many business owners may find difficult to support. For most people, it is hard to overcome the fear of lack of trust, accountability, and managing a team that’s spread across so many different time zones.

But in spite of these fears, one thing to keep in mind is that remote teams can make a real difference if managed the right way. This requires a change in mindset and a better understanding of what motivates and drives remote workers.

Source: wrike.com

 

Managing a Remote Freelancer Team Effectively

Managing remote freelance teams might appear challenging, but it has the potential to be a highly beneficial move for your business when approached correctly. Below are several key strategies to effectively manage your freelance workforce.

 

1. The Scope of Work Should Be Clearly Defined

It’s highly recommended to begin defining the scope of work even before you source your freelancers. This entails setting up the duties that should be carried out, establishing what skills need to be attained so that tasks are able to be finished correctly, and the general time frames that need to be complied with.

Clear work scopes can prevent confusion and reduce misunderstandings later on. It also helps in determining whether potential freelancers are compatible with your project. Just remember, the more specific your work is, the more the probability of being an ideal client increases, and you will attract a higher caliber of talent.

 

2. Source Talent Diligently

Once you’ve established the work scope, begin scouting for freelancers to join your team. Each business has its own method of finding freelancers. Some common places to look are job boards, social media platforms, and freelance marketplaces.

When hiring freelancers, don’t only focus on the skills and experience they have. Pay attention to their communication manner, working times, and comments from previous clients. A freelancer may be very competent, but if they do not communicate well or aren’t available when you need them most, then that person might not match your business.

It is also good to begin with a small project or trial period to test the work ethic and quality of output of an independent contractor before diving into long term business relationship.

 

3. Set Transparent Guidelines

It’s crucial to set transparent guidelines for your virtual freelance team, especially considering the absence of in-person training. This involves clarifying roles, setting timelines, and defining what constitutes successful performance. These measures will ensure clear communication and increase efficiencies across your entire team.

Make sure your freelancers are well-informed with a detailed briefing that covers all critical aspects of the project. This should include explicit goals, timelines, and expected outputs, along with any particular rules or quality standards they need to adhere to.

Additionally, it’s essential to convey your expectations about communication clearly. Specify the frequency of updates you expect, your preferred communication channels, and the anticipated turnaround time for responses. This approach helps maintain alignment, reduces chances of miscommunication, and cultivates a more effective working relationship.

 

4. Choose an Effective Project Management Tool

In remote work scenarios, proficient communication and teamwork are essential. Investing in an effective project management tool can significantly improve these areas.

Project management tools facilitate straightforward task distribution and empower you to track your team’s progress, exchange documents, and work collaboratively, irrespective of geographic location. There are a number of platforms you can work within, with some of the common choices being Monday.com, Trello, and Asana.

These tools can be instrumental when maintaining team responsibility and provide a consolidated platform for all project-specific details. This aggregation simplifies the monitoring of all project elements and helps to quickly recognize and resolve any potential bottlenecks.

 

5. Monitor Performance and Offer Constructive Feedback

It’s important to consistently monitor the performance of your freelancers. This ensures that projects are progressing smoothly and allows for the early detection and resolution of any larger issues.

Keep an eye on tasks regularly and take the time to evaluate how well tasks are being completed. This will give you the opportunity to regularly offer constructive feedback. This should be done often and even before the project concludes to save time and resources.

Feedback should be clear, practical, and fair. Acknowledge commendable work while also discussing opportunities for improvement. This approach encourages ongoing team development and skill enhancement, which provides value to everyone involved.

 

6. Promote Transparent Communication

Clear and open dialogue is essential for the success of remote teams. Motivate your freelancers to raise questions, contribute ideas, and express any concerns. This creates an inclusive atmosphere where each member feels appreciated and heard.

Establish a regular meeting or check-in where you can all discuss the developments in projects, how to handle problems and ensure everyone is on track. There are plenty of manager training tools you can use to facilitate video calls or team chat – just make sure they balance cost with effectiveness for your company.

 

7. Streamline Your Payment Systems

Since a good number of freelancers work with more than one client, it is important to put in place efficient systems for quick and efficient payments. This makes sure they’re promptly paid for their work and also helps to maintain the trust between all parties involved.

Freelancers don’t always prefer the same payment methods, so it is important that this is discussed and agreed upon before beginning a relationship. The important thing is that the system you put in place is easy to track and prioritizes security for everyone.

When you decide to hire a contractor rather than an employee, keep in mind that if you want to get the best results out of your cooperation, then you should treat them as an important part of your team. This means viewing payroll like any other employee and ensuring that your payment systems are efficient and timely.

Source: linkedin.com

 

Get the Most Out of Your Freelancers

Positioning your remote team for success requires taking proactive measures

To achieve the best results from your freelancers, it’s important to set clearly defined objectives and establish long-term working relationships based on open communication and mutual trust.

By doing so, you will not only ensure more successful projects but also build a great network of capable professionals for further collaborations.

 

 

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Cecilia Gorman is a veteran of the advertising industry and the owner of Creative Talent Partners, a training consultancy that specializes in the development of rising managers and their teams. Whether it’s a team offsite, a manager workshop or through her online Manager Boot Camp course, Cecilia’s sole pursuit is adding value to growth-focused employees.

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