There are multiple reasons why your company may need to contract remote freelance services. In fact, there is a lot of value in using freelancers for various tasks and functions. When the time calls for it, a freelancer can fill a temporary need or even become a more permanent recurring feature on projects. That being said, for all the advantages, there are a few challenges to circumvent as well. Below you can find four tips for successfully managing remote freelance workers for any company.
1. Have a Clear Contractual Expectation
The most effective asset is a clear contract that sets out the expectations of the freelancer plus any terms of the company to abide by. This should be acknowledged and signed by each relevant party, i.e., the hirer and the freelancer. Usually, freelancers are Adhoc by nature which means you may employ them for a set project timeframe, but with deadlines as opposed to stipulated hours. It is hard to enforce a schedule on someone who, by the nature of their employment choices, works flexibly and remotely.
2. Specify the project scope
When you are working with remote freelance professionals, it is important to specify the project scope in detail. This includes determining the goals and deliverables for the project, allocating time and resources, and setting expectations for quality.
The goals should include an objective of what you hope to accomplish, and any deadlines or milestones established by you and/or the freelancer, such as a preliminary plan (timeline or outline) for the completion of major tasks or possibly a deadline for a final deliverable.
The deliverables should clearly define what products, services, or results are expected from the freelancer’s work and specify how those items will be delivered (in what format). It is also important to outline expectations regarding communication between you and the freelancer as well as any other factors that need to be considered when determining successful project completion
3. Fine-Tune the Payment Agendas
Companies tend to offer a few payment options depending on what their freelancers request. This is decided by each business as per their regulations. There are third-party payment channels to consider or direct bank transfers. Make your payment schedules widely available, and have clear instructions regarding invoices. It is important to adapt for any international payments as well, as these will perform differently to payments in your country. Platforms like Ria Money Transfer offer straightforward solutions to accessing reliable international payment options which ensure nothing is delayed and everyone gets their remuneration without unnecessary hiccups.
4. Always Review Portfolios
Freelancers may boast years of experience, but they need to back it up with evidence. This is typically in the shape of a portfolio to showcase their prior engagements and abilities. For example, a content writer may provide previous pieces of work or show you what they can do by providing a sample set to a brief. Either way, it is always beneficial to verify skills and experience before agreeing to a contract. That way, there are no surprises down the line, and you will have greater confidence that the freelancer is the best fit for the output goal.
5. Utilize communication tools
When outsourcing work to remote freelancers, having reliable communication tools is essential. It can be difficult to ensure all parties are on the same page without consistent and clear communication. Utilizing online tools such as project management applications, secure messaging, video conferencing and discussion forums can provide large companies with a platform for streamlined communication between freelance workers, ensuring tasks are handled efficiently and effectively.
Project management applications provide the opportunity for multiple users to manage resources, set timelines and collaborate across a distributed workforce in today’s business world. This structure helps ensure projects stay on track, deadlines are met, budget is controlled and quality of work is maintained at a consistent high standard. Furthermore, statistics show that those who use project management applications report completing projects on-time up to 89% of the time — this percentage increases when this type of tool is used consistently by all members of the team.
6. Schedule regular check-ins
It’s important to give your remote freelancers the space they need to do their work without micromanaging them. However, checking in regularly helps ensure that projects stay on track and both parties are making progress toward their goals. During check-ins, you can monitor time management and expectations for quality delivery by also setting individual project milestones with deadlines that both parties agree on beforehand. This structure gives everyone an idea of what is expected from them in order for projects to reach successful completion.
7. Training is Still Relevant
While freelancers are primarily hired in as experts on a project, they will still need some form of training to catch up with your particular company’s style of executing briefs. Everyone has a different way of working, so it is vital to get in sync before the contract begins officially. Training may take a few hours, but the output will be much more in line with the brand vision, so it is undeniably worth the time. It also eliminates the need for re-doing work and having to revisit briefs throughout the timeline which can cost money and waste time for everyone involved.
8. Provide feedback
Provide frequent constructive communication via email, phone calls, or video conferencing. Share your expectations with them in terms of timeframe, quality standards, the volume of work, and any other details that would help them to perform better in their job. It is also important to offer recognition for tasks done properly and let them know when they have made a significant effort that merits commendation.
Give honest evaluations and provide assessments on request. If any project does not meet desired standards, discuss it openly and use the conversation as an opportunity to provide actionable recommendations that have the potential to improve their work going forward. Similarly, if they have done exceptional work, celebrate it—gratitude can go a long way in enhancing morale!
Freelancers are extremely useful individuals for a range of purposes. Companies use them to streamline project outputs and implement a range of services for their overarching goals. Successful management takes a holistic approach!