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Top Tips for Managing Freelancers and Independent Contractors

Once upon a time, every employee needed to be up and early, and in the office first thing in the morning. Nowadays, though, you will oftentimes see minimalist office spaces with a couple of teams managing entire brands you know have tens of employees on their payroll. So, what’s going on? Why aren’t people at their desks?

They are, but their desks are not all in the same space, as the modern business world is increasingly turning to freelancers and independent contractors as a way to cut extraneous spending, and most importantly, access the world’s premium talent pool. However, it’s important to note that managing a remote team is a challenging task that requires plenty of preparation and meticulous execution, so let’s take a look at the five effective tips that will maximize your investment in freelancers and independent contractors.

Set clear expectations and job requirements

There are numerous benefits of strategic goal setting and delegation, but if you want to maximize the potential of your freelancers and contractors in order to propel your brand forward as a whole, setting clear goals and expectations should become your no.1 priority. It’s not just about getting work done on a daily basis, it’s also about making their lives easier by giving them a clear scope of duties and responsibilities. After all, order in the workplace, digital or otherwise, breeds productivity.

With that in mind, be sure to craft detailed job descriptions for every position, and make sure your new remote employees know exactly what’s expected of them. Likewise, the employee should know their rights in order to have equal standing in the company as your office employees – remember, your freelancers are just as important as the people you see around the office every day.

Define goals for every team member

Speaking of expectations and requirements, your remote workers need to know what they are working towards at all times in order to maintain peak productivity and retain a certain level of quality that justifies their position in the company. In other words, you need to set clear goals and objectives for every team member that will allow them to do their job in an efficient and effective way.

Keep in mind that remote workers don’t have the privilege of knocking on your office door whenever they have a question and asking for your help. No, they are somewhere at their computers, trying to make sense of a poorly-defined set of goals and working with what they’ve got. Be sure to make their lives easier by making every goal and objective as crystal-clear as possible, and do make yourself available online for any additional clarifications.

Use contracts to raise accountability

The contractual obligation between the employer and the employee is the glue that keeps the business world together. Whether the employee sits in your very office or on a beach somewhere on the far side of the globe, your employee needs to be contractually bound to your firm in order to eliminate liability for both parties. The same applies to all of your professional bonds with other independent vendors and freelancers.

Fail to get them to sign a contract, and you will expose your company to legal and financial risks down the road. This is exactly why companies are increasingly using business document templates such as contracts that can be modified for each of those relationships as a quick and efficient way to protect both parties and allow for a smooth business transaction. Signing a contract means that your work is protected, but also assures the freelancer that you are a company they can trust.

Build a trusting relationship

And speaking of trust, understand that working with a remote team is not a simple supply-and-demand process. You need to actively work towards creating a trusting relationship between your team members and the brand, in order to retain talent and motivate your freelancers to give it their all on a daily basis. Otherwise, what is their incentive to utilize their talents and expertise to their fullest potential? A fat paycheck? That’s no longer enough.

Trust in the workplace is what creates a passionate and motivated team, it makes communication easier, and it also elevates accountability and transparency among team members. In turn, all of this will help your remote workers to feel like a part of the brand, and motivate them to work towards your goals as a unit.

Uphold clear lines of communication

Clear and transparent communication is another prerequisite for a thriving digital team, simply because there is a lot that can fall through the proverbial cracks when you and your colleagues are not working under the same roof. In order to avoid miscommunication and reduce the noise that hinders productivity, be sure to set clear lines of communication based on hierarchy, relevance, proper procedure, and of course, trust and honesty.

Moreover, be sure to make yourself readily available on all online platforms such as your group chat or team management app, email, and other. Respond to questions promptly to maintain team efficiency, and use your leadership skills to help resolve every issue as quickly as possible.

In closing

In the digital business world, there is no reason why you shouldn’t outsource menial and crucial processes to cut extraneous expenditure and access the top talent in the industry. With these five tips in mind, you should have no problem managing a thriving team of freelancers for years to come.

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