How To Effectively Manage A Freelance Team
Freelancing isn’t a trend that has surfaced recently, although it has picked up pace now, it has been going around for quite some time. Everyone has at least once in the professional life worked from the comfort of their homes or have hit that ON SWITCH on their laptops, surrounded by the surreal beauty of nature. With the rise of millennials, there has been a rise in flexible work policies. We live in an era where we can’t bind talent to a chair and a desk from 9 to 5, millennials wish to work from wherever they want and whenever they want. And if you look at some of the studies conducted by renowned institutions, you will realize that freelancers are more productive than their in-house counterparts.
It’s no surprise that every company wants such talent to be a part of their team, but it’s not entirely easy to find such talent. Even if you do build a freelance team successfully, the other part of the equation which is hard to solve is, managing that team effectively.
Now don’t let this get your hopes down, managing a freelance team is a bit tedious than leading an in-house team, but, if you do things right, there is no other bliss like working with a freelance unit, and it’s sure that all your efforts will pay off and you’ll rise victorious.
As people have a tough time managing a freelance team, why don’t we take a more in-depth look at the things you should do to make your management effective. I’ve got some handy tips and tricks you can implement in your routine and see the magic happen.
This is the point I like to emphasize a lot every time I write a blog related to freelancing and the freelance team because we often overlook effective communication in freelance team. Communicating as much as you can is necessary. You’ve got to take into consideration the fact that you don’t have the privilege of bumping into your coworkers as you do in your office, so there is less chance of hitting up a conversation, be it about work or after work plans. There are certain things you can do to ensure that your team is communicating freely and effectively.
- Have an open chat room:
Keep a chat room open for each team where they can freely leave messages for their team members, it’s essential to make people feel connected as a team, but make sure that people don’t go overboard and start distracting one another.
You can also keep a chat room open for chats which aren’t related to the business, kind of like a water cooler talk session.
- Choose the right medium for communication:
The channel you use for communication is as important as the message itself. Hence it’s inexorable to select the channel wisely. For instance, if you want to have a quick conversation with your colleague about a project you are working on, it’s best to use email. It’s a win-win situation, you have a discussion and the log of it. So you’ve got proof if things go south.
For real-time interaction there are so many chats and video conference applications, use one that suits you the best.
2. Encourage Transparency:
Now, this is like killing two birds with one stone kind of a situation. You are managing a freelance team, your team looks up to you, so it’s your responsibility to bring that leadership quality in action and lead by example. The most important factor behind any successful team is trust; your squad won’t interact with each other, discuss topics and opinions unless you do it. It’s your responsibility to show them the ropes and harbor a culture of trust and transparency.
Get your team involved in the decisions you’re making, share the company’s vision, mission, and objectives. Let your squad align their goals with the company’s goal, set clear and feasible goals for them, also spare some time to talk about things other than work.
This one is quite tricky as every member of your team might be in a different time zone. But it’s possible, and a lot of companies have been doing it for a long time now.
Meetings are the best practices to understand your team members, what they are working on, are they facing any difficulties and how they can be solved. We at RemotePanda usually conduct daily stand-ups with our remote teams to stay on the same page, to know and plan out schedule and tasks for the day, and to solve the challenges faced by our development and marketing teams.
The best part about these virtual meetings is that you don’t have to worry if one of the team members won’t be able to make it to the meeting. As everyone is working from the comfort of their zone, some might join from home, some from a coffee shop, but one thing is for sure, it’s always going to be a fun and collaborative meeting.
This one tops the list of analyzing all the employees. Well, that’s fair, you’re only as worthy as your productivity. But again some things hinder you from achieving your real potential and goals. The worst part is that when you’re working remotely, there is nobody to nudge you in the right direction or send that jolt of energy when you’re feeling lethargic, so, here’s what you can do to ensure your team stays productive all the time.
Establish a process:
Business tends to fall apart when it doesn’t have specific methods or systems in place. Your team is your biggest asset, so it’s imperative to set proper processes for the team to follow. The co-located team members can work with minimum procedures in place, as they have the liberty to talk to their peers whenever they face an obstacle or are just bored staring at the computer screen, but when it comes to a remote team, each member is working from their comfort zone and might set processes which are suitable to them. It becomes tough to collaborate when everyone is working according to their methods and when those processes don’t mesh well with each other.
So it’s better to document or standardized specific processes that your team can follow to achieve most of their goals efficiently.
Make room for consistency along with the freedom of flexible working:
The privilege to work from anywhere and anytime, of course, that’s what remote work is all about, but it’s necessary to have a degree of consistency along with it. Can you imagine how hard it would be if you set up a conference call and only half the team shows up while the other half is doing laundry or feeding their cats? Thus, the point of consistency, with great freedom comes great responsibility.
Tracking work output:
One of the most critical aspects of measuring an employee’s productivity, OUTPUT!
Whether your team is co-located or virtual, measuring your employees’ productivity is a must. You need to be clear about the goals and tasks of your employees and set some Key Performance Indicators(KPI) to measure their performance. It helps in gauging if your employees are really being productive or just pretending to be.
I hope all the above points gave you a deeper insight into the ways of maintaining effective management between remote team members. If you have questions related to managing a remote team, let us know in the comments section below.
RemotePanda is a personalized platform for companies to hire remote talent and get the quality work delivered from the city Pune. The resources in our talent pool are our close network connections. While connecting them with you, we make sure to manage the quality, growth, legalities, and the delivery of their work. The idea is to make remote work successful for you.
Get in touch with us to learn why RemotePanda is the best fit solution for your business requirements.