Freelancing is one of the biggest and most lucrative options for professionals in the world. Today, one can choose to freelance in any profession in any industry. Whether you are a digital marketer or an engineer, self-employment has become one of the best choices for experienced professionals. So much that as per a Forbes forecast report, one in two people in US and UK will be a freelancer by 2020. Freelancers are definitely taking over the world, and that means there are more people to manage.
Managing people has been one of the top professions in the world since time immemorial, and with freelancers, it is not any different. Companies around the world hire freelancers to get work done. But, before that they hire freelance managers, whose job is to manage these freelancers who are spread across the globe in the virtual workplace. While it is up to the freelancers to get the tasks at hand done in the stipulated time, it is the job of the managers to ensure that the tasks actually get done. Sometimes the managers also don the cap of talent hunters and themselves hire the freelancers through online agencies such as Upwork and Fiverr.
So, what are the tactics used by these managers to secure the virtual taskforce? How do they make certain that the tasks at hand are carried out in time, especially when freelancers are spread over different time zones and without meeting them in person? Put your doubts to rest and read these top 7 tactics used by managers. The following list was prepared by interviewing tens of freelance managers around the world.
1. Setting clear objectives
While most managers prefer to make the objectives and scope clear in the initial stage (i.e. hiring) itself, it is important to go over them periodically until the project ends or moves to another level. For example, if you have hired a freelance writer, it is best to mention the expected word count, style of writing, target audience, platform, and keywords along with the purpose of the content and its deadline. According to an online report, about 98% freelancers work best when they have clear guidelines about a job.
2. Track larger teams with a freelance agency
While managing bigger teams with freelancers who have different responsibilities, it becomes important for managers to keep a track of all the developments. WritersDepartment is a popular freelance writing agency that managers can use to track their freelancers’ performance.
3. Weekly meetings
We all know that nothing substantial happens in real-life business meetings. But the opposite is true in the virtual workplace. Managers can align the works of freelancers and get an update through a fixed meeting at the start of the week, where assignments for that week can also be discussed.
4. An open chat room
In today’s world of instant messaging, there’s nothing like having an open chat available 24 hours a day for freelancers to communicate with each other and with their manager.
5. Meet in person
For freelancers who have been working for you long-term, it becomes imperative that you meet them at least once in person. National boundaries should not come in between this activity, as the pay-off is usually very high. Freelancers feel connected when managers take the effort for a team meet-up, and therefore, stay with them for years.
In virtual teams, the biggest thing that affects productivity is a lack of transparency between the freelancers. It is up to the manager to let one freelancer know what the others are doing, at least superficially, especially when his/her job is related to theirs.
7. Use different strategies with different freelancers/teams
Not every person is made equal, and it is up to the manager to gauge these differences in his/her team members while assigning and measuring tasks.
Conclusively, these are the top tactics that managers use to organize and oversee their virtual teams in the current freelance ecosystem. We hope you will implement these tactics to embrace professional success, as we inch closer to a world where every other professional will soon be a freelancer.