Repeat after me: Managing remote freelancers is different to managing office staff. It’s really important to recognise this fact when working with freelancers. Fail to do so and your freelancer may be left feeling frustrated and undervalued. In this article, we’ve compiled a few simple tips and tricks to help you manage remote freelancers and develop positive relationships with them.
Repeat after me: Managing remote freelancers is different to managing office staff.
It’s really important to recognise this fact when working with freelancers.
Fail to do so and your freelancer may be left feeling frustrated and undervalued.
In this article, we’ve compiled a few simple tips and tricks to help you manage remote freelancers and develop positive relationships with them.
1. Be clear on rates and dates
Probably the most important tip for anyone planning to work with freelancers remotely.
Before your freelancer starts a project, make sure they’re happy with your proposed rate and payment date.
I know this is an obvious enough tip. However, if these details are not discussed and agreed upon at the beginning of a project, it can lead to unnecessary hassle (awkward calls, emails etc.) down the road.
A freelancer wants to feel that you value their work. Fair and on time compensation is the best way to show them that you do.
Consider using value-based pricing instead of paying by the hour. This ensures that both sides are getting value for money and reduces a huge amount of time micromanaging.
2. Team and company induction
It’s important to make time at the beginning of a project to chat to a freelancer about your company and its culture. This gives freelancers a better understanding of what your company is all about which will positively inform their work.
Introduce freelancers to other members of the team from the outset too. This helps them understand what other members of the project are responsible for. When it comes to team meetings, the freelancer will be familiar with other team members and will know who to direct certain questions or queries towards.
Remember, if a freelancer feels comfortable on your team, they’ll be more likely to contribute ideas and suggestions to help make your project a success.
3. Provide a clear brief
If you want to effectively manage remote freelancers from the get go, be sure to take sufficient time to write a well thought out, detailed brief.
In order for a freelancer to complete a project, they need to know exactly what you want from them. It’s so important that you provide a freelancer with this information in a brief from the outset, as opposed to giving it to them in dribs and drabs throughout the project.
There’s no such thing as too much detail when it comes to a brief. The more information you provide about what you’re looking for, the better understanding a freelancer will have of what the finished project should look like.
Highlight important deadlines in your brief. Furthermore, if there’s specific results you feel a particular piece of work should produce (KPI’s), be sure to include them too.
4. Regular check-ins (but not too regular)
Don’t just give your freelancer a brief and check in with them on deadline day.
When managing freelancers, it’s really important to check in with them regularly. Short but frequent check-ins work best. Chat to them about how they're getting on and encourage them to contact you if they need to clarify some details or have any questions about their work.
Don’t rely solely on email for these check-in’s either. While it’s a handy way of communicating, email doesn’t always communicate sentiment very well. Hop on a phone or video call from time to time too.
5. Acknowledge the person behind the job
This is a really important tip to take on board if you work with freelancers remotely.
While remote work can be efficient, it can also be lonely at times.
If you want to successfully manage remote workers try and create ways to build a sense of community among office and remote staff.
For example, if you use a business communications platform like Slack, why not create channels that allow staff to connect and get to know each other on a personal level. For example, here at the Freelancer Club we have a channel called ‘watercooler chat’ where we chat about everything from our weekends, to our dogs and more
Similarly, if you’re having team video calls, maybe make time to chat to your staff about non-work related stuff at the beginning or end of a call.
It’s also important to remember that freelancers, like office workers, have lives outside of work. Sending emails or scheduling calls outside normal office hours isn’t always acceptable. Check and set boundaries from the off.
If you weren't sure how to manage freelancers (let alone remote freelancers) before reading this article, I hope we've helped.
Managing remote workers is not as daunting as you might think and it’s important to recognise that many freelancers are used to working remotely. In fact, many of them enjoy working remotely! Therefore, it’s in their best interests to ensure that they deliver great work and integrate well within your team.
So, what are you waiting for?
Now that you’ve learned some tips on how to manage freelancers who work remotely, it’s time to put them into action to ensure your next project is a success! Post a job for free to find your next freelancer.