A remote workforce can be a huge asset to any team if they are successfully integrated into the business at the onset.
With the increased need for freelance experts right around the globe, the gig economy has never been so powerful. This thriving knowledge-based economy is not only taking the business world by storm, but may soon be the controlling force.
Leading organisations worldwide are taking advantage of what freelancers have to offer at a rapid rate, and with that comes a whole host of considerations to take into account when cultivating successful freelance expert engagement.
According to Business.com, the younger generation are not beholden to the traditions of the modern working world. They don’t want to be defined by their working hours or stuck in an office all day. They are choosing work that is meaningful to them and a job that complements their everyday life. It’s therefore fundamentally important that businesses understand this work shift and adapt to it.
Incorporating a freelance expert into the workplace can prove a difficult challenge, one that requires innovative solutions and a lot of massaging to work. In a nutshell, it takes steps by both the business and freelancer to ensure a successful and everlasting engagement, one that proves beneficial for both parties.
Clarity on company vision and ethos
Businesses must clearly define their aims, goals and company vision. It’s not only important for integrating freelancers into the organisation, but crucial for overall business success.
It has become clear that entrepreneurs and business owners are having a harder time adjusting to this new work shift than freelancers. Freelance experts are readily available to share their knowledge and experience, but it’s up to the business owners to communicate exactly what they need from this expanding talent pool. This is where communication problems can arise.
Most freelancers work remotely or on a short-term contract, and they are not engaged with the business all of the time. Not being immersed within the already existing team can throw up communication challenges and misunderstandings about project outcomes.
Office-based engagement receives quick, clear and concise briefings due to being in direct contact with their line manager, face-to-face. This same expression of direction doesn’t necessarily resonate in the same way with a freelance workforce. It’s therefore important to ensure that communication – especially initial briefings – is clear, concise, extensive and detailed.
Different working styles can lead to some really exceptional work outcomes, but on the other hand it could also end in disaster. A remote workforce can be a huge asset to any team if they are successfully integrated and well led. It is management’s responsibility to ensure that the worker is incorporated successfully within a business, and is engaged with the project and overall company vision throughout their engagement.
Communicating exactly what is expected and needed from the freelancer during their time with a business not only ensures they deliver what’s required, but helps guide them in the right direction. Don’t blame the freelancer for failing to deliver what you expected if they weren’t briefed properly in the first place.
It’s also fundamentally important to ensure that all company literature is up-to-date – company policies, directives, vision and goals are clearly outlined and communicated. What’s also important is to ensure that each project brief is clearly outlined, described and detailed in full so that the freelancer has all the information they need to complete the tasks expected of them.
The number of freelance experts is growing daily and with that comes the need for the best technology to help them succeed. According to PWC, automation and “thinking machines” are replacing human tasks, and changing the skills that organisations are looking for in people. It’s therefore important for companies to adapt to this change and skill workers in the latest technological advances.
To ensure a freelance workforce is connected to any business is to invest in the latest web tools that will help integrate them into the organisation. Video conferencing, project management apps and team building websites – like Asana, Zoom or Slack – all allow freelancers to become a part of the team.
Maintaining a social element to the team is important for integrating office-based workers with a freelance workforce. Team building activities, social meetings and key events provide the perfect opportunity to integrate both kinds of workers. Not only does it create a friendly atmosphere, but helps build better relationships for healthier work outcomes.
Before engaging a freelance expert on a long-term basis, it makes sense to hire them on a short-term contract first so they can demonstrate their skillset. Once the freelancer has proven their worth, only then does it make sense to continue the working relationship. It is in effect the trial and error method.
Pay them what they’re worth
Some freelancers fail because they weren’t the right person for the job in the first place. As a leader, it’s important to ensure that the freelancer has the correct skillset, expertise and experience and can mesh well with the team before commencing engagement. Payment is an important part of making the freelancer feel valued and demonstrates that the business respects their expertise.
Paying freelance experts what they’re worth and making sure they feel part of the team is an important part of getting the best out of them. Hiring a freelancer on a discounted rate might seem like the best course of action to save your company money in the short-term, but this tactic could prove fatal to the overall outcome of the project and for the long-term success of the business.
Finding the best talent
Finding the best talent isn’t easy. That’s why trusting your decision-making process to an online freelancing platform which specialises in finding experts in any given field is key. Online freelancing websites – like Alifery – are now proving the best way for freelancers to promote their skills and for businesses to find new talent.
One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to highly-skilled and vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads. Not only is it proving a pioneer in the growing gig economy, but has already become one of the leading online talent platforms in the world.
Register an account here to gain access to short term projects or freelance experts.
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