Strategies for managing a remote-based freelance workforce

More and more freelancers are finding work by creating a profile on a leading freelancing website to promote their expertise and to find new clients.

Online platforms for freelancing are transforming the way companies do business, not only helping to expand the growing gig economy but creating an army of remote workers at the same time.

Freelancing platforms like Alifery are helping companies all around the world tap into a respected knowledge-based economy by supplying them with highly-skilled and talented freelance experts. The remote-based freelance workforce makes up a large percentage of this growing market.

According to Inc., 39% of all companies allow some of their staff to work remotely, and as the need for freelance experts increases this trend is only set to increase over the coming years.

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace found that remote workers tend to log more hours than their office-based counterparts and are more engaged. Remote workers are also becoming more assimilated with their colleagues and with the business ethos, because communication needs are done in writing and on-message.

Despite all the positives – reduced overheads, cost savings of up to 20% and increased engagement – it can sometimes prove difficult to manage remote workers. There are many different strategies that can be adopted when managing a remote team to ensure they are on task, remain productive, and collaborate effectively.

According to Chief Learning Officer, the growing number of freelance experts throw up many new challenges, and outline the best practices to keep in mind when managing a remote team.

Let’s take a look at the key challenges faced and the best ways to manage a remote-based freelance workforce.

  1. Tried and tested

The more remote workers taken on by any organisation could leave the company open to failure – unless they are sure of their workers’ abilities. It’s fundamentally important to apply the tried and tested method to any freelance worker brought into any organization. Only once the worker has proven themselves as a useful asset can they really be trusted – either by giving them an office-based trial before allowing remote work or assigning a heavily briefed task and assessing the outcome. Experimenting with the way in which a company operates and engages with its workforce will produce the best results.

  1. Vet the talent

Not only is it important to ensure that references are on point, but it’s key for workers to deliver exactly what you need. Remote workers might have a great CV and delivered an amazing project for their last client, but are they able to adhere to your brief and deliver the best quality work. The only way to ensure that they are on the same page is to start them off slowly, assign them a small project to see if they can deliver before integrating them into the team. Check references, ask around and make sure they are respected in their field before taking them on.

  1. Management integration

One of the key mistakes companies make when integrating freelance experts, especially remote workers is not integrating them into the management framework of the organisation at the early stages of engagement. It’s important to involve internal stakeholders with all new hires and to ensure that they are integrated within the internal workflow and management structure of the company, for full visibility at all times.

  1. Communication is key

Communicating effectively with freelance experts and remote workers is key to both yours and their business success. It’s fundamentally important to ensure that the worker is fully engaged with the business, understands the company ethos, what is expected of them, understands the project and the brief. It’s the organisation’s job to ensure that communication is paramount and the brief is conveyed clearly and concisely.

  1. Build up a network

Having a pool of tried and tested freelancers that are your go-to staples for high profile and important projects is essential for company growth. Not only can it build better working relationships within teams but also ensures greater efficiency in costs and timings. By building up a network of go-to freelancers within any organisation ensures that the workers are already vetted, know how the company operates and are familiar with what is expected of them.

Management challenges

As we have previously highlighted, freelance experts and remote workers can unwittingly create management challenges for HR teams to overcome. There are a number of practices that can be applied to overcome management challenges, including:

  • Ensure communication and collaboration is paramount. Engage with the freelancer so that they integrate with the team and can demonstrate their skills.
  • Take full advantage of the freelancer’s skillset and what they have to offer.
  • Make sure management has full visibility over the freelancer in all areas of the business, at all times.

Another way to ensure that you bring in the right talent at the right price is by trusting your decision-making to an online platform which specialises in finding the best freelance expert for your business. These online platforms are helping to transform the way companies do business and are proving a success.

More and more freelancers are finding work on a regular basis by creating a profile on a leading freelancing website – like Upwork, Alifery and Freelancer – to promote their expertise and to find new clients.

One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, tech, 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.

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