My 3 Tips for managing a remote freelance team

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Managing a team of employees is something everyone needs to be good at, but since the working world is changing, you need to learn how to deal with remote teams of freelancers effectively.

Transition from an employee driven workplace to the one powered by freelancers is a smart move – everyone is doing it. 

This transition may come with some interesting challenges, and business owners who are used to a structured employee-employer relationship need to do some adjusting so that their remote freelance teams can work at maximum productivity. 

Having permanent staff is an investment, because you need to hire them, train them and enable them to grow professionally over time, but freelancers are pure and simple service providers, who sometimes need a little push in the right direction.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

Since freelancing is booming and making a great impact all around the world, learning how to effectively manage a remote team of freelancers is something that every business owner needs to focus on, so read on to find out how to do it. 

You Won’t Need Micro-management 

A great part of managing a team is making sure that everybody does the task in hand – but when it comes to managing a team of freelancers, it is more about getting ‘out of their way’. Once the project has started and all the tasks have been distributed, you need to step back and let the freelancers do their thing.

These people start freelancing in their chosen area of expertise because they love what they do, so once they have received their tasks, they get down to work. They are passionate and effective specialists, and do not expect someone to be looking over their shoulder constantly. Remember to give them space! 

They Are Experts, So Treat Them As Such 

A freelancer is an employee who just needs to know what their task is, and they instinctively know what is the best way to do it right. Remember that you are hiring them to get the job done, in the best and most cost-effective way. This can, in some cases, lead to problems when you are planning a big project.  

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If several expert freelancers are collaborating on a job, they will surely have different opinions, and this is where your freelancer management skills are needed. You need to make a judgement call that will be based on the information they provide and move the project forward. Always remember to give each member in your team his/her due respect!

Provide Them with Clear Feedback 

No freelancer likes getting vague feedback, like for example, a client who did not quite know what they wanted or refused to listen to their guidance. So, feedback like “I don’t like this” should be avoided; your feedback on the completed work needs to be concise and if you are not sure what kind of changes you want, ask the team for a several options for a different way to move forward.  

The revision and feedback process can eat up a lot of time while your team gets to the bottom of what you really need, and this can be problematic when you are working with your remote freelance team, because the entire group can be left to wait while you are going back and forth with one member.

So, make sure that you stay clear, straightforward and ask them for help when you are not exactly sure which approach will be the best. 

Concluding Thoughts

Remote work can lead to a  productive business, but this is only possible when the right management structure is implemented. By implementing these tips, you will lay the necessary groundwork for a reliable, strong and productive remote freelance team workforce.  

How has your experience been with managing a remote freelance team? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About Catherine Park

Catherine Park is a professional Content Writer and a blogger with full of energy and positivism. Currently working in a team of BackOfficePro, a business process outsourcing fir. She is expert in writing exclusive contents on business and technologies that are helpful for large enterprises, SMEs and business startups. Follow Twitter & Facebook for upcoming articles!

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Comments

  1. I think remote teams are the way of the future and we have been successfully doing it for 6 years now and it is working out great. I see no reason to change it. Respect and letting them do what they do best is definitely important but I think it’s also about hiring the right personality and great communication. It’s also important to have the right project management tools and procedures in place.

  2. This is such a valuable read.

    What many businesses don’t realize is that freelancers often BECOME freelancers because of management. I can attest to this. My previous (read: last) boss didn’t have this kind of foresight and trust in their staff.

    So I took matters into my own hands and made my own path.

    And I am not alone, not by a longshot.

    The quicker managers realize how they need to treat remote staff, but better it will be for everyone.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Really a good article you have written Catherine.

    I can totally relate to it. Freelancers really don’t need micro management as the employees do. Main reason being they are paid for the effort done by them not time (in most cases).

    Also a constructive feedback is very essential part for any project progress.

    I am working as a full-time freelance graphics designer and I really think feedback like “I don’t like this” never helps us instead they confuse us.

    I will definitely make my clients read this! Hope this helps.

    Good luck, 🙂

  4. Hi Catherine, great post! I’m a freelancer and I often work in big teams and everybody have to done the deidicated tasks. So, after a long search I think MoneyPenny is one of the best solutions for this out there. There is this function for live team time tracking and it’s great. You should have a look: https://moneypenny.me/en/live-time-tracking

  5. Prasanta Shee says:

    In addition to above mentioned tips, managing freelance remote teams becomes much easier by use of tools like webex, R-HUB web conferencing servers etc.

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