5 Tips to help remote freelancers come together as a team

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In the USA, freelancers represent more than 37 percent of the workforce, as of 2017. The trend suggests that in the next 20 years, the majority of the American population will be engaged in freelancing.

Being able to work individually and independently is one of the major reasons for the popularity of freelancing practices. However, that is also the reason why it is difficult to promote teamwork among remote freelancers.

If you are willing to get connected with other freelancers and work as a team, you, as well as the other members of the group, need to put in some extra effort to work in perfect sync.

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It is easier to build a team when you are working under the same roof, but for remote freelancers, it is not exactly a piece of cake.

However, with some sincere efforts and these following tips, you and your fellow freelancers can come together and work as a team:

1. Build a better communication system

Communication is one of the key elements that allow a group of people to work as a team. Unless you communicate well with the fellow freelancers, it is difficult to attain success as a team.

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Communication does not mean just leaving texts regarding the work or calling them up when there’s something urgent. In order to build a team, you will need to put more effort than that.

As a freelancer, you already know how challenging it can be to manage your daily routine. Working with several other remote freelancers can be even harder. For a smoother workflow and better team morale, you need to get along with each other.

You can have a video conference occasionally where the team members can talk about something other than work to get to know each other.

Apart from those occasional video conferences, you also need to set up a particular channel where the members can seamlessly talk to each other regarding work-related issues. Video chats can be a good option.

Having regular conversations with the teammates can make them feel more appreciated, inspire them to be more of a team-player than a solo performer.

2. Learn each other’s strength and weaknesses

When you are working with other freelancers, you need to learn areas where your fellow freelancers excel and where they fall short. This can work as a team-building exercise. Besides, learning these crucial details can allow you and your group members to cover for each other in the time of crisis.

Imagine you received a task from a client that falls outside your area of expertise. If you know, one of your team members can work in that domain, you can ask them to do it for you. This is how a team works.

In fact, you don’t have to ask the fellow freelancer for a favor. You can help him/her in the same way, if he/she faces a similar kind of situation.

Freelancers, in general, are individual performers, but if you want to work as a team, you need to lend a hand to each other from time to time.

Letting others know about your strengths and weaknesses will not only allow them to provide the necessary assistance when the time comes, but also contribute to the team morale in a positive way.

3. Understand each other’s work style

The best part about freelancing is that you’re your own boss. It is certainly liberating and much more fun. But this has a few downsides as well.

Since everyone works in his/her individual work style, having several remote freelancers work as a team can be a difficult goal to achieve.

Firstly, you need to communicate with each other and decide who is going to do what. Since every freelancer in the team is more likely to have a unique approach towards work, it is better to allocate a particular type of tasks to each one of them.

This way, their differences in the work style won’t affect overall productivity.

This segmentation of the team is actually helpful in the long run. It will reduce the chances of internal conflicts, which are pretty common in the professional field, especially when every person on the team is working remotely.

Since you will have a decent idea about each other’s strength and weaknesses, you can decide which person gets what sort of tasks unanimously.

4. Share equal amount of responsibilities

If you want your fellow freelancers to feel valued and appreciated, all of you need to make sure  that you all have an equal place in the team. It is not good for the team morale if a few people on the team do all the heavy lifting while others just do minimal work.

It is unfair to the hardworking teammates and can breed negativity in the team.

As freelancers, you all have more or less the same role. So sit for a video conference and make sure everyone has an equal amount of responsibilities as well as equal opportunities in the team.

If someone wants to lead the team and the team is fine with that decision, then there should be no problem.

If you are chosen as the leader, you need to make sure you work as hard as everyone else. You are not their boss. If freelancers wanted a boss to hover over their shoulders, they would have joined a corporate job instead.

For team building, it is important to ensure that everyone gets equal treatment in the team.

5. Take a break from work and meet up

All work and no play can make anyone’s life dull and boring. Even as a freelancer, you will need a break from work every once in a while. Turn that break into a team-building exercise.

You can go on a trip together and spend some time off relaxing and hanging out with each other.

A vacation with the teammates will not only help you rejuvenate, but will also allow you to get along with each other in a better way. For team building, such group vacations can be immensely effective.

If you can’t manage a vacation, try to meet once a month over drinks or dinner.

You don’t need to discuss work. In fact, it is better if you avoid work-related issues for the evening. Engage in casual conversations and hang around like friends. This kind of routin will help you get along with each other and reflect on the overall performance of the team.

Freelancing is a better option if you prefer to work alone. But that does not mean you cannot work as a team while freelancing. Get connected with other freelancers from the various part of your country (or even the world) and begin your operations.

Your team is going to experience several hiccups initially because of the remoteness. However, these aforementioned tips will ensure all of your teammates work in harmony to produce better results.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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About Joanne Criss

Joanne Criss is an academic tutor at MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk who has 5 years of experience in the field of freelance. Criss has worked for numerous companies for assignment help while attending his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

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