There may come a point in your freelance career when the workload becomes too much for you to handle on your own. As a result, in order to grow and meet your demands, you could look to hire fellow freelancers on a sub-contract basis.
However, managing a team can quickly become a difficult job—especially if you have more than a few freelancers working on different tasks for you.
It can be distracting and stressful, leaving you incapable of doing your own job.
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So how do you actually manage a team of freelancers effectively? Here’s my 10 tips for maintaining a successful team.
1. Set clear expectations
Freelancers tend to love clear explanations and expectations. This way they do their best and become more productive. At the very beginning of cooperation with a freelancer, state what your expectations are and what you need from them.
If you start this way, you set yourself, and your freelancer up for success. You can even have a document prepared for every new freelancer to help them learn what you need and want.
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Have some measurements of quality and productivity as well.
2. Have regular check-ins
While talking with your freelancers constantly can be counterproductive, it might be a good idea to have regular, scheduled check-ins with them. You could have them on a daily or weekly basis.
Just check-in, see if there are any issues or problems that you need to discuss, if every element of their task is clear or not and so on. Let your freelancers know when you want to speak with them.
You can stick to chatting solutions because this way, you don’t interrupt their work too much and they can remain focused.
3. Have a chat room available
Having an open chat room for all of your freelancers is a great idea because it’s the place they could go if they face any issues, or if they don’t understand something properly.
Other freelancers could help them as well and this is great for creating that team feeling.
4. Allow flexible work hours
Some freelancers are night owls, while some like early mornings. As long as they get the work done every day, as per schedule, be flexible with their work hours.
Allow them to work when it’s convenient for them, but within reason. For instance, they can deliver the work within 24 hours of you assigning them a task.
It allows them plenty of time to work and plenty of time for their own personal life or other obligations.
5. Track your output
Tracking productivity is important in every industry and with every team. You should constantly check your productivity and find the best ways to increase it, as well as the quality of work and the speed of delivery.
All of these things mean that your team is functioning as it should.
6. Test new freelancers with short-term tasks
Before you hire a freelancer, you should make sure that you test them with short term tasks that resemble your long term tasks.
You can also see how fast they work and if their work quality is up to your standards. This is a widely known technique and it works so well for many companies.
7. Pay them well
People who do freelance work do it just as good and invest just as much time and effort into it — if not more — than people in offices do. Accordingly, they should be paid equally.
Always be on time and offer bonuses for quicker turnaround time if you want your freelancers to remain happy and satisfied.
8. Nurture virtual friendships
Make sure that your freelancers socialize and communicate with each other. This provides them with that office feeling they lack and they will have someone to talk to about everything that’s happening throughout the day.
9. Know the difference between soft and hard deadlines
“Some deadlines cannot be missed. Some are softer than that. Instead of wasting your time and your nerves on these soft deadlines, allow your freelancers to be late if something isn’t urgent, but be stricter when it comes to urgent work. Also, let them know for how long they can miss the deadline and tell them that while it isn’t a perfect situation, it’s sometimes understandable”, – says an HR manager, Sacha Benson from Writemyx and 1day2write.
10. Create workflows
Workflow means that the work gets done faster and more efficiently. Create workflows and instruct your freelancers to stick to them. These are simple yet effective tools in achieving better productivity
Your freelance teams are just like your office teams. Only it’s sometimes much more complicated to run them. Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you and your freelance team.
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