Working from home isn’t new, it’s been around for decades. However, in the last few years, more and more people choose to be freelancers and it’s obvious that this trend will continue in the future. In fact, as much as 58% of non-freelancers are now considering freelancing in the future.
Working from home has a lot of benefits, but some business owners are still struggling with finding the best ways to manage freelancers. If you already have a team of people who are working from home or are thinking about hiring one, here’s everything you need to know about managing freelancers.
Use project management tools
One of the biggest challenges managers face when their team isn’t under one roof is finding the most efficient way to ensure all projects are completed in time. Luckily, since we live in a technologically advanced world, there are a plethora of tools that can help with that.
To ensure all of your employees are completing their tasks and are always on the same page, you should use a project management tool. These tools allow you to assign tasks to employees, set deadlines, track your freelancers’ progress, and much more.
There are a lot of different project management tools, but since you plan on managing exclusively freelancers, you should use a freelancer management platform. This platform will allow you to simplify your workflow, centralize your information, and manage your contractors.
Don’t underestimate the onboarding process
The way you handle the onboarding process is extremely important, especially when you work with freelancers. A poor onboarding experience will cause a lot of talented people to leave your business while a great onboarding experience ensures 69% of employees stick with a company for three years.
Whenever you hire a new freelancer, don’t just rush them into doing their job and overwhelm them with your urgent projects.
Instead, try to do the following things:
- Explain their role to them. Depending on the position they fill, spend some time explaining the different duties the newly hired freelancer will have and defining your brand strategy. Give them access to all necessary educational materials and ensure they understand the position they filled.
- Set your expectations. Don’t be vague about what you’re expecting to see and what kind of work the freelancer needs to do. Be very clear about what the job entails, the work hours, benefits, and all the other important information.
- Make them feel valued. Each team member you hire is an essential part of your company and they need to understand that. Make sure every freelancer knows they’re valued, give them mentoring, involve them in your vision, and teach them how to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Finally, don’t be afraid to create a relaxing atmosphere for your future employees, even during the recruitment process. You can hold interviews while having virtual coffee with them, and you can get some great virtual coffee chat ideas from Hoppier for creating a laid-back and stress-free atmosphere.
Decide how you want to track and monitor your employees
Having faith in your employees and trusting them is important, but since you won’t be under the same roof as your freelancers, you can’t be sure how many hours a day they spent on their projects. That is why people who hire and manage freelancers use tracking and monitoring tools.
While these seem a bit intrusive, they’re a necessary part of working with freelancers. The most common tool managers use is time tracking software that allows you to track how many hours an employee spent on their computer and completing their tasks. This is a popular tool for managers who pay their freelancers an hourly wage.
However, some freelance jobs aren’t so easy to monitor with time tracking software, where the end product is more important than the time it takes to complete it. If that’s the case for you, it’s best to pay your freelancers a fixed rate.
Be prepared for the costs
Typically, hiring freelancers is much cheaper than hiring an in-house team, but there are still some costs you need to take into account. Managing freelancers also includes making sure you have enough funds to pay them and determining the method you want to use to compensate your employees.
Here are a few things you should take into account:
- Payment methods. Decide if you want to pay your freelancers a fixed rate or an hourly wage and specify your payment methods when you post job offers so there isn’t any confusion.
- The cost of freelance marketplaces. There are a few marketplaces you can use to search for freelancers. These platforms all charge a subscription fee and some of them even take a percentage of the money you pay to the freelancers you hire, so take that into consideration.
- The cost of software. Like we already mentioned, you should probably use a project management tool and time tracking software, but there are other tools you might need. All of this will cost money, so make sure to budget correctly.
Hiring a team of freelancers for your business is a great idea for any company, regardless of what industry you’re in. If you’ve never managed a remote team before, it might seem daunting. But if you follow the tips you read about here, you won’t have any issues.