When you work with freelancers, expect a different set of challenges than when you work with a general workforce. Managing other people working flexible hours across various time zones can be challenging. Getting your goal and vision across can also be problematic when you’re not all speaking the same language.
It’s often hard to gauge if what you’ve said has been understood and will be adhered to. When different freelancers are completing various portions of the same project, it can become a headache for you. Keeping track and ensuring everyone meets their deadlines is critical to your success.
These days, there are more options for freelancers than jobs for full-time workers. Employers no longer need to be stuck with Mr. Mediocre because he lives near the organization. Instead, they can hire Miss Fantastic even though she lives a world away. However, it’s essential to minimize the potential for chaos when you work with freelancers.
If your freelancers are doing creative work for you, the challenges may increase in volume. Discussing creative differences over messaging apps or even on a video chat app can worsen the situation if you’re not careful. Often, your vision may differ from your freelancer’s due to their context, creative process, and yours.
Fortunately, help is at hand. There are several free Project Management Software to use and manage your freelancers to ensure you get what you need when you need it. These tools are becoming more popular as freelancing becomes a typical business approach”.
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One of the critical elements of successful work with freelancers is communication. Ineffective communication can have disastrous consequences. It would help if you had a tool to manage your contacts. If you’re communicating with some freelancers on WhatsApp, others on Facebook Messenger, and others by email, it’s hard to keep track. Using phone calls for communication is still valuable, but where’s your record keeping on what was said and agreed upon?
Studies show that when there is poor communication, there tends to be a high staff turnover rate. For freelancers, it’s easy to quit because you’ve had enough and move on to the next gig.
This is where Slack comes in. It supplies an all-in-one communications systems approach. You can still use different methods of communication, but it’s all taking place on one platform. Slack offers a variety of communication tools, all under the same umbrella. First, you can make use of a team channel for group discussions. You can also direct message one of your freelancers if you want to discuss something privately. Voice and video calls are also possible. Your conversations are archived and accessible to go back to when you want to verify something.
Trello is a project managing instrument that is effective when freelancers do different portions of the same task. It helps all the freelancers see where they fit into the project. You can create a timeline of the project with its various deadlines. There is a visual representation of who is doing what and when.
You can assign your freelancers tasks. You get to include checklists for freelancers to work from. You can fix due dates and goals for the assignments. Everybody convoluted in the project can see them. This helps your freelancers free themselves up when their portion of the project needs to be done.
You can upload any attachments necessary for the project for the relevant freelancers to access. You control who is invited to join the project, so you keep its confidentiality and integrity intact.
With Trello, you can also track and manage the progress of each freelancer. This gives you an overall picture of where things stand. Everything you do is in real-time, and everything related to the project is stored in one place.
Many freelancers have chosen to work this way because it affords them a certain amount of flexibility. You need to know when they’re available and when they aren’t. You should also be able to translate their availability times with your time zone.
Keeping track of who is working when can be overwhelming, especially when you have several freelancers were working for you on the same project. Trying to keep track of slips of paper is a recipe for disaster. You’ll wind up confusing yourself. Then you’ll count on someone who isn’t even available then.
ResourceGuru can end the nightmare that is tracking your freelancers and their availability. You grant your freelancers access to the platform, and they indicate when they will be available. There is no necessity for back-and-forth messaging and creating a manual system to track all your freelancers.
You now have a dashboard that shows you when your freelancers are available to work. This, in turn, allows you to set tasks with deadlines and assign them to a freelancer who is going to be able to meet them.
4. 15Five Performance Management Software
You must communicate regularly with your freelancers. Since your freelancers work on different schedules and in different time zones, this can be a challenge.
15Five is a platform that allows freelancers to answer a pre-determined set of questions weekly. The answers can give you much detail. Sometimes, the answers you get might give you a new insight into the project itself. Alternatively, they may reveal a different side of your freelancer that you didn’t know about.
Keep the questions fun and simple. The information is presented in writing, so you have no problems with record-keeping. Trying to conduct such activity on the phone or over video chat means you’ll have to write down what the freelancer says.
You can ask questions about the project, the collaboration levels with other freelancers, and freelancer productivity. You can identify problems with the project you’re managing. This gives you a chance to make changes in your approach. Spend a bit of time reviewing the answers you get. After that, comment on the responses and give your freelancers feedback.
Dropbox is a storage and file-sharing program that works in the cloud. It is highly adaptable, which makes it the tool of choice for many managers. It is a platform that many freelancers use to obtain and complete the work they have.
As the manager, you control who has access to your documents in Dropbox. You can share big files far more quickly. Before beginning a project, it is advisable to ensure all your users have access to and use Dropbox.
One of the most significant advantages of Dropbox is that it is supported by and works across various operating systems. No matter which your freelancer prefers, you can still communicate with them via Dropbox. Another big plus for Dropbox is that your files synchronize automatically across devices. This is also beneficial for you as the manager. You won’t have to worry if changes have been made to documents you cannot see yet. The changes and updates will appear as soon as you access the files.
6. Toggl: Time Tracking, Project Planning & Hiring Software
Timesheets are a challenge when you’re paying your freelancers by the hour. You need to know that you’re spending your freelancer’s time working. The last thing you want to do is cause tension in the relationship with a suitable freelancer by underpaying them. You don’t want to overpay them and let them feel they got one over you.
Toggl is a software program for all successful freelancers that gets their hard work paid without going in vain. It can then give you accurate timesheets. You can manage your freelancers’ work hours and pay them accordingly. The online timer gives you an accurate picture of your freelancers’ work patterns and productivity. It also gives you a definite clue of how much you’ll be spending on freelancer payments.
Using Toggl also presents advantages for your freelancers. A lot who have been surveyed say that it keeps them focused on the task at hand. This increases their levels of productivity. These factors alone should make Toggl an absolute necessity for you.
Communication is vital during a project that uses the services of many freelancers. You need to be able to communicate with freelancers individually. However, you also need to be able to hold conference-style meetings. These calls help keep all the players on the same page. You schedule an appointment, and the collaboration begins!
Zoom is a meeting service that uses a cloud-based approach. It permits you to create conference calls with your team. Team members can join the conversation on their computer, cell phone, or tablet. It is a user-friendly service that your freelancers will find easy to use.
One of the best features of Zoom is that the meeting convener can record any call. If everyone you communicate with is aware of this and agrees, you’re all set. You have a history of what was said. All details, deadlines, and tasks discussed can easily be tracked using audio from the meeting. The audio recordings can also be used for future training purposes.