7 Useful Management Tools to Work with Freelancers
When you work with freelancers, expect a different set of challenges than when you work with a general workforce. It can be challenging to manage different people working flexible hours across various time zones. It can also be problematic to get your goal and vision across 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 making sure that everyone is meeting their deadlines is critical to your ultimate 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 in proximity to 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 make the situation worse if you’re not careful. Often, your vision may differ from your freelancer’s due to their context and yours, and their creative process and yours.
Fortunately, help is at hand. There are several tools to use and manage your freelancers so that you can ensure you get what you need when you need it. These tools are becoming more popular as freelancing becomes a more common business approach”.
One of the critical elements of successful work with freelancers is communication. Ineffective communication can have disastrous consequences. You need a tool that can manage all your contacts. If you’re communicating with some freelancers on WhatsApp, others on Facebook Messenger, and others on email, it’s hard to keep track. Using phone calls for communication is still a valuable tool, 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 need to discuss something in private. 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 different freelancers are doing 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 at the time that their portion of the project needs to be done.
You can upload any attachments that are 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 times of availability with your time zone.
Keeping track of who is working when can be overwhelming, especially when you have several freelancers working for you on the same project. Trying to keep track on 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 at that time.
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 are going to be available. There is no necessity for back and forth messaging and creating a manual system 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.
It’s vital that you 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 itself, the levels of collaboration 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, your comment on the responses and give your freelancers feedback.
Dropbox is 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 the documents you have in Dropbox. You can share big files far more quickly. Before beginning with a project, it is advisable to make sure that 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 that you cannot see yet. As soon as you access the files, the changes and updates will be apparent.
Timesheets are a challenge when you’re paying your freelancers by the hour. You need to know that you’re spending your freelancers for time worked. The last thing you want to do is cause tension in the relationship with a good freelancer by underpaying them. You don’t want to overpay them and let them feel they got one over on you.
For all successful freelancers, Toggl is a software program that gets their hard work paid without going into vain. It then can give you accurate time-sheets. You can manage how many hours your freelancers are working and pay them accordingly. The online timer gives you an accurate picture of the work patterns and productivity of your freelancers. It also offers you a definite clue of how much money 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.
During a project that uses the services of many different freelancers, communication is vital. 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 a meeting, 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, cellphone, or tablet. It is a very user-friendly service that your freelancers will find easy to use.
One of the best features of Zoom is that the meeting’s convener can record any call. If everyone you communicate is aware of this and agrees to it, you’re all set. You have a history of what was said. All details, deadlines, and tasks that are discussed can easily be tracked by using the audio from the meeting. The audio recordings can also be used for future training purposes.
Mark Thomson is an Internet marketer specialist and a part-time blogger. He is also a writer at Assignment Masters writing service which provides students help with assignments. Mark loves to share professional experience and knowledge with his followers.