Working with freelancers has its own pros and cons. While cost efficiency and flexibility for seasonal outsourcing is what mostly attracts businesses to freelancers, their lack of reliability and unaccounted extension of deadlines can be off-putting. Hence, while dealing with freelancers there are certain things that need to be kept in mind to ensure that the work is sufficiently done and your agendas are in line.
If someone looking for a one-line solution, then it is – TRUST.
But trust don’t build in a day, so you have create the process and eventually you both build the Transparency and Trust.
Setting The Right Expectations
It is essential to be on the same page about every delegated task. When it comes to remote working, communication assumes utmost importance. To ensure that all the expectations are synchronised, terms must be set with regard to –
The amount of time that the freelancer can afford to spend on the project must be stated in the beginning. End to end discussion about all the work to be done should take place, and all communication regarding the expected deadlines should be crystal clear. For reference at a later time, everything should preferably be documented.
To avoid problems in the future, the mode and frequency for reporting should be pre-decided. This ensures that one does not encounter any hurdles while communicating, and also saves time in the future. The overall workplace professionalism is thus enhanced, which is important if your freelancers work remotely.
Ways to Keep Track of a Freelancer’s Work
When everything is deliberated upon and finalized, the next question on an employer’s mind is – how to track the work done by these resources? A list of measures can be taken for the purpose, and you may deploy these as per your individual equations with each worker. The following are a few effective ways to keep track of the work done by freelancers. –
The most efficient and wholesome method is, of course, trust-building – but you might not have enough time to do it in every case. Moreover, each project doesn’t span long enough for you to actually go the extra mile and establish or foundation of trust between you and the freelancers. But if a situation does arise where the project is long and you find yourself sufficiently invested in it, do try to build up a trust factor with the workers.
Work must be delegated in smaller modules to the workers, as you do not want to overwhelm them with all the deliverables at once. It also gets pretty distracting to work on multiple things at the same time. Also, you would know exactly what to take into account when only one or two tasks are delegated, hence staying better aligned with the tasks. Take sufficient time to prioritize the tasks and roll them out to the freelancer accordingly.
When the models are limited, the feedback cycles also become shorter. Weekly or biweekly feedback cycles work the best – as an amount of time like this is sufficient to get the work completed and to incorporate iterations, all while winding up before the deadline.
Using time tracking tools
If your task is high on urgency and you’re working with a diverse team, use of tracking tools like Zoho and Toggle could be made to increase accountability of the freelancers, while also maintaining transparency on who is working on what and how much time they’re taking. This should also be done in cases where an hourly pricing model has been negotiated upon.
Analyzing the bottlenecks
To future proof your work, a little extra effort must be made in the present. Take out time to analyse future bottlenecks, if any. The timeline of the project should be kept against probable trends in the future. For example, a website to be used as reference might have a chance of becoming clogged in a particular season. Such hurdles must be taken into account beforehand to avoid unprecedented problems.
Lastly, you should also leave a place for human error. Even after trying to analyse and document everything beforehand, a little extra time should be reserved at the end of the project just to be safe.
At the same time, it must be realised that the relationship of an employer with each resource is different. A mismatch of the tracking method with your innate understanding is never recommended as it can complicate things further. Going with the flow of requirements is what should be principally followed.