7 Tips to Help You Successfully Manage a Fully Remote Team of Freelancers

Photo of author

By Jacob Maslow

Whatever the reasons for adding freelancers to your team, successfully managing them remotely is vital to ensuring the satisfactory completion of your projects. Follow these 7 tips to help you manage a fully remote freelancing team:

  1. Build Relationships

Whether you work with one or many freelancers, they are like having a business partner who agrees to work with you. Work on building a relationship just like you would with your suppliers, vendors, and customers. The better you know the people you work with, the easier it becomes to integrate them into the demands of your business. A positive connection creates an environment where they respond quickly and perform according to your expectations.

However, the first step in building relationships is hiring the right freelance professionals with a track record of reliability and efficiency.

Retaining the services of a reliable freelancer requires some effort from you. Therefore, provide regular feedback to help them fix any problems and encourage them to continue their excellent work if there are no issues.

2.      Provide Clear Project Details

Unlike full-time workers, freelancers don’t know the inner workings of your company or your project expectations. Therefore, you need to clearly define all the requirements and details for your projects.

Tell the freelancer which skills, knowledge, and software abilities you require when posting for a job. Then, find out their availability and tell them about your timeline expectations for delivery and final approval. Once these details are clearly defined, the freelancer can have a reference with the details of the project and future projects. If you need regular progress reports, let them know when and whom to report to, helping prevent time wastage.

Remember, ensuring freelancers’ work meets your standards requires that you provide them with the proper documentation. These standards may include incorporating your brand identity on social media, giving them editorial guidelines for grammar and tone if they are doing writing projects, or explaining how you want them to leave notes if they are programming for you.

3.      Set Expectations and Your Budget

Making sure that you and your freelancers are satisfied requires clear project expectations and a budget that you adhere to. Then, pay separately for additional work and insist they respect your expectations for the negotiated rate.

Sometimes freelancers request a rate per project, but if they prefer an hourly rate, ask them to communicate any issues that will require going over your paying budget. You can also instruct them to track the time worked on your project on your preferred platform to help you keep track.

4.      Keep an Open Line of Communication

Everyone has a preferred communication channel, but freelancers must be able to reach you to troubleshoot any issues with the project. Some project management tools have built-in messaging that instantly notifies you of any messages received, allowing you to resolve problems quickly. If you prefer or your freelancer prefers, use emails or direct messages on Slack.

The best tactic is to use the same channels for all your communications, particularly if you have a large team of freelancers. Define your communication preferences, especially if you need regular updates or want to know when a project begins.

5.      Time Tracking for Hourly Paid Jobs

One essential part of hourly-paid freelancers or those billing on time taken is time tracking. Make your freelancers aware of its importance for your company. There are several time-tracking tools that you can use, depending on the nature of the freelance work.

Toggl Track is a free time tracking tool, while Harvest is ideal if you track several freelancers across projects.

Upwork Desktop App is ideal for hour validation and payment protection. At the same time, Everhour is excellent for managing team availability and integration with project management tools. Other time tracking tools include Clockify, especially popular with freelancers tracking their time to share with clients, and Screenshot Monitor if you need regular screenshots.

Again, be reasonable with your time tracking expectations; otherwise, they can lead to flared tempers and show that you don’t trust your freelancers. For example, if you have someone making sales calls and can see the call logs on a tool, don’t expect a screenshot. Additionally, tasks like programming and copywriting don’t usually require time tracking.

6.      Project Management Tools for Better Management

When you need any updates at any project phase, project management tools make it easier to communicate them. For example, Asana is an easy tool that allows you to add several project requirements like due dates, assignees, project type, and tags.

Trello has a mix of boards like Kanban to Scrum. It also had cards and color-coding to make it easier to layout and visualize tasks. Instagantt makes easy work of multiple projects, and Basecamp is superb for large teams. Other popular tools include Jira and Monday. Find the right tool for your company and use it to manage your freelancers effectively.

7.      Team Building Activities and Freelancers

Make freelancers feel like they’re part of your team by including them in your team-building activities. Create camaraderie by opening effective communication lines where they can speak to each other and with you when they want to ask questions.

You can also invite freelancers to meetings to meet the rest of your team professionally and personally, helping to build trust and connection. If in-person meetings are impossible, use communication tools like Slack to share in team-building efforts. By building long-term relationships, you can ensure to keep the best freelancers available for your following projects.

By following these tips, you can successfully manage a remote team of freelancers and ensure that your projects are completed on time and to your satisfaction. 

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos