Freelancers and remote workers may not be the best fit for every company, but more and more organizations find a place for them because many of these workers have exceptional skills, they can move projects along faster, and though the price of such work may be about the same as what is paid to a full-time employee, benefits are usually not paid for a freelancer.
Before incorporating these options in your company, you should have a discussion (or more) with your people. What jobs do they think could be done from outside the company site or by freelancers hired only for specific tasks for a job. This allows your people to have a say but also assures them that their job is safe too.
Once you’ve established what jobs can be done off-site, do some research on what works best in similar situations for other companies. Set up policies, train the people who will work with the freelancers and remote workers and then start looking for people that will fit what you need.
One of the good things about these workers is that most will not need additional training, other than a general knowledge of how to function within corporate guidelines. If they work great, then you keep giving them more work. If they don’t, then it is easy to move on without further complications.
One of the great advantages of remote workers is it allows you to keep some of best employees and keep them happy. Remote workers may work almost exclusively away from the office, but they could also do it for a day a week, or anything in between that and only coming into the office for a few hours a month. That decision will be made partly by what is required by the job and partly what the employee wants and can do while maintaining the quality of their work.
Once you have remote and freelance workers in place consider these ideas to make sure your team feels connected, and the work flows easily:
- Use video chats when possible.
- Schedule regular one-on-one discussions and keep all of them!
- Recognize time differences and plan for that in your timelines.
- In conference meetings, have the possibility to video conference people in as needed for specific discussions.
- Make sure you meet in person with remote workers and freelancers at least once a year.
- Send thoughtful gifts for workers and their family (including furry ones) now and then to show they are not forgotten.
· Remember, they have career goals separate from your organization. Offer help with that or network with them as you are able.