Once upon a time, it wasn’t conceivable for bosses and managers to lead employees who weren’t office-based. If they didn’t work within a 10-meter radius, they didn’t work for you, period. Today, increased knowledge and advancements in technology mean that more employers are managing workers who aren’t in the workplace. While the pros are obvious, there is one glaring drawback: how do you manage them effectively. You need everybody to feel as though they are part of the team, so it’s essential to find a solution to the problem.
Below are four options at any bosses disposal regarding freelancers and independent contractors.
Include Them Where Possible
Part of the beauty of remote working is the fact that the person isn’t tied down, and neither is the employer. Still, it’s weird to have people on the payroll who you or the rest of your in-house staff couldn’t pick out of a line-up. Let’s face it – this isn’t very inclusive. Thankfully, opportunities to include them within the fabric of the business do present themselves from time to time. Christmas is the perfect time to invite them to the staff party, for example. If in doubt, you can always ask them to drop by the office for weekly feedback and a catch-up.
There’s a thin line between being kept in the loop and micromanaging freelancers. The latter is the last thing you want to do since the relationship will sour very quickly, but how do you find the line? One trick is to hire contractors who practically manage themselves. Bosses who have to get involved with a freelancer’s workload should find another one. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they are exempt from deadlines, rather that you shouldn’t remind them of an upcoming time restraint 24-hours a day.
Log Their Availability
A significant part of managing freelancers is to understand their availability. You may not have enough work that they are basically on the payroll permanently, which is fine. After all, the fantastic thing about independent contractors is the flexibility aspect (for both parties.) Still, it’s vital to know when you can call on them to complete a project like you would any other employee, which is why crew scheduling software is a handy tool. As well as gaining insight into their availability, you’ll be able to see their true cost and compare it to your budget. Regarding company profit, this is an excellent feature.
Again, there shouldn’t be a rule for in-house employees and another one for contractors. For the most part, the only thing that sets them apart is their location. Therefore, it’s vital to provide them with the same amenities you would if they worked in the office, such as feedback. Pointing out their strengths and helping them to work on their weaknesses will mold them into better contributors. If they can understand your philosophy from the outset, their productivity levels will be through the roof. And, they’ll stay that way too.
Try your best to keep them motivated as this should maintain their focus.