FREELANCING / SEP. 22, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Connecting Freelancers as a Cohesive Team

Freelancers are the unseen, and rarely discussed, workers that help companies function. Most of the time, freelancers are not on payroll, they don’t attend office events and most work from their homes. What consumers don’t understand is that freelancers make up about 25 to 30-percent of a U.S. based company’s workforce.  They are far more important than traditional employees and employers give them credit for.

Freelancers work on specific projects for these companies, but rarely receive the true “team player” treatment.

Introduce the Team Members

It is ideal to introduce freelance or temporary employees to others. This helps them feel like they are part of the company and not just being used for specific services. Discuss with them how the company works, what the different roles are and who within the company can provide assistance if it is needed.

Discuss the skills of the freelancer with other members of management. This helps the existing team to have some background information on what the freelancer is there to do and what they are capable of. There isn’t an exact need to discuss why a freelancer was brought in to handle the job at hand.

With these measures in place, there are fewer feelings of inadequacy and confusion for the temporary worker.

Open Door Policy

Communication is very important, regardless of what role someone plays in the company. That being said, make it known to all employees, including freelancers, that you value communication amongst each other and with you personally in order to maintain the functionality and productivity within the company. The ability to communicate leaves these temporary employees feeling less lost or confused in regards to the company’s immediate needs.

Promote Discussions between Full-Time Employees and Freelancers

When a freelancer is just given instructions to complete a job, without being introduced to necessary members of the existing staff, the project is setup for disaster. The freelancer often feels used at this point. Provide this temporary worker with persons of contact to assist them and other senior members of the staff.

This helps to create dialogues between all members of the company so that the freelancer actually feels like they are part of the company itself.

As freelancers are brought into a company, it is a fresh mind with new ideas to help the company strive. Essentially, they watch while they work and see where things can improve whether it is for their specific duties or the company’s overall methodology.

Build a Relationship

The likelihood of requiring the same services from the freelancer again in the future are rather high. This is one of the main reasons that you should do your best to make the temporary employee feel like they are part of the company.

A freelancer is more likely to come back and work for a company in which they felt comfortable and like they’d worked there for years. 

In some cases, freelance workers become a regular worker for the company; however, they never make it to payroll. This gives them the freedom to work for more than one company but will prioritize jobs with the companies who treat them well and incorporate them as an employee more than a person with special skills sets.

Freelancers are quite valuable to a company. When they are properly incorporated as a member of the team and the company, their productivity is much higher. The end result often leads to more work being requested of them in the near a future, and potentially, regular requests providing them with steady work. While these workers are often unseen and unheard, their role is very important to the continued success of a company. 

 

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