The US freelance workforce is currently 53 million strong, and growing fast. In fact, right now freelancers make up 34% of our national workforce. Sarah Harowitz, executive director of Freelancers Union says, “This is an economic shift on par with the industrial revolution.” Are managers prepared to work with this new type of workforce?
When it comes to freelancers, you are managing people who could be at their desk, poolside, or writing you from an airplane. Tight communication between the freelancer and manager is needed for this arrangement to work. Let’s take an in-depth look at how inefficient communication can be avoided with freelance employees.
Freelancers typically don’t have the opportunity to forge personal relationships with full-time employees, who may have worked together in the same office for years. Learn here how managers can help relieve the anxiety that comes when freelancers and full-time employees try to collaborate.
It’s inevitable that you and your freelance employee will be somewhat disconnected. You don’t see them and you don’t know what else they have on their plate. The good news is location doesn’t matter. With the right tools, managers can help their freelance employees meet their goals and hit their deadlines successfully.
Organizational culture is crucial in creating a workplace where employees can work together as a team and contribute to furthering the company’s values and vision. Maintaining that culture in a shared office space is one thing…but when your freelance staff is scattered all over the country, maybe even the globe, that’s a different story. Here are four steps that will help maintain organizational culture with freelance workers.
Are you a manager who has freelance employees? What have you noticed is most difficult about managing them as opposed to employees you see in the office day-to-day? I’m very interested in your experience. Tell me all about it! Please leave a comment below, send me an email, or find me on Twitter.
*All statistics from the first comprehensive survey on freelancing in eight years — done by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk.