So you have made the shift from being a solo freelancer to working as part of a team of freelancers. The transition may be a bit difficult if you have worked independently earlier. But, you should come up to speed quickly to get the most out of working with a remote team. How do you do that? Read on to find out:
1) Communicate frequently and clearly:
Depending upon the kind of work that your team is doing, you should have at least one or two two daily meetings. Doing this is especially important if the remote team is dispersed across time and/or geography. Have a clear agenda of the meeting and share minutes of the meeting within an hour of conducting it. If you do this, then the potential for confusion reduces. Communicating frequently and clearly is the key to working successfully in a remote team.
2) Use different communication methods for different purposes.
– Use email for short and neutral exchanges of information. Other appropriate uses are broadcasting messages like meeting timings, agendas, minutes, etc. Emails can be easily misinterpreted so reserve them for objective discussions.
– Use chat for informal communication, general announcements, and group discussions. You should use chat for sharing general news, progress reports, talking informally as a group and getting to know other team members.
– Use video conferencing for long or detailed conversations. Video conferencing is perfect for in-depth, long or detailed conversations. You can get the message across faster in a video-chat with your team rather than sending messages to each other over a couple of hours
– Use phone calls for potentially difficult conversations. If you can’t video chat with a team member for any reason, calling them and speaking to them one-on-one is the next best option.
3) Ensure you have the right team members:
Selecting the correct team members is essential to ensuring a project is successful. A wrong team member will end up leading to excuses, laziness, bad communication, unmet deadlines and a failed project. Choose team members who have a history of completing projects on time. Check their deadline history. Hire team members who have good writing skills. Doing so is important because the majority of the team’s communication will be over email and chat.
4) Hold team members accountable:
The biggest problem with working in a remote team is that a few individuals might take advantage and have a tendency to take it easy. Ensure that goals and deadlines are in place for each freelancer and follow up on a regular basis to ensure that these are met. Don’t micro-manage however, give each team member their space, but hold them accountable in case expectations are not fulfilled.
5) Use a screen sharing tool:
A screen sharing tool is important in case a team member is stuck on an issue or if he or she wants to share any aspect of the project with another team member. Skype has a screen sharing feature while TeamViewer or Join.Me can allow another person to control your computer remotely.
Working with a remote team of freelancers is different from working solo. You’ll need to put more effort into ensuring regular communication takes place for a project to succeed. But, if you can ensure that the team gels well together, the upside is massive, and you can tackle large projects seamlessly.