May 22, 2020
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Remote working is becoming the norm for companies everywhere. And it’s not only the Coronavirus pandemic pusing companies to become remote — employees are liking it too. A report released by Coworker and Coworking Insights in May, 2020 led Coworker to conclude that “52.9% of first-time remote workers said they now aspire to always work remotely.”
Making the shift to remote working isn’t as simple as everyone working from home. It requires new processes, tools, and sometimes even an entirely new understanding of what productive work really means. We have covered a number of these topics, from managing a distributed team, to hiring, to building a remote team in other blog posts, and might be able to help first-time remote managers navigate this new landscape.
And while you’re transitioning to remote working, your business might face even more uncertainties - should you bring on more in-house talent, or work with external parties? Headway Capital created an easy to follow infographic which walks through how to decide if it’s right for you to work with an employee or contractor.
If you’re still wondering if working with contractors and freelancers is right for you, but the work you need completed can be broken into projects, or you’d like to experiment with contract-to-hire, then working with contractors and freelancers could be a good option.
Here are a few reasons to work with external parties rather than hire more in-house talent.
Freelancers and contractors bring a unique perspective to any new client. Their unique work setup and style, from working remotely, to balancing multiple clients at a time, means they’re used to working from a distance, and can successfully manage expectations and projects. They’re also highly adaptable people who face challenges head on and are not afraid of uncertainty — chances are they have to deal with a lot of it daily!
As companies shift to remote working, they’ll also have the opportunity to work with freelancers from around the world, as being able to go to an office wouldn’t be as important. Going from working with people who are close to your office, to anyone from anywhere, means your talent pool has increased exponentially. And dare we say it’s common knowledge that people from different countries and backgrounds can bring the necessary fresh perspective companies need to have an edge in today’s competitive market.
One of the keys to successfully working with remote contractors and freelancers, is having the right tools and workflows in place. Leaving as little room as possible for ambiguity will mean you’ll get the results you expect, and your contractors and freelancers will have a great experience creating fulfilling work. But making that happen, especially with someone you’ve never met and who might be used to a different way of working, can be difficult.
Companies who use Lano to manage their network of freelancers and remote staff, work with freelancers from over 50 countries. Lano makes managing their relationships with contractors as easy and rewarding as possible. It easily manages everything from the moment a company onboards a new contractor, freelancer, or vendor, through to managing their hours and work output, to approving invoices and releasing payment.
Plus, with integrations to the most popular remote working tools, such as Trello, Docusign, Slack and Zapier, it’s easy for their remote workforces to seamlessly work with full-time employees.
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Agile methodologies have become the standard among engineering and tech teams, especially within the tech sector. It gives teams the ability to move faster on delivering projects while leaving more traditional workflows, such as the waterfall management technique, behind.
Take Skyscanner for example. In 2016, they employed agile coaches to help their growth tribes and squads, both elements of agile workflows made popular within tech by Spotify, perform to the best of their abilities.These cross-functional teams work towards a business goal for a short amount of time, and sometimes disperse to work on other business challenges once the goal has been completed, or the project timeline has lapsed.
Part of working in tribes and squads requires teams to be able to pull resources together to create new squads quickly and efficiently to achieve business goals. Freelancers and contractors can fit seamlessly into this agile work environment — where projects can run for days or weeks, rather than months or quarters.
Then, once the project is complete, freelancers and contractors can easily move onto the next project, reducing your company’s financial overhead, and providing them with the satisfaction of a project well done.
Plus, by building good relationships with your freelancers, paying them well, and on time, you’ll likely have long-term partners who’ll want to work on even more projects with you in the future.
There’s no doubt that freelancers and contractors are specialists in what they do. They’ve spent hours learning their trade and craft, gaining specific knowledge and experience by working with a large number of companies on a large number of projects. Uger Kaner goes as far as to write on Glassdoor that freelancers and contractors may make or break successful businesses, referencing the iconic Nike swoosh, which was created by a freelancer.
Though Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour theory of expertise was debunked, spending a lot of time doing something means that person brings a lot more domain knowledge than what you may be able to find in-house. They’ll also know where to look for the information they may not know off-hand, saving you potentially hours of desk research and extra admin work. That’s why we all love working with specialists, right?
These specialists, when plugged into your existing in-house resources, can supercharge a team. You’ll be making sure your project gets some of the best talent for the job — talent that might not be interested in working full-time for any company.
Though not necessarily your direct customers, your network of contractors can be a great way to build brand awareness. This network of professionals might not otherwise interact with your business, and can open up your company to an entirely new and relevant customer base.
If you treat your contractor network well, they’re likely to promote your business to their own networks.
Creating a referral campaign, for example a small monthly discount or a few free trials, is an easy way to say thank you to your freelance network, while incentivising them to tell other potential customers about your company. And successfully managing this network of freelancers is easy using Lano.
If you’re interested in learning if Lano is the right tool to help your business transition to a remote-first organisation that successfully works with freelancers, contractors and vendors, book a free demo today.
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