What NOT To Do When Working With Freelancers
The rise of the gig economy has brought about what many call a revolution of work as more and more people to choose to shake up the traditional employee-employer relationship.
The freelancer arrangement offers significant benefits to workers and employers alike. But getting the most out of contractors for your organization does require a different approach from standard operations.
After figuring out whether the tasks you have in mind are well-suited to outsourcing, you should ensure you have policies and procedures in place to help ease the integration process.
We’ve given tips for implementing remote workers in the past, so today, we thought we’d switch it up and go over some tips on what NOT to do when working with remote contractors.
Don’t Think of Freelancers as Regular Employees
It’s essential to understand the nature of the relationship between you and a contractor, as it’s inherently different from one between you and a standard employee.
Treating freelancers like they are employees can cause numerous issues both for your organization and for the freelancer.
For one thing, treating freelancers the same way you treat your employees can lead to issues with the IRS. According to them, the way your organization interacts with its workers determines the nature of their employment.
This means you could be liable for additional taxes and possibly expose yourself to an IRS or state investigation depending on how you treat and declare your workers.
The other issue with treating freelancers like typical employees is the potential for alienating the freelancers. After all, many freelancers decided to strike out on their own in search of more control over their daily lives.
Placing certain expectations such as when or where work is meant to be performed can put you in hot water with your freelancers and the IRS at the same time. Organizations that place too many constraints or expectations on how they work will likely see a lot of freelancer turnover.
Don’t Treat Freelancers Like They’re Disposable Either
While one of the benefits of the freelancer agreement is that you can easily swap out team members with different competencies and skills, you must remember freelancers are people too.
Like with your regular employees, morale and personal investment in the project/organization’s success greatly impact the quality and speed of a freelancer’s output. And the best way to foster personal investment in your organization is by personally investing in the people you hire.
Respect and appreciation are two-way streets, requiring reciprocation to maintain. Freelancers are different from standard employees and must be treated differently in many ways, but they are still human beings with the basic needs and drives that we all share.
Don’t Forget to Keep Freelancers in the Loop
Communication is essential for ensuring everyone, including freelancers, is on the same page. It’s also important to recognize the effort and dedication put into the work they perform for your organization. Freelancers should understand how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the project or organization.
Greater personal investment in the success of a project will empower all the contributions they make to that final product.
Having a big picture understanding of the work they’re performing will help them invest in the success of that work. Additionally, feedback and praise go a long way towards inspiring a higher level of satisfaction, which leads to a higher quality of work.
Getting the Most Out of Freelancers
Contractors are an excellent way to fill in skill gaps in your organization. But getting the most out of the freelancers you hire will require some adaptations on the part of your organization.
Treating your freelance hires as valuable additions to your team will help improve the quality of their output while also increasing their personal investment in the success of your organization. And keeping open lines of communication focused on positive reinforcement will go a long way in ensuring continued productivity and success.
Ultimately, finding the right freelancer for the job will play a massive role in ensuring the experience is positive for your organization. But, attracting and maintaining strong relationships with top-level freelancers will require some effort from your organization. After all, the more skilled and capable a freelancer is, the easier it is for them to find a place that will respect, appreciate, and support them.
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Originally published at upstack.co on Feb 20, 2022, by Charlie Harper.