Managing outsourced work and freelancers

Managing outsourced work is a cinch if you have the right systems in place

Photo by CC user FirmBee on Pixabay

In modern society, remote workers are a critical part of the team. However, working with freelancers can be a challenge. Freelance workers are not offered the same incentives as traditional employees. Managers have fewer tools at their disposal to motivate them. How do successful managers keep an independent contractor interested and producing high-quality work?

Independent contractors do not work as an “employee” of the company. They pay their own taxes and they receive no corporate benefits. However, that does not mean that management has a hands-off approach. The freelancer accepts an assignment or job from the employer. They agree to complete the assignment to the specifications of the company in exchange for a certain dollar amount. While the manager has a right to expect a certain quality, he also needs to establish a relationship with the freelancer so the freelancer will return to do more work for him in the future.

Here are some proven tips that have allowed management to strike a good balance between their traditional and freelance associates.


Communication is essential between the manager and the independent contractor. It is important to spell out the exact expectations of the assignment. The freelance worker needs to know what the job includes, what it pays, and when the assignment is due.

Keep in mind that the freelancer is not on your staff. They do not know the tone of your office. They do not know your personality or your sense of humor. Do not assume they understand how this project fits into your corporate puzzle. Be clear about who the project target is. Directing a project toward middle management is much different than directing the project toward corporate executives and business owners.

Follow up by putting all the information in an E-Mail to avoid any misunderstandings.

Ask questions

Show your freelancer the same respect you would a new hire. Ask them what they expect from the project and listen to the answer. Some freelancers simply like working at their own pace without the grind of nine to five office routines. Others are only in it for the money, while some are setting the groundwork to open their own business. Respect their choice and if you agree to hire them, deliver what they expect. If the freelancer expressed that they do freelance work so they can have their mornings free to volunteer at their child’s school, do not demand they be available to take a call from you during those hours. Respect their requirements and they will respect yours.

Build a relationship

Get to know your freelancer and take an interest in them. This does not mean you have to become best friends, but treat them with the same respect you would an employee. Resist the urge to micromanage. Allow them to show you what they can do. If you would like a change, ask for one. But give them room to show their creativity and talent.

Give feedback

If your freelancer is doing a good job for you, thank them. If they are falling short, review the agreement and ask if there is anything they do not understand. Never insult a person on a personal level. But, if they are not delivering speak with them. If the instructions are not clear to them, it saves you time and money to explain further. If you reach a point where you feel you must sever the relationship, do so politely and be fair. If you owe them for any work, make good on your promise.

Track the progress

As with any type of employee or contractor, track the progress of your freelance team. There are many ways to do this. Discuss this with the freelancer before the job begins. Have a clear method in place to know where your project stands at any time. If you have questions about how this can be done, consider an online time tracking system. Using a program with time sheets online is an easy solution in most situations.

As freelancers and working remotely become more popular, managers must step up their game. However, with a little effort, the remote worker becomes an instrumental member of the corporate workforce.

Author Bio:

Wendy Dessler


Super-Connector at OutreachMama.

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.


Twitter Handle: @outreachmama

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