The very nature of freelancers means that they aren’t going to be at the office every single day. That is the beauty of outsourced work – you can reduce the size of your workspace and significantly shrink your overheads. This doesn’t mean, however, that freelance workers should be left out of the loop.
Some freelancers will come and go within a matter of days, some you might only even hire for couple of hours. In this case, you don’t need to worry too much about their connection with the rest of the company.
On the other hand, you might find yourself working with freelancers or contract staff who you hire on a project basis that end up becoming part of the furniture. If this is the case, you could find that a freelancer becomes an honorary member of your workforce for a number of months or even years.
If the latter is true, it’s essential that you ensure communication lines between your full-time resident staff and your freelancer(s) are strong. Failing to do so could compromise the quality of work being produced and risk hindering productivity and output levels.
To avoid these issues, check out our advice on improving communication between full-time staff and freelancers.
If you are employing the expertise of somebody in another part of the country (or even the world) make sure they can still attend important meetings by taking advantage of video conferencing technology.
While a major advantage of outsourcing is that you don’t have to accommodate more resident staff, we do recommend scheduling time for in-person meetings. This doesn’t have to be often but checking in face-to-face is a great way to strengthen communication lines.
Consider hot desking
If a freelancer is going to take up residency at the office temporarily, they’re going to need somewhere to sit and adequate resources in order to feel comfortable and motivated. A place to hot desk will help a freelancer feel ‘part of the team’.
When somebody isn’t in the workplace every day, they can be easily forgotten about when it comes to work events but social occasions are the perfect way to build and bolster relationships.
Cc them into email trails
It can be easy to overlook freelancers when composing internal emails but if they’re going to perform to their full potential, you need to keep them in the loop.
Use a project management tool
It can be hard for freelancers to pick up on company processes which have become second nature to your full-time staff. Implementing the use of a simple project management tool like Trello or Basecamp will aid communication and hopefully prevent any missed information or miscommunication.
All of the tips above will help freelance workers to integrate with full-time staff for the time they’re part of your company. If you have any of your own tips to encourage this, leave them in the comments below!