The way America works is undergoing major changes. In 2015, there were about 3.2million people working as freelancers and that number is expected to more than double to 7.6 million people by 2020. This growth is equal to an annual increase of 18.5% per year until 2020.
Companies are changing the way they view employment too, choosing to keep up core employees and creating teams of gig employees for special assignments. Getting temporary workers is not hard and companies have choices – they can contract directly with freelancers, or they can use an agency to supply them. But getting them is not the big problem. The most ubiquitous problem is integrating them into your full-time workforce and with other contractor team members. Today, it is not unusual for freelancers to telecommute.
To make the best use of contracted workers, communications have to be easy for all team members. Team members, both internal and external, need to have the tools needed to get the work done.
Without forethought, independent contractors that temporarily join your team will take a longer time to achieve maximum productivity getting to know the project, the project team, and develop a strategy for completing the task. Following are tips on how you can get the most from your temporary employees.
Current technology lets you make it easy for your contractors to communicate with others working on the project with them. This technology includes:
Robust communications shorten the learning curve when a contractor comes on board.
An East Coast company hires a West Coast independent contractor. Basically, there are just a few hours of overlap of working hours available. So, when the team members employed by the company are unavailable, or if the contractor is not yet online, time is being lost for collaboration or information sharing towards. Instead of having team members store files on their computers – that makes them available to others only when online, opt for cloud storage and access using a service such as Microsoft’s One Drive or Google Drive.
Newer technologies found in productivity suites like MS Office or Google Docs allow for online collaboration and multiple people editing documents at the same time. With voice-enabled chat, virtual meetings allow for real-time collaboration. This speeds up processes for getting the tasks completed.
While ease of communications and collaboration is important so is cyber security. Only give contractors access to the data and programs they need through password protection. Many experts give high rankings to two-factor authorization (2FA) and there is a strong case for using it on files with sensitive data. It is also important to revoke remote access privileges for a contractor when he or she is no longer working on a project for you.