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Trends for Teams Working Together

Trends for Teams Working Together

How do great teams work together in 2019? Whether they’re remote or sit five feet from each other, there are a few things successful teams do.

Successful Teams Communicate Constantly and Effectively

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Communication is something a lot of project teams struggle with. For some teams, they just aren’t communicating enough. Maybe they have a weekly meeting and that’s the only time they really connect. For most projects, this isn’t enough. They may not need to all meet every week, but the team should be talking to each other throughout the week as they work on their tasks. 

Other teams might connect regularly but don’t talk about the most important issues. For example, maybe they’re chatting on Slack about the news or a new company policy. Slack is a common tool in the workplace now, but it’s not always used effectively. 

Great teams strike a good balance. They communicate with each other a lot, and they make sure they are moving the project forward. They don’t hide anything from each other (on purpose anyways) because they realize open communication helps the team reach its goals.

Successful Teams Use the Right Tools

New tools seem to come out every day. From video chat to project management tools, there is an overwhelming number of tools out there for project teams to use. 

Here are a few types of tools to consider, along with why they help so much:

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Team Chat Tools

lack is probably the most well-known, but there are alternatives out there as well. Team chat tools make it easy to reach a team member and have an ongoing conversation with a group of people. Some companies claim they barely use email internally, because most communications are done via team chat.

Video Conferencing

The more you can do to connect with your team, the better. Video calls generally helps the team be more focused, as you can’t be working on other things during a video call! They also make it more personal, similar to sitting across the table from someone in person.

Project Management Tools

Basecamp, Trello, and Asana are just a few. These tools make it easy to track project milestones, who is assigned to each task, save attachments, etc. Effective teams know that organization is important, so they use tools to help.

Successful Teams Have a Strong Project Manager

Project managers exist to do one thing: keep the project on schedule and cost without sacrificing quality. That’s not easy, but it can make or break a team. 

Here are a few qualities of a great project manager:

  •  They ask lots of questions. They can’t be afraid of sounding dumb, because asking questions is the best way to make sure everyone understands what’s going on. 
  • They know when to be firm. If you set a meeting for 30 minutes and you’re at the 20 minute mark without much progress, a great project manager will steer the team back into the right direction. 
  • They track metrics. What gets measured gets managed!
  • They don’t spend a ton of time at their desks. Great project managers are constantly on the move – in meetings, going to people’s desk to ask a question, etc. This is especially true with urgent requests or tasks.
Glass pane covered in project planning sticky notes and drawings

Effective Strategies for Project Management in the Age of Freelance

Effective Strategies for Project Management in the Age of Freelance

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The age of freelance is giving businesses new opportunities. Companies are now able to cut costs while getting work done faster than ever. But the remote hiring of freelancers does have its share of disadvantages.

For one thing, since freelancers are coming in on a by-project basis, they may not be as familiar with what you do as a full-time employee would be. And of course, since freelancers are usually remote, even basic communication is different than what most project managers are used to.

For those reasons, today we will explore how to effectively manage a project in the era of freelancers.

Woman in suit being interviewed by man

It’s Starts with the Hiring Process

Your project is going to be much easier to manage if you hire smart to begin with. Working with a freelancer requires lots of mutual trust. On your end, you want to make sure that the person you hire is worth the trust you put in them. 

Remember, you aren’t just vetting for talent. Personality matches are important. Make sure that a freelancer fits your work culture before hiring them!

Once you do hire them, you may find it worthwhile to acclimate them to your business process the same way you would a full-time hire. Of course, this might not be practical if the hire is only for a quick project. However, you may still find it worthwhile to introduce your freelancer to your business partners, and make sure that they understand your core values.

Be as Clear as Possible

It’s important that you explain your exact expectations at the beginning of the process. This doesn’t mean micro-managing. It just means being a good communicator. Remember that your freelance team probably hasn’t worked with you or your company in the past. That means that they only know what you tell them.

The better you communicate your wants, the more likely it is you will see them realized.

Man with glasses presents in front of group of people in office
Hourglass sitting on wooden table

Be Smart with Your Deadlines

Sometimes freelancers are brought on to do crunch work. However, if you aren’t up against the clock, it is a good idea to give your freelance team space to breath. 

Good work takes time. Plus, it is important to remember that most freelancers are juggling more than one project at a time. For your purposes it may be a little bit frustrating to wait on a freelancer as they finish up a task for someone else.

However, there is wisdom in accepting that it is rare to get a good freelancer all to yourself. Reasonable deadlines will allow your freelance team to give you their best work.

Technology is Your Friend

Last but not least, take advantage of your tools. Technology makes it easier than ever to communicate rapidly with a remote team. Tools like Trello, Skype, Slack, and Google Office make remote communication remarkably simple. 

Of course, it is also important that you don’t go over board with the tools. Try to keep your team communication consolidated to a single platform if you can to ensure that the process is as streamlined as possible.

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How the Freelancer Community is changing Business

How the Freelancer Community is changing Business

About 36% of the American workforce is freelancing. That staggering number seems poised only to grow, with the potential for freelancers to become the majority by 2027. The market is clearly huge, but what exactly does this mean for business? How are freelancers changing the landscape of business? That is the question we will examine today.

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Lowering Overhead Costs

 

Companies that use freelancers experience a greatly reduced cost in overhead. The reason for this is pretty self explanatory. Since most freelancers are working remotely, businesses using them can cut costs on real-estate needs.

There is also the fact that freelancers cost less than the traditional employee. Even a top-dollar freelancer isn’t going to get the healthcare/onboarding expenses that come with the traditional hire.

Does your business utilize freelancers?

Hyper Specialized Hiring

 

Even companies with a full traditional staff may sometimes enjoy the benefits of a freelancer. Why? Freelancers with an expertise can be hired on to fulfill specific tasks that a business might not be equipped to tackle.

The specialized hire can come in, do what they do best, and then leave with everyone happy. It’s a win, win.

 

Workers are Enjoying More Flexibility

 

The benefits of freelancing are not exclusive just to companies. The freelancers themselves are also seeing advantages that traditional positions don’t offer.

Namely? They can work from anywhere in the world that they want. Anywhere with wifi anyway. Most can also work anytime they want. The traditional world of 9-5 doesn’t exist in the world of freelance.

And, perhaps the best part? The freelancer is free to turn down tasks that they aren’t interested in performing.

The benefits enjoyed by freelancers have become the envy of the rest of the working world. As a result, some businesses are playing around with the idea of giving their staff a little bit more autonomy. However, as it stands, the freelancer community is enjoying a level of freedom other sectors of business just aren’t familiar with.

More Companies are Going Full-Remote

 

Fully remote companies aren’t exactly common as things currently stand. However, they also aren’t non-existent. Many businesses are finding that the freelancer market is giving them the potential to drastically increase the amount of remote workers they use.

Of course, not all remote workers are freelancers. Still, the two trends, gig work and remote work, at least have plenty of adjacency.

It’s hard to say how far this will go. However, with the projection that one out of every two workers will soon be freelancing, it does seem safe to say that more and more big businesses are going to be tapping this unique market in the near future.

Conclusion

 

Corporations and freelancers are poised for a symbiotic relationship that should shape the way business is done for decades to come. Some of the changes are, and will be to everyone’s benefit. Lower costs for businesses, more autonomy for employees.

Other aspects of the arrangement aren’t so good. Like the difficulty freelancers have in making a steady income.

We don’t yet know exactly what the future will look like. One thing is clear: the freelancer community is here, and it is growing bigger by the day.