September 10, 2013 - FILED UNDER Collaboration
How to Use Online Collaboration Tools to Utilize Freelancers from Around the Globe
One of the greatest freedoms the worker of this century has is technology. It has allowed so many of us to do our jobs from home and to create businesses for ourselves. With so many collaborative tools at our fingertips, the need for a business to have meetings with its freelancers on-site is virtually non-existent.
Here, we’ll review some of the online tools businesses can utilize when working with freelancers to make collaboration simple.
Basecamp is a project management tool that allows assignments to be easily doled out by an employer to workers offsite. With a clear check-in system, a freelancer can check off the work when it is completed and can also upload the completed work to the website with ease.
Google Drive is the absolute perfect place to share a document and never worry about version control. You can actually see another person editing the document in real-time and all the time, regardless of how far away they are geographically.
Google Drive also offers a fantastic file sharing option—you can store all of your company’s important files on Google Drive so that anyone, whether freelancer or full-timer, can get to the important documents your company uses regularly.
If you are managing freelance sales resources, Salesforce is the perfect tool. It’s a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that allows users to manage their pipeline of leads as well as existing customers. Real-time notes on an account are logged with every customer interaction so that a historical background is always available. With freelancers coming in and out of the picture frequently, having a clear log of each account’s relationship history is important.
Salesforce also syncs with QuickBooks so the sales history of each account can be available to anyone looking at Salesforce, whether it be a freelancer or full-timer with your business.
Mindjet’s ProjectDirector is another project management and collaboration tool that helps your projects run as smoothly as possible, whether you’re utilizing freelancers or salaried employees to make the project run. With ProjectDirector, the whole team can brainstorm and plan the project in an easy-to-understand way, as the program lays out the project details visually so all members can both get the big picture and zoom in to the details if need be. Other features include the ability to identify bottlenecks before they become a problem, tools to help project managers keep the project on track, and a comprehensive file-management system.
Skype is one of the greatest conferencing technologies available. Available both for computer and for mobile devices, video chatting is made simple, and in many cases, it’s free. Multiple users can be on at one time, and everyone on the call can see one another. To illustrate their tool’s effectiveness, Skype created this awesome infographic:
In short, if your business doesn’t quite have the personnel or money for full-time resources and you plan to hire a freelancer, the aforementioned tools will help you immensely in communicating and collaborating with your remote team. With tools that help you keep track of your team’s workload, videoconference, and collaborate on documents, you’ll always feel connected and on the same page with your team. Geography doesn’t matter!
Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics ranging from digital marketing strategy to Steve Wynn.