Nowadays, there is a prevalence of workers who carry the status of an independent contractor or freelancer. This is usually done by companies when they need work done on a per-project basis instead of having a permanent employee working in the office. This is so common that a recent study revealed that 1 out of 10 workers are independent contractors. Collectively, that yields a high percentage of workers with independent status.
Because the company does not necessarily hire independent contractors, there is less control for businesses in terms of when the worker accomplishes tasks, or how they go about it. All that matters is that they deliver on time and accomplish tasks when needed. Because of the decrease in control, it may be tricky for businesses to work with independent contractors. Here are some tips.
Make your working relationship formal
A common misconception in hiring independent contractors is that there is no need for any sort of formality or paperwork to begin the working relationship. Although some companies would opt not to ask for any requirements or go through a hiring process, it’s still ideal to have one.
Since you’re paying them for work done, there are administrative and legal requirements that have to be met. It would protect both the business and the employee to have formal paperwork and records of the working relationship. An example would be performance guaranteed bonds to ensure that the contractor will deliver the work agreed upon, or tax and personal identification forms.
An independent contractor usually does not work in the company’s office. There can be occasional face-to-face meetings, but more often than not, they work remotely with no personal contact with the employer. Because of this, it becomes all the more important to have an effective means of communication.
A tip of advice before even beginning the project is to agree on a communication channel and method. Are they required to send updates on the project? Through what medium would it be more effective to reach you? Laying down these things beforehand will make communication between the employer and an independent contractor more seamless.
Set milestones and timeline
The parties in an independent contractor agreement need to set a precise timeline for the project. This will ensure that the results are delivered when needed. Discuss how often reports should be made, when the first phase of the project is due, etc. All this will become significant in helping the project run smoothly from the start. And both of you can rest assured that the project will be done on a specified and agreed upon date.
Build a good working relationship
Just because they’re independent contractors doesn’t mean that they deserve less than what regular employees do. To work with them effectively, a good working relationship must be established. More than transacting professionally, let them know that their well-being is also the company’s priority. This is especially helpful if you wish to work with them again in the future. Even if there’s no assurance that you will need their services again, it’s always handy to have a person you can call in case the need arises.
Working with an independent contractor may be a little different compared to the traditional employee-employer relationship. With these tips, you can ensure a more seamless and effective working relationship with your remote workers.