Immediacy is a term that has a bad reputation these days. Expectations for tasks to be done as fast as possible rises and increases stress among many. When speaking about freelancers, however, immediacy is a must. Freelancers thrive in real-time environments and companies are expected to keep up
Productivity, innovation and efficiency within a team are essential components for making a project successful. Teams need to know what to do, by when, how and why. If there is a problem - a solution needs to be found. If there is a change in the strategy - everyone needs to be notified. Essentially, it is knowledge-sharing and transparency between a group of people. And the faster everyone is up to date, the better.
When adding remote freelancers into the mix, it becomes imperative to have a workflow in place that supports the team. Thanks to software tools and the Internet, working individuals have the ability to manage, delegate, supervise and communicate with each other. By being connected online, real-time communication and collaboration can be done.
Real-time collaboration is a term used for software or technologies that allow multiple users to work together on a project in real-time, or simultaneously. Real-time collaboration involves making files commonly available to multiple users in different locations and allowing these users to communicate without delays.
On the plus side, your company can essentially get a 24-hour workday; teams - virtual or remote working in different time zones - can send completed work to a colleague who is starting their day. The project continues to get pushed forward and then passed on again several hours later. And for freelancers, completing tasks successfully and quickly gives them time to find their next gig.
Having tasks completed on time feels good - for both the employer and the freelancer. It demonstrates that a flawless workflow is in place. This gives off a good, strong impression of professionalism between both parties. When dealing with freelancers and employees, professionalism extends in the administrative area of the business. And it begins from the very start of the working relationship.
As they say, first impressions count and the very first act of signing the contract is an important one. Too often, contracts get added to a pile of other paperwork that has to be reviewed and signed. Once a contract has been sent to the other party, he or she has to sign it and send it back. A simple contract can take up to a week - if not longer, to get finalized. And that is without there being any information to change or edit. If the wrong information is on the first draft of the contract, you can expect to be waiting an extra few days.
According to a survey from Adobe, 63% of respondents feel that onboarding, filling and sending documents is too complex and time-consuming and 61% have to chase signatures wasting up to 6.8 hours - almost one working day on office admin.
A contract that is online, standardized, and automatically filled in and signed by both parties instantly gives off a much better impression. Using intelligent contract automation tools and up-to-date legal content will ensure that your contracts get cleared fast, are easily manageable and signed digitally.
By bringing automation into your contract management, you can reduce the costs and time that you spend on contract administration, freeing up these resources to be used elsewhere. Contract automation also helps you to establish a standardized workflow within your organization, thereby eliminating potentially costly human errors.
A common problem for businesses using a manual contract management method is finding a misplaced contract, as contracts can be scattered across multiple computers and systems throughout the organization.
In order to increase visibility across the board, you need an automated contract management system that includes a centralized, unified repository of all your contracts and relevant documents. Aggregating contract management documents within a centralized repository has another advantage: improving the security of your company's sensitive information.
Correct Invoicing and Instant Payments
The same goes for payments. When invoices are not standardised, they can be prone to errors: incorrect invoice number, VAT not included or perhaps you have been sent an invoice in a format that you do not accept. Then when it comes to going through the invoices and calculating the total expense for your financial report, you find invoices that are disorganized or lost completely.
Neither companies nor the freelancer wants to deal with delays in payment. For companies, cash flow is an essential element for running a business smoothly. There are many costs to pay and having the funds at the ready to pay instantly when the invoice comes in goes a long way. There is less stress for admin and the relationship with the freelancers strengthens.
A report on poor payment practices published in 2016 by the UK Federation of Small Businesses showed that 37% of SMBs had cash issues because of untimely payments. In another survey by Bonsai, a test sample of 100,000 freelancers showed that 29% of freelancers get paid late. When looked into further, among the freelancers who get paid late - 31% are female compared to 24% male and 23% teams.