Online Work Tips & Best Practices

One of the most difficult parts of being a freelancer involves learning how to manage relationships with clients in a virtual environment, which can be a lot different than connecting with people face to face.

So how can you create a strong online relationship with someone you may never get to see in person? We asked our Facebook community just that, and they responded with some fantastic tips on how to make the most of every online interaction.

“My number one tip is COMMUNICATION! Always communicate clearly and frequently with all online partners. Ask and answer questions promptly, and ask for feedback or assistance when it is needed.”
– Michael Stover

“Use more than one way of communication (email, call, texting, Skype, video calls, etc). There is no such thing as too much communication.”
Guilherme Furlan

“Professionalism. Freelancers should learn how to treat their online jobs as if they are working in an office. They should perform well and do their jobs even if there’s no boss around. They should use their working hours efficiently and deliver quality output within the timelines/due dates agreed upon. They must observe courtesy by communicating properly with their clients and other freelancers they are working with. Good working relationship could be achieved in a virtual environment if all parties will act professionally.”
Michelle Suarez-Delos Santos

“Always being honest with clients is the main factor to have a long term relationships and become trustworthy. Working online is a big challenge for you both, but I believe that nothing is too hard if you love what you do. Always make sure that when you work on a specific task, it’s not only about how fast you can deliver it but making sure you are giving a quality output. Another one is never be afraid to ask questions or clarifications when you’re in doubt of how to do it. By that, the client can see your sincerity and willingness to do the job.
Again, it’s about honesty, trust, speed with work quality and never being afraid to ask.”
– Alyssa Janine

How do you manage your online working relationships? Tell us in the comments! And be sure to check out Communication Is Key for Online Work for more details on communicating with clients over the web.

Editor’s note: Responses edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity. The statements above are those of their authors and do not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork.

Melanie Feltham

Contributing Author

Melanie Feltham is a full-time freelancer who specializes in social media and search engine marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Linguistics, a Bachelor of Science Honors in Psychology, and a Master of Business Administration.