Communication Challenges in a Borderless Business

January 26, 2011 by

As an online worker, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to communicate effectively across the World Wide Web. Sometimes you have the right skills and consider yourself just right for a position but you find it hard to convey this to the potential employer. Understandably, many employers find it just as difficult to communicate with their contractors online. Read Full Article

Smart Team Transitions

January 24, 2011 by

Whether bringing on board a new contractor or switching managers internally, team transitions are a critical point of failure in many remote work relationships. Here are our 4 steps to making changes within your team flow smoothly: 1. Introductions Make sure to introduce the contractor to the people they will be working with, and clearly explain what they can expect from each person. Are there existing contractors on your team that can mentor the newbie? Someone they will be interacting with regularly, or relying on for their work process? Make these connections clear from the start to put your contractor on the path to success. 2. Deadlines & Expectations More than anything else, this is where the final results can begin to stray from the image in your mind. To keep reality in line with desired outcomes, have clear discussions with your contractor about: Working hours/availability. What times of day will they be online? How many hours per week can they commit to your work? Contact plan. How and when can you reach them? What is a good schedule for recurring conversations to discuss the status of the work, obstacles and changes? Impact. What is riding on the success of their work? What skills are you valuing in their position? Due Dates. When is the final work due? At what points should you have check-in conversations along the way? Even if you are transitioning a contractor to a different in-house manager, the new manager should revisit this conversation to ensure they are on the same page or adjust the contractor’s role to fit the new reporting structure. 3. Logistics While there may be an obvious answer to the question of “How will you submit your work?”, the range of tools available means … Read Full Article

Co-Working — Is It for You?

January 18, 2011 by

Ultimately co-working can be a brilliant solution for a lot of independent contractors who either thrive on the energy of "co-workers" and a more traditional office setting or simply cannot work from home for one reason or another. But never jump into a co-working situation without careful thought and consideration to every pro and con. Read Full Article