The role of the freelancer in the modern organisation
More and more employees are choosing to freelance, and more and more organisations are starting to see the advantages of hiring freelancers. Here’s how you establish a creative and modern organisation, utilising freelancers to get ahead.
More and more organisations have started to see the advantages of working with freelancers and looking away from the more traditional employment. If this is news to you, head into any coffee bar to see the freelance culture literally blooming. In lack of an office, this is where you find them - in front of their laptop, building their portfolio and expanding their expertise.
Today, many organisations choose to use freelancers for specific projects that they do not have the competence or time for themselves. This kind of employment can be very beneficial to both the freelancer and the organisation, making it a win-win situation.
"I wish I knew Graphiq 10 months ago, then I wouldn't have wasted a substantial amount of money and time on a traditional design agency without the right skill set…”
- Erik Bergamini, CEO & Co-founder, Pundit AS
Freelance is the future
According to Forbes, by 2027, 50% of the workforce is going to consist of freelancers. Even today in the United States, freelancers make up 35% of the workforce, while in the EU freelancers represent 16%. And by the looks of it, this trend and this market will keep growing in several other countries.
The technological development has enabled the freelancing lifestyle and removed many barriers, especially when it comes to communication.
Organisations can, through using freelance for specific projects, get the expertise they need both short term and long term. The possibility to take in someone to solve a problem that requires a certain competence is profitable for organisations from several perspectives. This applies for short term project especially, where the competence is not required full time. The process of finding freelancers is also more effective than the traditional employment process. Therefore, utilising freelancers can be really cost-effective without necessarily compromising on the quality.
The boundless media environment, often mentioned in negative wording, could, in this case, be really positive. Working with freelancers includes fewer limitations and a large offer of knowledge within both specific and generic areas. The communication is fast and simple, and can even stretch out all over the globe. This means that organisations can not only reach out to more customers but also, the workforce is no longer limited to a specific area. It is not constrained to a certain time zone either, and today there are many examples of organisations working in teams across geographical borders and time zones.
For the freelancer, the advantages are many. First of all, it is a very free occupation that is not constrained to time nor place. For many, avoiding the classic 9 to 5 job is reason enough to seek the freelancing lifestyle. Thorugh working with different organisations and projects at the same time, freelancers are gaining broad experience and competence to bring into the next project. Furthermore, being online lessens the costs for everyone involved and you can get online everywhere. This means that the morning commute could be a mere memory, and in this matter, freelancing could even be positive from an environmental perspective.
So, if freelancers are helping organisations save time and cost, offer expertise and are even beneficial to the environment, the only question remaining is how organisations can ensure a successful collaboration and utilisation of freelance services.
The most important matter is having clear communication and clear guidelines. You don’t want the freelancers to miss out on information that they would have received if they were at the office. This means that you need to be proactive and make the freelancers feel like they’re a part of the team. There are many different tools that structure the work and eases the communication. We have listed a few of them below.
Slack is an effective communication tool that allows you to communicate both in private chats and group chats. Slack provides your team with the possibility of communicating seamlessly, keeping each other updated, asking quick questions and well, do anything that it takes to work as a team.
Google Hangouts is another communication platform that enables communication via chat, audio or video, moving the physical meetings online. There is, of course, nothing that can replace the classic face to face communication, but video chat is as close as it gets. Finally, there is the email that does remain an important tool for communication, despite the other communication platforms.
Project management tools
Thanks to technological development, there are today many platforms and ways to structure and organise projects in an effective way. One example is Airtable, which is a flexible tool that can be used for many different purposes. Airtable is most known for its ability to plan, organise and let the entire team follow the progress in different projects.
Airtable gives you a clear overview of work tasks
Trello is another tool that eases planning and organising as well as providing an overview of what needs to be done and what is ongoing. Trello can even be connected to other tools such as Slack and Google Drive, for more seamless communication.
Trello is keeping the team structured through boards
Asana is a similar tool that can be used to make sure nothing falls through - set deadlines for projects, delegate tasks to team members and more. There are many different tools you can utilise. The most important matter is to find a tool that works for you and your team, and that contains those functions that you are the most dependent on.
Where do you find freelancers?
"From idea to delivery the Graphiq platform ensured a perfect collaboration. I was matched with a talented illustrator who delivered both icons and illustrations in just a couple of days. All design assets were aligned with our new brand profile, ensuring our visual communication was up to date." - Gøril Karstad, Head of Internal Communications, BI Norwegian Business School
Depending on your organisation’s needs, it could be resourceful to use freelancers. Organisations should aim at building a network of freelancers whose expertise can be used on-demand, but there are many ways to do this. Finding the right freelancer can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many platforms that connect organisations and freelancers, Graphiq being one of them. Our job is to match the right freelancer with the right organisation to guarantee a successful collaboration. To find the best talent we are therefore thorough in our recruitment of freelancers. It doesn’t have to be that hard. Have a look at our portfolio to see our case studies with organisations that have chosen to use our freelancers for their projects.