Working with remote teams of freelancers can be highly effective and open your company up to a whole new level of productivity. Freelancers on the other side often enjoy the flexibility and freedom of their job. Therefore, when done right, remote work can be very rewarding and beneficial for both parties.

However, not understanding the different needs and situations of the other person might lead to unnecessary problems and miscommunication. Here are 3 things both companies and freelancers should know about each other to establish a good working relationship.

1. The right handling of invoices

Invoices are probably one of the most discussed topics when talking about a good relationship between companies and contractors.

What companies need to understand

Freelancers don’t have a fixed income that shows up in their bank account every month at the same time. They rather live from job to job and therefore, from invoice to invoice. So, if they don’t get paid in time, they are looking at serious repercussions: Not being able to pay their own bills or being unable to invest into upcoming projects. On top of that, making sure their bills are paid takes time out of their day that could be used for actual work. Keep all these things in mind when processing invoices and payments for your contractors.

What freelancers need to understand

Many companies, especially bigger ones, have a rather intricate internal system for payments. They don’t just transfer money whenever an invoice comes flying in, but rather have a set date every month for the processing of outstanding payments. Whether this might be the beginning, middle or end of the month, you should keep these deadlines in mind when sending over your invoices, because missing one of those payment dates might mean you have to wait an extra month to get paid.

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2. Feedback is important

Giving each other feedback is the basis for a good relationship between companies and contractors.

What companies need to understand

You can only expect a person’s work to improve when you give them relevant feedback. Not sharing what you liked and disliked about working with someone and the actual outcome of the collaboration sets you up for failure. It might save you one email or phone call in the moment but will see you invest much more time down the road in changing what wasn’t right. Also, if you do give criticism, make sure it is constructive and also highlights the things you enjoyed about your contractor’s work. This is a big motivational factor and will shape a good relationship.

What freelancers need to understand

Feedback is not a one-way street. If there is something bugging you about working with your client, you should tell them. There is no use in silently suffering through uncoordinated briefings or drowning in too much information. Find a way to place your criticism in a constructive manner to save time for you and your clients and to create a more effective working environment.

3. Share information and ask questions

After all, knowledge is power. So, share as much relevant information as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

What companies need to understand

Every business has its own set of unique words and terminology an outsider would probably struggle to understand. The same is true for past projects and experiences with different jobs. All this insider information needs to be shared with co-workers and independent workers just the same. So, make sure you are sharing all relevant information and explaining certain industry- or company-specific words and phrases to your remote team.

What freelancers need to understand

This has probably happened to most of us: You are sitting in a meeting when all of a sudden, a word or abbreviation is used that you don’t understand. Before you have the chance to ask a question, the conversation has moved on and you feel uncomfortable bringing it back up. So now, we sit on this question and just hope no one brings the topic back up.

This creates unnecessary tension and anxiety. If you don’t understand something, don’t be ashamed to ask your client. There is nothing worse than making a mistake simply because you were too proud or too scared to ask for clarification. Asking for more information only shows you are invested in the project and keen to learn more. So, remember: It is always okay to ask a question.