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Effective Strategies for Managing and Collaborating with Remote Freelancers/



Michael is a software engineer and startup growth expert with 10+ years of software engineering and machine learning experience.

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Effective Strategies for Managing and Collaborating with Remote Freelancers
Effective Strategies for Managing and Collaborating with Remote Freelancers

Why Remote Freelance Work Is Growing

Remote work is on the rise, and over 50% of global leaders and managers anticipate an increase in remotely performed work, according to a recent survey. The growth of remote work is driven by the development of new communication technology, which makes real-time collaboration on a global scale easier. The rise of online talent platforms has also enabled businesses to discover and engage non-local talent on a temporary basis. These trends have shifted agencies from organizations to individuals, creating a more even playing field and providing agile talents with increased access to opportunity and greater choice.

How Managers Can Do A Better Job Managing Remote Agile Talent

How Managers Can Do A Better Job Managing Remote Agile Talent

While remote work offers significant benefits for both workers and organizations, it is not without its challenges. One of the main concerns among executives is how well managers can manage remote work and workers. Therefore, managers need to learn how to manage remote agile talent effectively. Here are five rules for managing agile talent:

1. Collaborate, Don’t Subordinate

Agile talents are employed but not employees. Managers should strike a more collaborative, collegial relationship with agile talents, rather than attempting to manage them as they would a traditional full-time employee. Agile talents choose independence because they want to have a high degree of freedom over their lives and work.

2. Be Inclusive: Establish Regular Engagement Discipline

Leaders must ensure the full productivity of the team. Inclusivity means treating freelancers as real members of the team, not as marginal replacement players. Managers should include remote agile talents in regular communication with the team, invite their active participation in team meetings, invest time in getting to know them beyond the work, encourage their suggestions and recommendations, and actively support them in dealing with organizational policies and bureaucracy.

3. Set Performance Expectations From A Visionary Perspective

Managers need to set performance objectives and milestones that begin and end with a broader focus on the vision of the project and its larger impact on the client organization’s growth and prosperity. This approach appeals to an emotional as well as occupational obligation to do one’s best work, reinforces the shift in a relationship away from the transactional, implicitly encourages agile talents to identify with the project and its importance, and enables a different performance review conversation.

4. Encourage Mentorship

Agile talents are an attractive and underutilized resource in mentoring and developing more junior team members and other professionals. Managers should not be dissuaded by logistical difficulties from inviting agile talents to share their broad and distinctive expertise. Technologies like JOLT make it possible for team leaders to offer real-time workshops led by agile talents on topics where they bring unique expertise or experience.

5. Make Change Fast When Things Aren’t Working

It is challenging for new members of an organization to quickly establish good relationships, which is what agile talents must do to be effective. Therefore, managers should make changes fast when it is clear that work styles or other factors will impede success on both sides. Relationships that start badly are more likely to continue to deteriorate than improve, especially when remote work is a complicating factor.


Remote freelance work is on the rise, and managers need to learn how to manage remote agile talent effectively. Managers should collaborate, not subordinate, be inclusive and establish regular engagement discipline, set performance expectations from a visionary perspective, encourage mentorship, and make changes fast when things aren’t working. By following these five rules, managers can successfully manage remote agile talent and fully realize the benefits of remote work.