Freelancing has become a go-to career choice for many established professionals and fresh graduates alike. The notion of working from home and earning a living is really alluring to a lot of people. Studies have shown that 80% of freelancers report higher morale from working remotely, and 82% still report signs of lowered anxiety and stress. This is a major revelatory statistic which serves to show that freelancing really is the future of professional development.
However, with remote work conditions comes a plethora of other issues. How do you effectively coordinate a group of likeminded but different individuals? How do you make it so that the final group project is a cohesive whole which will serve the client’s needs perfectly?
Using an effective project management platform is a must when it comes to projects with serious stakeholders and even more serious and influential outcomes. To that end, Azendoo can prove to be the tool of choice for many freelancer groups out there. Let’s take a look at several features and problematic scenarios in which Azendoo can show its value both to project managers and freelancers.
Project management and delegation
Some would argue that the hardest part of project management is in its inception. This is especially true with freelance group projects which are more often than not based on ad hoc groups of people. Freelancers who finish a project successfully usually move on individually and seek new contracts and clients. Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 freelancers work on 1 to 3 projects in parallel, often juggling tasks and deadlines in between them.
However, when they do find themselves in a situation of project management, difficulties quickly arise. Chris Mercer, CEO of Citatior spoke about his experience as a project manager: “Since I manage Citatior on my own, I have a lot of writers under my wing. It can be tough delegating and managing work without specialized applications. I would highly recommend that people use some form of a management app if they work with remote teams.” Luckily, Azendoo allows project managers to delegate and monitor projects based on individual tasks.
The platform was designed with collaboration and project overview in mind, meaning that it is very intuitive and easy to navigate Azendoo’s project management interface. Moreover, it will ensure that the team is focused on actionable tasks and not steer away from the initial briefing.
Freelancing is known for its need to share files through different cloud-based services. Platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote have proven to be a very common playground for freelancers across the globe. However, centralizing these platforms and managing all of them at once can be nigh impossible. According to Market Watch, 3 out of 4 freelancers have found work solely through online networking in the past year. This naturally means that there is a backlog of important project files to consider.
This is especially true for project managers who multitask on several different projects with different groups of freelancers. When the freelancers with their multiple projects are also taken into consideration, a conundrum quickly arises. James Daily, project manager at FlashEssay spoke about his issues with cloud-based file storage platforms: “People have the notion that services such as Google Drive are perfectly suited for every remote work task. However, experience has taught me that there is no such thing as a perfect file management platform. What would come close is the ability to centralize all of these services into a hub and work from there.”
Enter Azendoo, which features the ability to centralize file management platforms and more through its cloud project management service. Teams can now share files from their favorite cloud storage solutions in a few clicks on their tasks or conversations. Where things get interesting is that files are always shared in context - thus making everyone save time when working on projects.
One of the worst banes of freelancing has to be the time management involved in it. Freelancers are able to work at their own pace and time but they are still required to abide by set deadlines. However, managing said deadlines between several tasks and projects can often lead to anxiety and exhaustion. Current estimates at Forbes state that 34% of the global workforce will shift toward freelancing by the year 2020. With such a large biome of professionals and clients in need of freelance help, task prioritization will quickly become a widespread issue.
Natalie Andersen, executive content manager at GetGoodGrade spoke about the difficulties of time management in a remote work environment: “While I do love my job, I often find myself at a lack of time. I’m always in a hurry and I often forget that I’ve stepped into overtime again. However, I have started using small time tracking apps on my smartphone and things have started to turn around for me ever since.”
This is why adequate tracking is necessary from the moment a specific project starts. Such is the case with Azendoo, which features a robust time tracking system for project teams. It’s quite easy to track each individual task with Azendoo and find potential workflow bottlenecks. You can also use Azendoo for daily remote work by simply limiting yourself to a set hourly work interval. That way, you will never work more than X amount of hours you set out for your project.
Ongoing cloud security
Despite the numerous file sharing options available to freelancers, there is always the notion of security to take into account. How secure is the file management platform you have been using for your important project management files? According to data collected by Barkly, 77% of cyber-attacks in 2017 used a fileless access technique. This means that the hacking attempt didn’t require the victim to download any files and willingly start the virus payload.
A single malware intrusion or a cyber-attack is often enough to discredit not only you as a professional but also your clients who put their trust and time into you. In order to avoid any potential leaks of information or loss of data, you can try using Azendoo as your go-to project management platform. Azendoo has numerous built-in security procedures to keep your data secured while constantly available.
James Scott, a project management specialist at EssaySupply spoke about internet security recently: “I make it a habit to use antivirus software in conjunction with malware protection. That way, I am always sure that my clients’ files are safe from any unauthorized access. However, I don’t usually share files so I would suggest a more dedicated protection solution for large collaborative teams.”
Besides the regular password protection, you would get access to 24/7 customer support and assistance with any needs or concerns you might have in regards to the safety of your files on the platform. This is a must for teams of freelancers with numerous files and information to keep track of, especially for novice project managers.
Guest invitation & collaboration
Lastly, when it comes to client feedback and final deliverables, freelance teams usually fall to the sidelines. A single representative (usually the project manager) handles any negotiation, feedback and criticism directed at the project. This can prove disheartening to the rest of the team which likely works as much or even more than the project manager themselves. It’s important to note that clients have wants and needs just like the freelancers who work for them. According to Constant-Content, there are right and wrong ways to approach working with a client.
Using Azendoo can amend for that misunderstanding shortcoming in a big way. You can easily invite a guest to collaborate on your project as a viewer and comment on any progress you have made. Your “guest” can be the client, another freelancer or the project manager themselves if your team prefers to work without a constant watchful eye. The proverbial guest has as much (or little) freedom as you assign to them, meaning that they will never be able to interfere with your workflow more than you want them to.
All it takes to add guests to your Azendoo workspace is to send them a personalized invitation and “seal the deal” by accepting them into your group. The process is seamless and straightforward, meaning you will never lose momentum and be able to continue your work uninterrupted.
No matter the scale or type of freelance project you work on, you should always be on the lookout for software solutions which can help you out. Azendoo is only one of many highly effective project management platforms out there.
However, it is perfectly suitable for numerous types of remote collaboration, group freelancing efforts as well as ongoing file sharing in a secure environment. You would be hard pressed to find a more suitable freelancer management platform with the same quality of life features out there on the web.
Author : Silvia is an HR manager and freelance writer. She helps people write the perfect resume and land a desirable job. She is also an active guest contributor. Sylvia’s writing has been featured on Forbes, Next Avenue, TLNT and more.