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Remote Freelance Work: 4 Myths You Should Be Aware Of

Below are 4 myths about remote freelance workers and the realities that debunk them.

Josh Althuser

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As technology evolves and the economy becomes increasingly globalised, it’s no surprise that remote freelance work is on the rise. Workers, disenchanted traditional work models and dwindling full-time job security, are opting for the flexibility and comfort of remote freelance jobs.

Today, 34% of the U.S. workforce is freelancing, up 6% from two years ago. Studies even estimate that 50% of the workforce will be freelancing by 2020.This shift marks a core change in how people work and businesses operate and has caused some to compare it to the Industrial Revolution. With the ease of matching talent with businesses and the advent of shared workspace in many major cities, the barriers to remote freelance work have been lowered considerably.

Still, despite these statistics, there are still myths floating around discouraging the use of freelance remote workers. With the trend being so new and reliant on technology, it’s no surprise that some still consider working with remote freelancers a gamble. Though myths might be essential to how people make sense of the new and opaque, they are mainly fictional and a result of misinformation.

Myth 1: Offshore Freelancers Aren’t As Good As Domestic Talent

Since the remote freelancer network is global, you will have the opportunity to vet and hire workers from outside of the U.S. if you use the freelance marketplace. And though the myth that domestic workers are better than their international counterparts persists, the numbers show otherwise.

Related: Why Time Management is Just a Waste of Time

After all, U.S. students have ranked in the middle of the pack worldwide, landing at 29th in science, 22nd in math, and 19th in reading the last several years. These numbers point to a growing trend, the U.S. education system is not getting worse, just being outpaced.

There is no reason to believe then that offshore freelancers are incapable of performing as well as the homegrown. They are as well-trained and adaptable, if not more so.

timezone-smart-watch

Myth 2: Differences in Language and Timezone are Insurmountable

There are shades of truth to this myth. It would be impossible to deny that an English-speaking business located in New York and running on Eastern Standard Time would run into difficulties utilising a Mandarin-speaking freelancer in Beijing.

Communicating effectively with your workers is essential in any work situation, and even small misunderstandings or missed subtleties in language can result in problems down the line.

These issues are only exacerbated when workers are remote. However, with a highly rigorous and exacting screening process, you can find the best possible freelancer equipped with the proper language faculties. As far as time zone issues, there is an ever-growing throng of tools available to aid in asynchronous communication such as Trello and Hackpad.

Plus, you only ever need a few hours of overlap in working hours to sync up, and you benefit from having your team work around the clock. In reality, there are tons of success stories from companies dedicated to adjusting their practices to accommodate remote workers, even successful, 100% remote companies with 50-plus global employees.

Myth 3: Remote Workers Don’t Integrate Well

A remote freelancer’s ability to integrate with your team comes down to the quality of the freelancer. The best will be experienced with remote work, which means they’ll be independent and self-directed, as well as socially and professionally perceptive, and, according to Harvard Business Review, they will be more committed to working with you to overcome any hurdle.

They’ll likely communicate consistently through a variety of avenues and will be cognisant of the problems associated with the absence of nonverbal cues. On your end, accommodate your freelancers as best as possible and, most importantly, trust them and give them space to make their own decisions.

Given the likelihood of remote workers’ non-traditional schedules and time differences, it’s easy for them to feel isolated by management that requires constant consent. Avoid forming relationships in which your freelancers twiddle their thumbs, waiting for you to okay their ideas.

Related: Lessons From A Freelancer

Myth 4: Remote Workers Work Less and Are Inefficient

Without the face-to-face monitoring made possible by the physical office, it’s easy to imagine that remote workers are constantly walking back and forth from the fridge, stopping to cuddle their pets, and are the last-to-arrive and first-to-leave.

The truth is that remote workers keep longer hours and are more efficient compared to their in-office counterparts. Businesses reported losses of $600 billion a year due to office distractions and major companies found that their remote workers are up to 45% more productive.

According to the data crunchers at Gallup, remote workers average 4 more work hours per week than their on-site peers. Due to the emergence of remote work-oriented tools like Basecamp and Time Doctor, it’s never been easier for companies to set goals and monitor progress remotely.

The Takeaway

With these myths dispelled, you should now be primed to dive into the remote work marketplace and find your ideal freelancer, a cost-effective move that opens up your options greatly.

Is the best candidate available within commuting distance from your office? Not likely. Remember the above realities of remote work and broaden your horizons, but don’t forget to take the time to consider how to empower remote workers to add the most value.

Trust them, communicate, utilise collaboration tools, and tweak practices as you go to ensure that you and your remote freelancers can succeed together.

Josh Althuser is a tech entrepreneur and open source advocate specializing in providing mentorship for startups. You may connect with him on Twitter.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

What Real Entrepreneurs Do When They Hear The Word ‘No’

Are you strong enough to push through early struggles?

Jason Saltzman

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In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jason Saltzman sits down with two founders to hear their stories of perseverence and resilience.

Raul Tovar is the co-founder of WindowsWear, a fashion tech company based in New York City that archives display windows. He moved from Mexico to New York determined to make something of himself and resolved that he would not go home empty-handed.

Jordan Wan is the founder and CEO of CloserIQ, which builds sales teams for startups. He started his business through tragedy – losing his mother and his marriage in the early stages.

You might think these difficulties – whether moving, or being told their ideas weren’t good enough, or working through tragedy – would be enough to make them give up. But they didn’t. They only spurred them to greater success.

Related: How To Start A Business With (Almost) No Money

Click play to learn more.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

(Podcast) Being An Entrepreneur Is Painful

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Nicholas Haralambous

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Entrepreneurship is fun. But on the whole, running a business is hard. Far fewer business owners succeed than fail. Statistically your business is going to fail. Those are the hard numbers.

There is a pain attached to running your own business. It’s time to discuss how tough it is – address the reality and you might just be one of the successful few.

Listening time: 5 minutes

Related: (Podcast) Playing To An Audience Of One

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Are You Suited to Entrepreneurship

3 Dangerous Entrepreneurial Myths You Need To Ignore

This terrible advice won’t actually get you anywhere.

Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurial Myths

We’ve all heard the numbers about how hard it is to build a long-lasting business. While there are many factors at play to get there, without effective marketing and sales a business cannot survive.

Unfortunately, there is a multitude of dangerous and destructive marketing advice swirling around the heads of vulnerable entrepreneurs. Like vultures seeking their next meal, “gurus” pontificate nonsense that these hard-working business owners follow, only to discover that what they tried doesn’t work.

Often, once the damage is done, it is too late for them to do anything else about it.

If you want to not only survive, but thrive, here is some of the terrible advice you need to start ignoring:

1“You need to be everywhere”

I’m sorry, but how do these people sleep at night without the use of narcotics? “Experts” spew out dribble to make headlines saying you need to get on Snapchat, get on Periscope, do YouTube Live … be everywhere! They’ll say you need to get on this platform or that social media network. Oh, and use LinkedIn Live! And make sure to post on Instagram three times a day and Facebook twice a day. And don’t forget those Facebook Lives. Make sure to do them every day.

Related: The Journey Of Entrepreneurship: How The Tough Get Going

ACK! Just writing that paragraph stressed me out. How the heck are you supposed to be on all of those channels, never mind doing it all effectively, and still run your business? Of course you can’t. And you shouldn’t. (Unless self-torture is your thing, in which case have at it. There are books about that, but I’m not giving any titles because I’d have to Google them and then I’d be retargeted by the ads and that would just be gross.)

It is impossible to spend even half an hour on each major network and still get any work done. Forget about focusing on measurement, profit and return on investment. They don’t mention that on purpose, because then these crazy-pants suggestions would really make no sense. But, then these “experts” would stop making the headlines, so they keep serving up spoiled advice for the poor folk who chow down and then get sick on it.

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to their plots of deception. Demand strategies that value your time and produce results in a significant and measurable way quickly.

2“It takes money to make money”

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I didn’t take the easy way out. I am part of a group of scrappy entrepreneurs who have a lot of hustle and heart and little/no/negative funds. I didn’t come from family money, and the big banks certainly weren’t lending to businesses like mine.

The only way I was going to get a big pile of cash was if I won the lottery. And since I’ve only played about four times in the last decade, the chances of that happening were slim. What I had to find was the same thing you most likely want – a solution to predictably bring in customers when there is no marketing budget to play with.

3The Schmo-bags

The worst are who I call the “Ferrari Marketers.” They rent a sportscar for an hour or two, hang out in front of it and then sell us shiny object strategies that they haven’t even used in their own business.

Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship

They are abhorrent, hideous and dangerous. Not only are they crooks stealing the money of the people who are seeking a solution from them, but they may prevent really talented people who have a gift/service/product/offer to share that can help someone else from ever reaching them.

Did I mention they suck?

But, once you discover a game-changing system, you are responsible for implementing it. You can’t be distracted by shiny objects any longer.

As Jack Welch says, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

Don’t allow yourself to be enticed or distracted by fads or the “latest and greatest/not greatest” new social media strategy, channel or tactic.

Once you uncover how to truly get results, be strong-willed and stubborn. Repel any idea, strategy or initiative that requires you to keep spending money to make money. If you keep throwing dollars and time at a goal, hoping and wishing that it will work, yet not tracking or measuring the results and scaling accordingly, then you cannot expect results.

Start measuring, tracking and demanding results from your time and money, rising above others and landing in the successful minority that thrives instead of survives.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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