Neil Lewis - Innovative Entrepreneur
Solving problems by growing profitable businesses @neil_lewis
Does teamwork matter for freelancers?
Freelancers are lone wolves – they work by themselves to their own schedule. Don’t believe me? Check out these 7 things that freelancers do…
So, here’s my question…. does teamwork matter to freelancers? And if so, are freelancers any better at teamwork than anyone else?
Let’s answer the first question. Does teamwork matter? Sure it does. No matter how skilled or brilliant we are as individuals, we will always achieve greater performance if the team is strong.
Just think of a football team and this will become clear. You can have the best striker in the league but if your defense doesn’t work, you’ll always lose.
Also, and this is the important bit, sometimes the strikers have to work like defenders – just look at how Chelsea got past Barcelona and Bayern Munich last season.
There is a key message here, and that is, that a team becomes great when they are willing to work for each other – even if they work outside their key area of expertise!
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So, can freelancers work as a team? Well, sometimes….
Freelancers typically are committed to a projected or outcome and will work extra hours or weekends to meet a deadline that staff may be unwilling to do.
Equally, on a freelance job, the freelancer is more concerned with the project than with his long term future in the organisation and therefore, this makes the freelancer’s contribution less political.
However, in some areas, freelancers can do better. Here are three questions to ask yourself and three ways to improve
Firstly, when on a project with other freelancers, do you work openly with other freelancers or see them as a threat? To build team work, you have to work openly.
Secondly, do you insist on delivering everything from home or are you willing to commit to working alongside other freelancers? Working along side (which is not the same as a ‘meeting’) is key. If you find commuting to a central location difficult then open up a group instant messaging box on Skype or Whats up? or which platform you prefer.
Thirdly, do you go the extra mile to help your fellow freelancers succeed in gaining more work from the client? If you help your fellow freelancers to succeed, then you are not only more likely to gain additional client work – because the project succeeds, but also, you will gain a friend and a supporter. As freelancers, we get a lot of our work via referrals. So, help another freelancer to succeed and you will be helping yourself too.
Of course, if you are part of a client team that includes full time staff, then the same rules apply.
Here’s the key – the client wants to see a team of highly talented people working together to achieve a shared objective. It doesn’t matter to the client how brilliant one person is, if the project does not reach its target.