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July 14, 2015

Remote Teams Versus Freelancers

In this fast growing economy, businesses are constantly looking for new ways to reduce labor costs. In the new cloud ecosystem, staying competitive has become ever more challenging. A virtual team or a set of freelancers can prove to be cost-effective alternatives to full-time employees. Choosing between these two alternatives should also be planned well. The decision completely depends upon the scope of work and the project budget.

Virtual Teams

Pros

  • Total Control Of The Process

While working on a project, virtual teams always stay connected with the client and communicate about every stage of the process as they advance. Virtual teams have more time to dedicate toward a project and ensure they learn about the work in greater detail. Brainstorming and ideation becomes easier with lesser time constraints.

  • Sincere and Trustworthy

Remote teams complete one project at a time. They devote their working hours to a single client and ensure quality of work. The teams can be relied on because they are not juggling projects. Feedback can be provided on a regular basis, for improvement in quality and efficiency.

  • Improve Productivity With Global Talent

Outsourcing the work to remote teams relieves existing employees, enabling them to focus on the core business. Remote teams are usually trained and experienced, and require minimal guidance. They need a single point of contact with whom to communicate on a regular basis.

  • Saves Time

When an in-house team works on a project, they usually have lots of meetings in between and that consumes a lot of time. Virtual teams can be given targets and timelines, suitable for your business requirements.

Cons

  • Employee Layoffs

Outsourcing may lead to layoffs and reduced employee morale. This may involve transition costs as well. The whole process has to be carefully managed so existing employees can work happily and productively.

Freelancers

Freelancers are useful for tasks and issues that cannot be completed by full-time employees. They can be really helpful in reducing costs and meeting short-term goals.

Pros

  • Lower Costs

Hiring a freelancer, saves money. A freelancer does away with a fixed investment such as salary and other benefits. The tasks can be completed quickly and efficiently.

Cons

  • Less Control

Controlling the work of a freelancer and managing its quality can be a huge challenge. Since they have to be paid as soon as they are done, the number of iterations etc. are also limited. Although, the task may be completed quickly, if the quality suffers, then it becomes almost impossible, to get the work done.

  • No Loyalty And Reliability

Finding a reliable freelancer can be a challenge at times. Freelancers may have multiple projects and thus the level of focus is very limited.

  • Abandonment of Work

One problem in hiring a freelancer, especially one from a different country, is that, they can disappear without completing the work. Though a freelancer can be replaced with a new one, this whole process can be a big waste of time and resources.

Selecting between a freelancer and a virtual team depends upon the goal you wants achieve. If the task is urgent and small then freelancers are the way to go. A virtual team, on the other hand, is more suitable, for larger more strategic projects.


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Ved Raj is a business enthusiast. He writes about start-ups, remote teams and outsourcing. He is working as a marketing manager with ValueCoders, a leading provider of remote development teams.

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