www.office.com/setup Having independent contractors in companies of all sizes is the new norm. Busy seasons require additional bandwidth, full-time employees temporarily leave or single / temporary functions must be filled.

Whatever the reason, getting the support of contractors can provide scale, flexibility and specialized skills to your team, which is why their popularity continues to grow. For example, 51 percent of companies say that their need for contingent workers will continue to grow within the next three to five years. At the same time, the talent pool is changing to match this trend: by 2020, 43 percent of the US workforce. UU They will be autonomous.

Finding the right contractor for the right job is just the first step. They are likely to work outside of their office, but they will still need to rely on the resources that their internal teams use on a daily basis. If you want your contractors to do their best work, you must ensure that you have the right tools to collaborate with your internal teams.

Here are four tips to prepare your independent contractors for success:

Communication # 1-streamline
Make it easy for your contractors to keep in touch. Set up a technology that allows them to communicate and get to know their internal teams. This can (and should) come in the form of many tools, so they can choose the ones they prefer. Allow them to send instant messages to anyone in the company. Promote the use of video conferencing and screen sharing for efficient collaboration. Not only will this increase productivity, but it will allow full-time employees and contractors to build more personal relationships with face-to-face communication.

Will your independent contractor be working on various teams or projects? If so, you can consider a chat-based work space, not only for them, but also for the rest of your team. They should not strive to keep up with dozens of private instant messages about similar projects. Instead, get them in a threaded group chat that allows a more organized web collaboration.

# 2-share files with ease
Depending on when and where your contractors work, coordination across time zones and locations can be a factor in your success. Avoid a situation where a contractor is caught waiting for a team member to connect to gain access to the files. Instead, opt for file sharing and storage in the cloud. In this way, contractors can obtain the files and documents they need throughout the day to do the work. And with permission settings, you can restrict and allow access to the specific files that an independent contractor needs, and revoke access when a contract ends.

5 faces of today’s employees
Collaboration outside the office has much more than working with contractors. If you have an employee who prefers to work from home or one who always travels from the meeting to the meeting, mobility is necessary. Ready to learn how to support them?

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# 3: stay on the same page
Improve collaboration with the ability to co-author (edit and work) in the same documents online. Avoid excessive email exchange among team members. The digital files are automatically synchronized and updated through the Internet, so your team is always looking for the most up-to-date version. And since your files live in the cloud, you’ll always know who made the last edition and can review and revoke changes if you ever need to go back to an earlier version.

# 4 – secure your data

Security is not always the most important thing for your employees and contractors, but it is for you and your IT team. Achieve a balance between giving your extended team what it needs and at the same time retaining control over your company’s data. The access to files that you give to your independent professionals does not have to last forever. When your contract ends, simply revoke the access remotely. Even if your independent contractor has used your own device to access your data, cloud-based tools can delete your company’s files from that device.

With the right technology and infrastructure, independent contractors can become an effective extension of their equipment. Forget about interruptions, lost files or lack of security. The right tools can solve those problems and help your teams do their best work.

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