Managing telecommuters can be one big pain in that one place where the sun don’t shine. There’s no doubt that you’ll get a finished product, but how long are they really working on it? Have you ever wondered whether your freelancers are giving you their undivided attention? That’s kind of hard to determine when they’re all the way in, say, Malaysia or the Philippines.
Freelancers come in many forms. Some of them, admittedly, aren’t as sincere as others, especially when charging hourly rates. How do you know that your contractor is working during the billed hours? Short of making them screencast the entire work session, you’re pretty much out of options. There are task management solutions like 14dayz and Easy Time Tracker, but they’re tailored more for freelancers that run their own teams and coordinate. Of course, you can also use them, but they do very little to ensure that you are getting four hours of work when you pay for that amount. Without that kind of reassurance, how do you know that you’re getting full value?
The Internet is beautiful in many ways, but one of its most elegant assets is the man hours that are always put into finding new solutions to old problems. Two services in particular cater exclusively to people employing the help of telecommuters to get a task done. One of them, called Worksnaps, makes clever use of snapshots to show you what a particular freelancer is doing at the time. These snapshots are taken at random intervals that are not predictable to the person being monitored. It helps you see whether the person you hired is actually on task or distracted with other things.
Another similar service you can use is Tahometer. Just like Worksnaps, it takes screenshots randomly within 10-minute intervals. It also lets you manage hourly rates across the board and coordinate all of your contractors within one neat interface.
Whatever your taste, just make sure that it suits you and what you’re trying to accomplish. With these solutions, you’ll get more value for your buck and finish projects within a more acceptable budget!
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