The common belief is that freelancers are usually project-based employees who often work independently on a specific project with a deadline. This may vary given ongoing agreements (a certain number of hours a month) and collaboration with other people.
Due to the irregular work schedule and a limited number of hours, they may be assigned to activities that are not mission-critical – i.e. avoiding client communication, tough deadlines, support calls/emails and the like. There are flexible agreements that could cover that – but time flexibility is often important to freelancers.
Standard office workers work a 9-to-5 job at the office. The norm is fixed hours in a corporate environment, working closely with other team members, reporting to management on-site.
This usually means strict hours, no commitments in the evening/weekends, taking care of business activities that need to happen within the agreed hours.
That said, some companies also offer telecommuting or remote work. It’s a mix between freelance and office work since it incorporates the flexibility of working from home or a coffee shop with the required availability during business hours.
Communication Is One Of The Main Challenges
When hiring remote workers, communication is one of the main challenges we have with former freelancers.
Due to the specifics mentioned above, full-time remote workers have a hard time working closely with the rest of the team, communicating regularly, or discussing business needs whenever they arise.
They tend to handle things separately (which leads to less management overhead) but often delay assignments or work on a different type of problem (which leads to friction in the workplace).
It’s sometimes easier to let an office employee work remotely than asking a freelancer to commit to the standard working hours.
There are a lot of distractions over the first few weeks but people are generally used to working with the team and interacting the same way as before. A productivity drop may be noticed at first, but that’s usually rectified soon enough.