Can a solo freelancer become a team player?
Personal inclination for a team play has an important role. There are people who are comfortable to work alone and there are those who need a team play. Programmers commonly belong to the first category of people, introverts. Therefore, completely different methods are used to involve employees of various types.
Much depends on a company size. For small teams, it’s ideal to select people inclined for teamwork. It is easier to select people for whom it will be a natural environment which will not cause them certain difficulties.
What is teamwork?
— Common goals
— Common tasks
— Common mindset
— Common evaluation criteria for decision making
Teamwork is a mental level of synchronization which should occur in a team. Assuming that a freelancer is originally inclined to teamwork, it is necessary to create an environment where this mentality synchronization will take place. It can take place through the only one fundamental tool — communication.
— Team members working remotely need to regularly communicate with each other at least once a day
— Defining the ways for urgent communication to happen any time and quick enough
Main tools of team communication are:
— Audio conferences
IT specialists very rarely participate in video calls and almost don’t use email in their work.
Structure of team communication can be divided into two blocks:
— Professional communication should be regular, with team members, quick during the work.
— From the interpersonal communication perspective, there should be a person in a team who would establish a team communication role model. Such a moderator of interpersonal communication should carefully supervise the process of communication and sense how much team members are satisfied by the work and that their internal demands are fulfilled. As a rule, such interaction should take place at least once a week. Since financial compensation provides about 30% of total satisfaction from work for many people, it is very important to provide such an environment regardless of the degree of a person’s sociability.
When a small programmers team is being created, it is important to consider some of the personal qualities before the team starts working. Namely, a person should be positive, constructive and has personal integrity. This is an 80% of success in creating unity in small teams. In big teams besides that a task decomposition is very important, and all issues of unity are solved in the same manner.
There is one more big essential factor of a freelancer’s degree of involvement in teamwork; this is Motivation.
A freelancer has a whole variety of motivating factors which stimulate him during remote work.
When should a freelancer be excluded from a team?
In case of lack of professionalism or personal misbehavior, it is necessary to exclude people from a team. Zero tolerance should be exercised and it is better to make the decision quickly. And of course, an issue of a fine tuning exists in a team forming process.
Let’s consider sportsmen runners as an example. There are sportsmen who are good in short distances and those who run well in long distances. The same is applied for IT projects. There are urgent small projects and there are big scale long term ones. Depending on these factors, we can select particular people in the team; people who are more comfortable to work with one or another scale of the project.
Still, we cannot apply the same recipe for every task. Selection of freelancers for the team is often a process of trials and errors, a process of substituting people. Personal compatibility and teamwork in various fields have various degrees of importance. However, even in the IT industry a synchronicity of these aspects has a considerable significance.
Is there a recipe or precise algorithm of involvement of a freelancer in a teamwork?
All attempts to simplify work with people have their limitations. Precise algorithms or so called recipes do not exist though. For mutual understanding of harmonious and seamless teamwork, it would be helpful to follow a certain structure of an algorithm. However, there are always exceptions and a personal approach to each freelancer is required. Regarding the IT sphere, a result of work is a result of work of each self-motivated and self-aware employee. IT activity is a highly intellectual labor where efficiency may differ dozens of times from the other areas of activity. Therefore, the state of mind and approach of each individual freelance has tremendous significance.
- A freelancer should feel comfortable in an environment of shared organizational issues
- Team solidarity of goals, mindset, tasks should be observed
- Synchronization of professional and personal communication
- Reasonable additional stimulus