One of the biggest problems (that nobody really talks about) is how much of a risk you take whenever you hire outsourced workers to work for your indie studio. It’s the reason why you should always conduct a test gig (e.g. give them a task and a deadline to gauge their performance) before officially hiring someone – but that’s never a clear indication if the entire relationship is going to pan out.
What if there was a way to be sure that your outsourced workers are actually…working? There are actually a few ways to do this; and we are going to go over a few of them today. Follow our advice below, and you will never find yourself wondering, “I wonder if that guy/gal is actually working on the task I gave them, or if they are slacking off?”
Trello was actually our pick for Free Tool Friday a few weeks ago, and for good reason: it’s an amazing tool that allows you to assign tasks to your outsourced workers so everybody is on the same page. Using cards (think of them like post-it notes), you can assign a task, mention the details of the task, issue a deadline, attach relevant information, and more so your outsourced workers will always know exactly what they need to be doing and when the task needs to be finished. You can even include checklists in each card that your outsourced workers can check off once they complete certain steps of the task!
Using Trello, you can also create sections (think of them as piles of paper) where your outsourced workers can place completed tasks. For example, if you assigned a card to an outsourced worker that instructed them to complete a task by tomorrow afternoon, after the finished the task, they could move the card to the ‘Completed’ pile so you would know they were finished.
If you would prefer to watch your contractors work in real-time, then consider using Screenshot Monitor: a tool that will let you know exactly who is working when they are supposed to be working. Simply invite your outsourced workers to your team, to which they will then install the tool to their PC. From there, Screenshot Monitor will begin tracking the time and taking screenshots of your worker’s monitors at random times. Screenshot Monitor will also stop tracking time when the PC has been inactive for a period of time.
If you would prefer not to take screenshots of your outsourced worker’s monitors, there’s TSheets: a tool that allows you to track the length of time your outsourced worker’s work every day. Available on PCs and on mobile devices, TSheets allows outsourced workers to clock in and out whenever they begin and end their day so you know exactly how much time they are spending on your task every single day.