Remote Graphic Design Team Management & Collaboration
Sometimes it seems that everyone is working remotely these days. If you are a millennial, this is probably not news to you, but if you happen to be older and unaccustomed to working with a remote vendor, here are four suggestions that can make your project and management run more smoothly:
Remotely produced or not, you want your stuff done on time, and it you have a serious hard stop, you’ll need to communicate that early in the process. Make sure your team knows what you need and when you need it. Many remote designers are loaded with projects and will naturally give priority to those customers that express a sense of urgency. If a deadline is missed, be sure to let your vendors know that this can’t happen again in the future.
Don’t think that email is the only way you can communicate with your remote design team. Apps like Slack work great for some people, while others like a more intense project management app like Basecamp, for example.
While simple apps like Slack allow you to directly message your remote design team, more complex platforms like Basecamp will allow multiple people to work on your project and keep the current version available to everyone. Not having to email v.1, v.2 and other project iterations avoids the problem of different persons working on non-current project versions.
Set Communication Parameters
First, understand time zone issues. Many remote designers in India, for example, have a lot of U.S. based clients, and therefore they may have no problem working odd hours so that they can communicate with you at your convenience.
Other times, even in the U.S., someone working for you from their studio apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin may not be available at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. You and your team need to set parameters for the most efficient and timely communications. Also, make sure you have an understanding about when emails will be returned. If you agreed to wait 24 hours before receiving an email reply, don’t get hyper and send panicked emails if the proper time period has not elapsed.
Money and Payment
Ensure that you read any contract before signing it. Make sure that you own any of the design work that you are paying for, and that copyrights will be yours. (You may need to consult a lawyer about this issue.)
Agree upon a currency to be used for payment. Worldwide, most remote designers will accept U.S. dollars, but you may find one that would prefer a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, so you should be prepared to understand how to buy and pay for items with it.
Do not deviate from payment terms that you have agreed upon, and if your remote designer asks for money earlier than what is spelled out in your contract, that could be a red flag. Also, observe all internet payment security measures, and never give anyone your social security number.
Working with a remote team can be great; just make sure you pay attention to the points mentioned above.