The Way We Work
November 20, 2012 by Gary Swart

Our friends over at Singularity University recently published a fascinating article in The Washington Post about the impact of technology on the future workforce. It features an email exchange with Vivek Wadhwa, Singularity’s Vice President of Innovation and Research, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, in which they discuss whether the rapid advancement of technology will have a net positive or negative impact on employment in the future.

They both make intriguing points, but one that I feel strongly about falls on Kurzweil’s side of the argument—which is that Internet technology is creating a revolution in employment, one that’s for the better.

Using mobile apps as an example of new technology that has created employment opportunities, Wadhwa says there have "only" been 500,000 or so jobs created in the mobile app economy. But what I think is important to note is that the mobile app economy is much earlier in its evolution than the Internet is, and there is still significant growth ahead of it. On oDesk for example, we saw mobile app development demand take off just a few years ago and it's now growing rapidly, at a rate of more than 115% over the past year.

It’s also important to remember that advances in Internet technology have created exponentially more jobs than in the mobile apps sector alone. We see this in online work, where the Internet has catalyzed job creation across the board by eliminating geographic barriers—and not just in industries that deal with new technologies. Even in age-old professions such as legal work and writing, the Internet has brought growth to countless industries by creating opportunities that didn’t exist before, that are unrestricted by geography. And the growth is staggering: from 2009 to this year, hours worked on oDesk have grown 8x.

Everyone's talking about the rise of "telecommuting" and "virtual work” — all of which refer to leveraging the Internet to bring work to the worker, rather than the worker to the work. Today, it's about enabling the best minds to work together, regardless of where they happen to be. Technology makes this possible. And we predict increasing connectivity and Internet savvy is going to continue to fuel this employment revolution, with one in three workers hired to work online by 2020. Now that is what I call an employment revolution.

To read the article in full, find it on The Washington Post here.

Gary Swart

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school… read more

  • larry

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    Think ...Personal info like email username , Social Media info ,and SEO , Accounting work , tax work or any other working skills , and also odesk login info and our money info.

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    Odesk Team , You are doing good work. But this is not good.

    Please Try To Protect Our Personality !!

  • md taimur

    oDesk should introduce minimum hour rate as the rate is decreasing day by day.

  • Expert Virtual Assistant

    It is nice to know that the Online Industry and its promising future is on a steady increase. This is a bit reassuring and it makes people want to sign up to any home based work opportunity there is. However, like the call center industry in India and the Philippines, being able to actually get into the rush is hard enough, rising above it is different.

    A daily challenge for us Online freelancers is thinking of unconventional ways on how to get noticed. The Market is so swamped, that not everyone who comes in can join and earn immediately. This is what excites me and my team. Finding cool and unique ways are our passion and providing the best high-quality service is what we're willing to offer. I think it is not only technology that is fueling the revolution, Marketers and Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this advancement. They also are finding revolutionary ways for Marketing and Branding. It is so face paced that it's a bit scary to think of the future sometimes. You'll never know what challenge you'll face each job because there is no routine. That's whats making it fun at the same time!

    Michael Banawa
    Expert Virtual Assistant
    Project Angeles Outsource

  • Murad

    I am new in oDesk. I am SEO expert. oDesk is the best for online earning. They are talking about it. Its so cool.