Check this out: Age of the Contractor article was posted in the New York Times.
Andrew Benkard interviewed oDesk's CEO, Gary Swart, and here's part of what he had to say:
"Here’s the problem: you have hired a website designer in Mumbai, India to redesign your site and you are paying her an hourly wage. How do you know she isn’t sipping chai when she should be coding – and perhaps more to this point, how do you know she’s on the right track in terms of what you want? Enter oDesk..."
Read the full article on oDesk in the New York Times.