All Things oDesk
December 12, 2011 by Erica Benton

Imagine a world where employers have access to the best global talent, with just a click. One where people can work whenever they want, wherever they want, however they want. In this world, businesses can hire talent on demand, without worrying about complicated compensation packages, long hiring cycles or expensive overhead. In this world, people can work with companies from across the globe, instead of just those within commuting distance.

This world is not imaginary — it’s Work 3.0, and it’s already here.

In his presentation last week at the GigaOm Net:Work 2011 conference, oDesk CEO Gary Swart explained what Work 3.0 looks like, and how it is changing the world of work. Though many companies are already taking advantage of the technologies that power it, Work 3.0 is just getting started. Given the tremendous possibilities of this way of working, Work 3.0 will likely become commonplace much sooner than you may think. Here’s why:

Every business runs on talent. “It’s the single biggest lever we all have in our companies, regardless of the size, yet we’re all struggling to find good talent,” Gary explained. Traditional hiring is expensive and time-consuming, especially when you consider how competitive it is to attract and secure the best talent, and that “typically the talent doesn’t live where the jobs are located.”

But the times, they are a-changing. In the past two decades, we have gone from Work 1.0 — rigid, structured, on-premise work for one employer — to Work 2.0, where work is performed on site, but improvements in technology infrastructure have brought more flexibility to the workplace.

And now, with further improvements in software and cloud-based applications, we are passing through the gates of Work 3.0 — a world where work is on demand, virtual and remote.

A number of companies and workers have already found tremendous success with this model — Gary presented two examples — but the possibilities are endless.

“I don’t even think we’re at the knee of the curve of what’s to come,” Gary said.

Watch the video:

Watch live streaming video from gigaomnetwork at
Over the next few months, we will present some of our predictions for the future of work as well as our vision for the changing workplace, and outline how to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities of Work 3.0. Stay tuned!

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more

  • pcdeb

    i think odesk recently overflowed with those types of fraud who open multi accounts with vcc verified paypal and posts fixed-price fraud job.When work finished they leave without making payment to worker.
    aren’t they doing the hateful work ?

  • Scot Ales

    This all sounds wonderful in theory but there is one significant hurdle, call it a barrier to entry really. You have to first find and trust at least one person who knows how to communicate with the talent on Odesk! As an owner of a tremendously successful website I find myself in the awkward position of pouring over thousands of qualified individuals without being able to engage them in a discussion about our needs.

    Six years ago we collaborated with a single person to create a great website. It was and still is massively profitable. The problem for us is the person moved away to silicon valley and is rarely available for even routine maintenance. Say nothing about new developments, updates, and fixes. So, with ZERO understanding of the language, I am sitting at my desk mesmerized at all the talent and unable to use them. Because at some point I have to CHOOSE! Choose at least one person to give total access to our system and trust they will not take advantage of us. That’s a leap of faith I simply cannot make.

    So how do I hire at least one person who works strictly for us who can communicate with the talent available on Odesk? An applications engineer maybe? I’m back on the treadmill. How do I interview and choose even this one person without understanding the language? I can make character and personality decisions, but how do I know they are qualified for a job that I cannot even write the requirements of? Until this is addressed the 3.0 concept may as well be on the planet Mars for me. And I am NOT alone. I have a dozen friends who own their websites and daily are challenged by technology companies. Selling us their services for $100-$200 an hour, getting 15 minutes of that hour, while the contractor is likely paying $30.00 through Odesk!!

    In the past, business owners were often experts in their field. They knew exactly what qualifications their employees needed to have. Technology has confused this situation. Now, every successful business needs a website. And some, like mine actually depend solely on a web presence. But might as well be interviewing doctors to perform brain surgery as to technology candidates.

    How do I find, interview, hire, trust, manage, and pay this key person to talk to the Odesk world and handle our technology needs? Any ideas anyone?

    • Jenna Weiner

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your interest in oDesk! Actually the official language on oDesk is English, and you can filter a contractor search according to their scores on English language tests (or by location). Or, you can hire a project manager as you mentioned — we have more than 9,000 project managers listed in North America alone! (Here’s a search: You can filter further by price, ratings, etc. by using the options on the right-hand side. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to contact our support team here:

      Best of luck!

    • Peter Bradley

      Excellent questions, Scott! You might want to take a look at They take the guess work out of choosing contractors to perform your routine tasks, whether technology related or your other administrative tasks. They select and hire oDesk contractors, and take the hassle out of getting the job done. Just a thought! Good luck!

  • Fiona

    I think it’s highly fascinating to consider work 3.0 with a fully flexible office and completely virtual company, especially from those in remote places struggling to commute or relocate to the populated hubs – however – it does concern me that as sociable creatures, so much of going too and from the office will be missed and the emotional drain of the office and the 9-5 will only be worsened with a lack of humanity and quite simply, never leaving work.

  • Ghufran Arif

    Hi all,

    I have tried to launch a campaign of collecting the votes about New Look of! Do you like this new look? That is beta virsion? Since I am feeling some problems about new look. And I love older look and do not like beta virsion. Specially I am facing problems about wallet. Older wallet was very good and easily understandable. I hope all of you reading this post will give your opinions…!
    Ghufran Arif.

  • Avdhesh Sharma

    I am using oDesk from last 1.5 years and get my most of the clients there. Some times i got so over loaded that i am unable to answer the invitation. oDesk is great and really changed my life. :)

    Keep going

    Avdhesh Sharma

  • Tarun

    please don’t allow fix bid jobs

  • Mizanur Rahman Milon

    I like so much the odesk new look.