oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on labor markets, innovation, and online work.
Week of 6/11/2012:
- Seizing Opportunities in the Virtually Collaborative Workplace
The global economic downturn combined with the growing prevalence of cloud-based technologies has forced a reevaluation of business practices all over the world. In this article, Cognizant Consulting suggests that the virtual workplace is a strategy businesses can leverage to improve their operations through “greater cost savings, wider access to a global talent pool and increased worker productivity.”
- Have We All Become Free Agents Without Realizing It?
Reexamining the projections of Daniel Pink’s article Free Agent Nation, SAP’s Julien Vayssiere considers the realities of modern freelancing. In addition to the visible shift of workers to remote, contract-based work, Vayssiere cites a fundamental paradigm shift in the mindset of permanent employees. No longer viewing themselves within the context of the corporation, professionals have “started becoming free agents on the inside,” cultivating their personal brand, portfolio and education to guide their future (potentially independent) careers.
- The Global Company’s Challenge
The importance of emerging economies is undeniable, and for global corporations, meeting the changing demands of new markets is a business necessity. In this report, McKinsey Quarterly notes that “vast reserves of skills, knowledge, and experience within the global workforce” can be a substantial asset in confronting the challenge of unknown territories. Through finding the best talent in emerging economies, companies can shorten their learning curve and propel themselves to quicker successes.
- Diversity: It's About Improving Your Business, Not Checking Boxes
Filled with young, tech-savvy, and mostly male employees, tech startups often hire their own. Inc.’s Jessica Stillman argues that this homogeneous culture can actually hinder startups. Chronicling the experiences of Vancouver startup Kashoo, Stillman suggests that bringing in an outsider can help fill in knowledge and experience gaps. Through hiring an additional remote team member thousands of miles away, Kashoo was able to gain an invaluable perspective and save on overhead costs.
- 4 Ways to Use Online Work to Turbocharge Your Startup
As your startup grows, expanding your team becomes a necessity. New talent can bring fresh perspectives to speed innovation and augment growth, but rapidly changing needs and prohibitive cost can dampen the enthusiasm for bringing on new hires. In a guest post for the Microsoft BizSpark Blog, oDesk CEO Gary Swart offers advice for how leveraging online work can help your team adapt and grow without sacrificing the advantages of its lean structure.
Did we miss anything? Are there any insights you find particularly interesting? Let us know in the comments section below!