oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing, and the future of work.
Week of 11/8/2013:
Fast Company | It’s Time For The Sharing Economy To Become The Sharing Society
More than 42 million American freelancers are building a sharing economy around collaborative platforms like Airbnb, Uber and Fiverr. But when decentralized and independent by choice, where can freelancers turn for resources like career advice or health insurance? Sara Horowitz, founder of Freelancers Union, advocates for more cooperatives to enable small businesses and independent workers.
Xconomy | Sqwiggle’s Webcam Eye Gives Remote Workers a Virtual Office
A lot of distributed teams turn to services like Google Hangouts and Skype to connect, where meetings are scheduled and periodic. The team behind one startup wants to go further, using always-on video to keep remote workers in constant communication. Elise Craig explains how Sqwiggle and similar technology try to create a true virtual office, capturing the subtle work-time interactions that fill out each day.
Wall Street Journal | More Commuters Go It Alone
Fewer commuters carpool to work but remote work options are increasingly popular, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Since 1980, the number of people who drive alone, bike, or take public transportation has remained steady. The number of people working from home, however, has doubled over the last 30 years. Neil Shah delves into the socioeconomic and geographic factors behind trends across America towards solo driving and flexible work arrangements.
Huffington Post | Today’s Employees No Longer Look Like Don Draper, So Why Is Work Still Designed For Him?
Fans of the show Mad Men know that today’s gender roles and work-life views strike a sharp contrast to those within a 1960’s ad agency - but how much has business culture evolved to match? Lindsey Trimble O'Connor and Christin L. Munsch examine why perceptions and practices in the workplace must change, urging employers to provide even greater opportunities for balance.
The Next Web | How Working Remotely Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours, Too)
Working remotely has tradeoffs, with drastic differences in day-to-day interactions, responsibilities, and motivations when compared to in-person environments. Drawing from Jason Fried’s TED talk about his theory of working and new book Remote: Office Not Required (written with David Heinemeier Hansson), Justin Jackson shares his own experience as a remote worker. Despite a few admitted downsides, Jackson explains that online work has increased his productivity while allowing him to pursue a quality of life others may only dream of.
Did we miss anything? Are there any insights you find particularly interesting? Let us know in the comments section below!