oDesk increases security with full encrypted site

March 30, 2011 by

Starting today, we have enabled HTTPS across the entire oDesk site, giving our users an extra layer of security.  Our logged in pages were already fully encrypted, and thus your logged in sessions have always maintained a significant level of privacy.  But, as people spend more time on the Internet, many banking and e-commerce sites are adding SSL encryption across their sites – both logged in and non logged in pages – as a standard practice.  We too want to ensure our users have the highest level of protections available across our entire site. To use the new fully encrypted HTTPS wide site, just go to www.odesk.com as you normally would.  We will default you to our new full HTTPS site. For more information on HTTPS, see the “HTTP Secure” article on Wikipedia for complete details.  Basically, HTTPS is a protocol that establishes a secure connection between your browser and our servers.   In contrast, HTTP is unsecured and is subject to man-in-the-middle and eavesdropping attacks which can let attackers gain access to website accounts and sensitive information.  HTTPS is designed to withstand such attacks and is considered secure against such attacks. Special information for API users. All of our public APIs are currently available over HTTPS.  To start using the HTTPS versions, please just update your app to use HTTPS rather than HTTP. Special information for Internet Explorer Users (IE 7 & IE 8). We are aware of a Security Warning box that appears when you land on one of the contractor search or contractor profile pages.  This is not actually a security issue and you are safe to view the oDesk pages.  We have made these changes specifically to improve security.  We will be fixing this issue over the next 24 to 48 hours.  In … Read Full Article

Find the contractor you need – check out our latest enhancements!

January 12, 2011 by

Finding the right contractor to work on your job is job #1 on oDesk. We are continuously working to improve how easy it is for you to locate the contractor that best meets your needs. This month, we’re introducing new ways to find contractors scoring in the top of their class, and returning the applicant list sorting capabilities you’ve asked for! They say they have the skills. But are they top of their class? The tests contractors take on oDesk help verify a contractor’s skill level. You’ve always been able to see whether a contractor has taken a particular test and what they’ve scored. But now, we’re making it super easy to target your search results to those contractors who have scored well on the tests most relevant to your job. Now, when you search for a contractor, you can limit your search to contractors scoring in the top 10% or top 30% on any number of tests you specify. You are no longer limited to searching just one test at a time, and we will automatically suggest the top 5 tests for the category you are searching in. Simply select all the tests you feel are relevant, and whether you want to see the top 10% or top 30% of scorers. You will instantly see a list of contractors meeting your test criteria. Try it today! Sorting is back We heard you loud and clear: you want to be able to sort your applicants based on rates, feedback scores, hours worked, and when they applied. We’ve put back into place this sorting ability for your applicant list. And, we’re not stopping there. We’re working to give you even more control over how you review your applicant lists. For example, we’re building tools to enable you to … Read Full Article

In-Demand Skills in a Borderless Economy

January 4, 2011 by

Online work is creating an economy of opportunity — where work is not linked to location, but to skills, experience and abilities. For employees and contractors, this allows them to manage their own work-life balance, get paid based on merit, and access an entire world of work opportunities. But what skills are in demand when the talent pool is worldwide? Read Full Article

Contractors: Update your Profile Categories by February 28th!

December 31, 2010 by

Employers come to oDesk to find and work with the best contractors from all over the world. For this to work, employers need to be able to easily find contractors who have the specific skills and interests that match their needs. To improve this matching process, we are updating the way contractors select their profile categories to allow contractors to stand out in the areas they are most qualified. What’s changing? Starting today, contractors will be able to choose up to 10 sub-categories that best reflect their professional experience. This is a change from the current system in which contractors can choose an unlimited number of categories and sub-categories. Take Action Before February 28, 2011 You have until February 28, 2011 to update your profile categories and select up to 10 sub-categories: Only select sub-categories where you have expertise. Starting March 1st, if you have more than 10 sub-categories selected, we will automatically update your sub-categories to select up to 10 based on the job categories in which you have applied to the most. Why is this good for contractors? We’ve found that contractors who specialize in a few types of work are able to command higher wages and better establish long-term relationships with their employers. Specializing in the sub-categories where you have expertise will help your profile better stand out from the competition. Employers will have an easier time finding the contractors who match their needs, which means better hires and more successful working relationships — and that’s good for everyone! Keep in mind, this does not change what jobs you can apply to. You should only apply to jobs you are qualified for, but this change in profile categories will not limit which jobs you can apply to. Update your Categories in your Profile now — … Read Full Article

12 Days of oDesk

December 24, 2010 by

In the spirit of the season, oDesk Customer Service representative Suzanne Davis has written "The 12 Days of oDesk Christmas." Sung to the tune of the classic "The 12 Days of Christmas," Suzanne's rendition is fast becoming our favorite carol. Read Full Article

oDesk Contractors Earn More than $200M

October 15, 2010 by

  A little over an hour ago, the odometer at oDesk’s oConomy rolled over a major milestone. Our contractors have earned over $200 million dollars on oDesk – a fantastic achievement that made our Redwood City office erupt in cheers. Hard to believe it was just 1 short year ago that we were celebrating our first $100M earned by oDesk contractors. Just last month, our users gave us another reason to celebrate by surpassing 1M hours worked in a single month. As the largest and fastest-growing global employment platform, more remote work is done on oDesk than anywhere else. So congratulations again to our fantastic contractors, and to the employers who hire them. You guys are truly changing how the world works! Update: You can watch the oDometer roll over $200M in this video. Read Full Article

Customer Service Week: oDesk keeps the Spirit Going

October 8, 2010 by

Customer Service Week: oDesk keeps the Spirit Going The oDesk Customer Support Team was very busy during Customer Service Week, having tons of fun and honing their customer support skills, as they participated in the various Customer Service Week activities, events and honors recognitions. Although we keep connected with meetings, and Skype group chats and messaging, we wanted to continue our goals of team building and creating strong friendships in a fun, upbeat way. We held various games and gave special awards to our best and brightest oDesk Customer Support Representatives. We feel it is important to note that management instructed all oDesk support representatives to enjoy the planned activities between Live Support chats and phone calls, as well as Support tickets. That way, despite the festivities, we continued to follow our goals of putting oDesk users first, by providing the excellent customer service they have grown accustomed to at oDesk. On Monday, we held an interesting group scavenger hunt. Each team searched oDesk for various bits of oDesk trivia to complete the scavenger hunt form. On Tuesday, team members enjoyed filling out the oDesk 101 Crossword Puzzle in their leisure time. Wednesday brought our hilarious Name the Baby Contest. Thursday included an activity and an event. First, each support representative received the oDesk Word Jumble, to solve as a group, with respective team members. Then, in the spirit of team involvement, we held a CSS All-Hands meeting, where oDesk management shared company goals and achievements, as well as CSS departmental goals and achievements, for the previous and current quarters with everyone. Customer Service Week ended on Friday with “The Communication Game,” a group activity designed to help strengthen the communication and understanding skills of each support representative here at oDesk. And, who doesn’t love a free T-shirt? As a … Read Full Article

Mandatory Upgrade for oDesk Team

October 6, 2010 by

Do you have the latest version of the oDesk Team desktop application? To ensure you can continue recording time and collaborating with your team, download now. Old versions of oDesk Team no longer work. Do I need to download the new version? If you rely on oDesk Team to track time and collaborate with your team, and you do not have the latest version, you will need to upgrade. Here is a list of the minimum required versions of oDesk Team based on operating system: Windows 3.2.79 Mac 3.2.41 Linux 2.0.0 If you have this version already, no action is needed. To check what version you are on, open the oDesk Team application, go to Help > About oDesk Team. If you do not have one these versions, please download it now. What’s in the new version? With the new version of oDesk Team, you get full chat functionality, an improved interface, a full team roster, and more! And, with your whole team on the same version, you will help ensure you can continue to check in with each other and stay in touch. How do I download? Downloading the new oDesk Team application is a simple process and takes just a few moments. Visit our downloads page now. What if I have questions? First, please visit our general Team app and platform specific (Windows, Mac, Linux) help pages. For Windows and Mac users: if you have any additional questions, please reach out to customer support by going to Help in the oDesk Team application, and submitting a ticket. By going through oDesk Team rather than the oDesk website, your ticket will include log files that will help our support reps resolve your problem … Read Full Article

midVentures LAUNCH

September 27, 2010 by

We're excited to announce that oDesk will be sponsoring the upcoming midVenturesLAUNCH conference in Chicago, Illinois scheduled for September 27-28th. As the largest startup and entrepreneurship conference in the Midwest, midVentures will welcome more than 3,000 attendees and speakers from well-known companies such as Google, Groupon, CrowdSPRING, OpenTable, Hipmunk, OkCupid, and Reddit. Read Full Article

Crowdsourcing Meetup

September 22, 2010 by

We're thrilled to be hosting a Crowdsourcing Work Meetup tomorrow night (Sept. 23), at our office in Redwood City. Join us for free food, drinks and lively conversation on the future of work and developments in modern crowdsourcing. Read Full Article

oDesk How-To: Verify Your Credit Card

September 2, 2010 by

You are anxious to get started as an employer at oDesk, so you set up your employer account and submitted the form on the Payment Methods page to add a credit card to your account. But, what is this about verification? We're here to demystify the process and get you back on your way to your first hire as quickly as possible. Read Full Article

Remote Work at SXSW – Vote for your favorites!

August 16, 2010 by

After having such a blast presenting at SXSW last year, we were excited to see that the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker was finally open for voting! Even more thrilling is the number of panels suggested that remote team members and managers would find valuable (including two from oDesk executives!). Here are our top picks for your SXSW Interactive panel votes – log in and give us the ‘thumbs up’ to make sure you’ll get all the tools you need to succeed at SXSW! Remote Work and Competition Not About Price – Competition in the Global Economy – In 2006, 26 million Americans worked from home at least one day per week. By the end of 2010, that number is estimated to be over 100 million. People are making a shift away from rigid corporate structures towards a more flexible, more online way to work. But with that shift comes increasing accessibility to a worldwide workforce. Gary Swart, oDesk CEO, will be joined by top educators on the global economy, successful freelance contractors and champions of the online workforce to answer the question: “When facing competition from a world full of people with similar skills, many of whom can afford to be paid less, how can you come out ahead?” Superhero Telecommuter – Productivity in Your Pajamas – This presentation will focus on giving attendees tips and advice on being a superhero telecommuter. It will also include advice on how to avoid common pitfalls such as “out of sight out of mind” and avoiding distractions of everyday home life, as well as some of the personality traits that fit best for a telecommuter and advice on how to pitch telecommuting to your boss. Why Remote Work? Working on a (Temp) Dream – We are living … Read Full Article

Rewarding Your Big Ideas

August 13, 2010 by

We recently asked readers to share with us on Twitter their big ideas – with the promise that the top three would win $250 in oDesk credit to help make their dream a reality. Inspired by our Future of Work video, the entries that came in to the #futureofwork hashtag were touching, funny, smart, challenging and just a tiny glimpse at what we all might be able to accomplish – for ourselves and others – in the future of work. You top three ideas, and our winners of $250 in oDesk credit are: @softsandila – There should be some big site which could enable users to share in road-trips if a vehicle is traveling with extra space. @RebeccaHaden – The world needs an excellent new math instruction site as cool as a video game site, appealing to both boys & girls. @AishaDansalRN – I will set up an online tutorial company tru @odesk for nurses about nursing techniques and basic life support Here are some of our other favorites, whose bright ideas might still someday change the world: @oleigatdula – Parental Outsourcing like Tutoring Business. This something we need in todays economy – least expensive to start up. @finaldata – I would create a small group to brainstorm for a way to address climate change! @thewritingmommy – my idea is to cr8 a community “gifting” clearing house.people would list their needs & abilities to barter/buy/sale @pasqual_facundo – At least once a month people who work on a computer should get a free massage @sarahbuhr – I would like to create a high tech work-spa where ppl can work/freelance/commute and relax at the same time @Bess – Build an virtual medical rescuer to coach non-medically trained bystanders to … Read Full Article

oDesk Appoints Nilesh Lakhani as CFO

July 28, 2010 by

Today we were thrilled to announce that we recently nabbed Nilesh Lakhani as our new chief financial officer. He’s joining oDesk at a time of explosive growth, and we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the newest member of our management team. oDesk: Nilesh, you’ve had a long and successful track record at both public and private companies. You’ve been linked to fast-growing businesses across technology, media and telecommunications industries. What attracted you to oDesk? Nilesh Lakhani: Mainly, it was meeting with Gary (Swart, oDesk CEO) and the rest of the team. There’s a straightforward openness about Gary’s management style that really appealed to me. It let me know from a very early stage that he’d be a great business partner to work with. The entire team here at oDesk is very transparent and collaborative, and its clear that they really care about what they do.  Additionally, the business model of oDesk is a direction that I believe the world is moving towards — and it was apparent from the get-go that, for the oDesk team, “changing how the world works” isn’t just a motto, it’s a mantra. oDesk: When you aren’t hard at work, where might we find you? Lakhani: Most likely, I’ll be spending time with my wonderful wife, our son and our “well-traveled” golden retriever, but living in the Bay Area means I can easily indulge my other passions: enjoying outdoor activities, indulging in fantastic restaurants of all types, listening to rock & roll and watching independently-produced international films. This area has a rich diversity of culture that is so accessible – I’m looking forward to experiencing it all! oDesk: You recently relocated back to the Bay Area, but you’ve lived in Russia, the United Kingdom and South Africa and have traveled extensively … Read Full Article