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

oDesk Celebrates (and Rewards) Big Ideas

July 27, 2010 by

We usually offer tips on improving your remote-work techniques, but this time we wanted to step back and just appreciate how cool remote work really is. Consider this your summer break (unless it happens to be winter where you are), and check out our new Future of Work video. It's the story of a guy who takes his own "big idea" and builds it into a successful business, with the help of a talented woman he'll never meet in person. It is a story oDesk users live every day, but it’s still pretty incredible! So, what's your "big idea"? How are you making that dream a reality? Tell us on Twitter, and we may help you get it off the ground. You have until Aug. 10 to tweet your elevator pitch using the hashtag #futureofwork. Got more detail than 140 characters allow? Add a link to any progress you've made so far. We're going to pick the three best ideas and award each person a $250 credit to hire on oDesk and help make their dream come true. Check back here on Aug. 12 to see who won! You’ve already joined the movement — now spread the word, and tweet us your big idea! Erica Benton brings nearly a decade of experience as a small business owner, freelancer and independent contractor to her position as the editor-in-chief of the oDesk Blog. Read Full Article

Startup Weekend - Special Offer for oDesk Users

July 12, 2010 by

Here at oDesk we're always excited to offer special deals and promotions to our hard working community.  That's why we're super excited to announce that our partner, Startup Weekend, is extending a generous offer of 25% off to attend their upcoming Bay Area event. Startup Weekend recruits a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more to a 54 hour event that builds communities, companies and projects.  The events provide an unprecedented level of networking, team building, learning, and life changes for its attendees and their communities. oDesk truly believes in the amazing ideas that come out of these intense weekends - so much so that we recently decided to officially sponsor these events worldwide.  This partnership allows entrepreneurs and startup businesses to use the incredible skills that oDesk contractors have to offer, and helps these newly established businesses learn how they can accomplish more with a remote workteam. Come be a part of this exciting three-day event, which is set to take place July 23-25 at Kicklabs, 250 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA.  For more info on this and other Startup Weekend events around the globe and to learn how to register, click here. Don't forget to use the promo code "swodesk" to get your discount, and hurry! These events sell out fast! … Read Full Article

Giving you more control over email

July 7, 2010 by

We've released a new version of our Email Preferences page, giving you even more control over the communications you receive from oDesk. We know you're busy.  Our emails are designed to give you pertinent information and allow you to take action as efficiently as possible.  However, if you manage a large remote team or are hiring for many positions, and you already sign into your oDesk account multiple times a day, some of these emails may be redundant. You now have more options for managing the emails you receive: Go directly to the Email Preferences page within your Message Center and select the emails you no longer wish to receive.  Individual emails are listed by category, such as job applications, contracts, etc. oDesk emails contain a link in the footer to manage your email preferences.  Clicking these links takes you to your preferences where the email type you clicked will be called out. Keep in mind, some emails are not optional, such as those alerting you that your password has changed and other security related communications. Read Full Article

New oDesk Terminology

July 1, 2010 by

To help new visitors better understand what oDesk is all about and clarify important concepts to all oDesk users, we've updated a few of our more commonly used words. Read Full Article

New design for job posts

June 24, 2010 by

The next time you look for a job or post a new job, check out the new job description page.  Our designers have been hard at work revamping this page.  They've cleaned it up, given it a fresh new look, and highlighted the key information you need.  For providers, it's now easier to determine whether a particular job is a good fit for you.  For buyers, you can now use this page to easily update your open job posts.    For providers: Right up top - see the job description, skills required and preferred qualifications Check the job status, including when the buyer last viewed the job, # of applicants and # interviewing Quickly see if you've already applied to the job Review the buyer's work history and other open jobs For buyers, you can now use this job description page to manage your open jobs posts - make edits, repost, make the job private to stop receiving applications, or close the job once it's filled.  Keep in mind, to manage active assignments, you should go to the assignment detail page.   Let us know what you think of these changes in our community forum. Read Full Article

Find providers fast & changes to job application quotas

June 17, 2010 by

This week we have two enhancements to the oDesk service to tell you about.  Both of these changes will create a speedier site -  something many of our users have been asking for! Faster, more interactive provider search results We’ve made looking for providers easier and faster, helping buyers find the talent they need and helping providers get hired. First, provider search results have a great new look.  A cleaner design highlights the information buyers need to easily review their search results.  Also: Faster page loads and more interactive filters to quickly narrow search results. Easier navigation to jump to any page in your search results. Provider search listings will look different and we know change can be jarring.  But, we’re confident these changes will make it easier for buyers to find providers.  We are always working to improve the experience for all of our users.  Check out the new provider search results now. If you have feedback on these changes, we’d love to hear it!  Visit our Community Forum. Job application quotas to refresh twice daily Starting today, providers will see a change in how often job application quotas are increased. Currently, when one of your job applications becomes inactive (you are hired, or your application expires, is withdrawn or is rejected), your quota is increased immediately.  This real-time updating encourages job application spamming and is causing our systems to run very slowly.  To increase system speed for all users, and reduce the amount of job spamming, increases to your quota will now occur twice per day. This means that when one of your job applications becomes inactive, it may take up to 12 hours before you see your quota increase. Note, none of the rules regarding your quota change. For more information, see the … Read Full Article

Quality Health Insurance for Contractors, Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs

June 14, 2010 by

Being an independent contractor comes with a lot of benefits, including the freedom to work when and where you want.  Until now, those benefits didn’t usually include affordable health insurance options. But, that all changes today.  oDesk is now making health insurance available to all of our U.S.-based users. On behalf of our members, we have negotiated pricing, plan offerings and a streamlined approval process that outstrip other plans generally available to individuals. “By providing access to health coverage options, we're lowering a key barrier faced by many people that aspire to the freelance lifestyle, and enabling them to focus on building successful careers.”  – Gary Swart, oDesk CEO There are 3 types of plans available. For more details see: http://www.odesk.com/benefits: Wellness plan - day-to-day health care plan with guaranteed issuance, low deductible and up to an annual maximum benefit of $20,000 including hospitalization. Catastrophic plan - coverage for major medical care, including hospitalization with an annual maximum benefit of $1 Million Comprehensive plan - combine the Wellness and Catastrophic plans to get comprehensive coverage. Life insurance with critical illness coverage is also available with no physical exam as an additional option on any of the 3 offered plans. oDesk is committed to supporting both companies and individuals in the new, emerging “contract economy”.  Access to affordable, quality health insurance is an important ingredient to building successful, long-term contract careers, and we’re proud to be taking the lead in offering these types of benefits options to our users. You can read about the plans at http://www.odesk.com/benefits or you can call 888-895-2440 to speak directly with a benefits consultant (available 8am to 6pm PDT). Got feedback for us on the plans? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or share them with our Community! … Read Full Article

New and Improved Reports Make Managing Work Easier

June 9, 2010 by

Buyers, providers and staffing managers now have access to our new suite of reports that make managing your work life easier.   We’ve added the most requested reports, made them easier to read, provided both summary and detailed views, and made it possible to select the specific date range you need. For Buyers: Customized reports to track the providers, teams and time periods you choose Easy to read dashboards with summaries by provider, task or memo Linked reports allow you to drill down into individual work diaries For Providers: Easier to read weekly timesheet showing hours by buyer Detailed report listing daily hours and memos for any time period you choose Still Available – Time Analyze – a configurable report to track hours or earnings For Affiliate Managers: Easier to read reports with summary and detailed views Weekly timesheets to track total time and earnings by provider or buyer Detailed reports showing work completed by memo for any time period you choose Check out the Reports Center today to find out how much easier it can be to manage your work! Have feedback about the new reports? Please go to the Community Forum to leave your comments. Read Full Article

A Better Way to Manage your Job Applications

May 26, 2010 by

Applying and interviewing for jobs just got faster and easier under the new "Job Applications." No more hunting for interview threads! Your communications with the buyer are now embedded in the new Job Application page. Reply to buyers, ask questions and view the job description all in one place. Easily manage your job applications. Quickly reply to, decline or ignore invitations to interview. Easily propose a different rate and page through applications. Declutter your job application list. Archive applications that you're done with, and find all your past applications (declined, withdrawn, hired) in the "Archived" tab. More responsive interface. We've fine-tuned it for faster performance. This is just the beginning.  Look out for even more improvements over the next couple of months.  In the meantime, if you have feedback or suggestions regarding the new Job Applications, please share them in the community forum.   … Read Full Article

Live Chat Support 24/7

May 13, 2010 by

oDesk Customer Service's live chat support is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chat has quickly become the support option of choice for many oDesk users and we hope the expanded coverage will make it even more convenient for users around the globe! To contact oDesk, please visit http://www.odesk.com/help/ticket, select a topic, and choose Create a Support Ticket or Live Chat. We also continue to offer a Help Center full of informative articles and community forum where you can seek the advice of fellow oDesk members. If you have comments or suggestions, please share them in the community forum. Read Full Article

Games and Apps Drive Android and C++ Demand

April 21, 2010 by

The monthly oDesk Online Jobs Report is a great chance to take a look at where the demand for skills are and - more importantly - where they are headed. Following the trends in demand for online work can help you make sure you're harnessing the right skills to secure work in the future, and help you command top-dollar for your in-demand skillset. Read Full Article