Large-Scale Experiment Shows Working From Home Improves Performance, Reduces Costs

August 27, 2012 by

While evidence shows that telecommuting can improve productivity and employee satisfaction, some businesses still have lingering concerns that remote workers will shirk their responsibilities given such flexibility and lack of supervision. One major Chinese company recently decided to find out for sure. In perhaps the largest-scale remote work study conducted to date, CTrip—China’s largest travel agency with a $5 billion valuation on NASDAQ and 13,000 employees—set out to investigate the benefits, drawbacks and feasibility of implementing a widespread work-from-home policy. The results, published by Stanford’s Economics Department and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, with cooperation from CTrip, were overwhelmingly positive. Read Full Article

Small Town Living, Big Town Talent

August 22, 2012 by

Tom Rupsis moved to a small town in Montana so his kids could be close to family. But the beautiful scenery and small-town charm did nothing to alleviate hiring challenges for his growing IT consulting business. He needed to fill several technical positions, but found most applicants minimally qualified for the job. His situation is not unique: While studies have shown that rural residents generally live happier and less stressful lives than their urban counterparts, they also have their challenges. One problem that significantly affects businesses in smaller communities is “brain drain”—the flight of technical talent from rural areas to urban centers. Read Full Article

Love the Way You Work, and Be a Parent Too

August 16, 2012 by

The decisions I made about my career and life were never easy, and choosing when to 'lean in' versus when to focus more on family was deeply personal. But I've also watched other women grapple with similar questions, and for those who chose to pursue a career in addition to raising a family, I've seen many navigate it brilliantly, while others struggled. What made the difference? Over the years, I've picked up some strategies, many from successful bosses and other working moms. Here are my favorites. Read Full Article

Digitization of the Supply Side of the Labor Market

August 13, 2012 by

We are witnessing an unprecedented, voluntary data collection and digitization of the supply side of the labor market. This “supply digitization” is going to be very impactful, because once the supply side of the labor market is digitized, platforms can begin making data-driven, highly contextualized recommendations to both sides of the market. In other words, the more detailed digital data these platforms have, the better they are able to recommend highly relevant jobs to job-seekers and equally relevant candidates to employers. But there still remains a lot of work to be done for this machine-learning research to reach its full economic and even humanitarian potential. Read Full Article

Truly Lean Startups Use Online Contract Developers

July 30, 2012 by

The Lean Startup methodology is a great way to launch your new business idea as quickly and efficiently as possible. The practice has also spawned the Lean Software Development concept, which focuses on developing software in a lean manner—primarily by eliminating all forms of waste in the development process. However, the truly cutting-edge lean startups are taking it to a new level by using teams of contract developers to develop not only their web presence but also their product itself. Read Full Article

Online Sourcing Enhances Staffing

July 24, 2012 by

Matt Cooper, oDesk's VP of Marketplace Operations, is now a guest columnist for Staffing Industry Analysts' new blog, The Staffing Stream. Matt's first post, Online Sourcing Enhances Staffing, discusses the relationship between online work and traditional local staffing, as well as what the future of work will look like. Read Full Article

Digital Jam 2.0: Sharing My Online Work Story

July 23, 2012 by

Finding new employment opportunities for the youngest of the population is a great challenge in many countries, but particularly in Jamaica. The government has recognized the need to provide innovative solutions to tackle this significant problem, and consequently collaborated with the World Bank and various private-sector companies to host a three-day event called “Digital Jam 2.0 - the Future of Work is Online.” Being rated amongst the top oDesk contractors from Jamaica for Q1 2012, I was kindly invited by oDesk to give a presentation at this event, sharing my successful experience with oDesk and giving guidance to young people on how to achieve similar success through online work. Read Full Article

Reflections on the Pursuit to 'Have it All'

July 18, 2012 by

I was one of the countless women who inhaled Anne-Marie Slaughter’s now-viral article in The Atlantic, titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” My first reaction was this: “It is not a coincidence that my first full-time job in 11 years is at oDesk.” My story goes back to the year 2000 when I thought I had it all. Except that apparently I didn’t. Read Full Article

Disintermediating a Labor Channel: Does it Make Sense?

July 16, 2012 by

A common aspiration of many startups is to be able to build their own labor force and channel. Through Facebook, through cell phone, through ads, everyone wants to have direct control of the labor. But the parallel with building your own data centers vs getting computing resources from the cloud is direct and should be evident. Allocating resources to handle overhead tasks is taking away resources from the main goal: Building a better product! Read Full Article

How To Move Your Business Forward By Hiring Online

July 12, 2012 by

Mark Buskuhl runs a small business in addition to his full-time job. But he didn’t want Snapshot Pod, which offers rentals of a more modern version of the classic photo booth,. But he didn’t want Snapshot Pod to look like a side project to potential customers. Working with contractors from all over the world, Buskuhl was able to “create a professional and high-end face for my business in a very cost-effective way." Read Full Article

Moving Towards an All-Management Future

July 10, 2012 by

In his recent guest post for Business Insider, oDesk CEO Gary Swart explored how rapid growth and widespread adoption of online work is shifting the traditional organizational structure, rapidly making the concept of “the management” obsolete. In fact, he predicts that in the future, we will all be managers. Read Full Article

This Week’s Perspectives on the Future of Work: Week of June 18, 2012

June 22, 2012 by

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on labor markets, innovation, and online work. Week of 6/18/2012: The End of a Job as We Know It Written by Josh Bersin, CEO of Bersin & Associates, “The End Of A Job as We Know It” details the radical reimagining of hiring and managing practices that is taking place in many modern corporations. In this article for the Enterprise Collaborative project, Bersin remarks on the recruiting difficulties experienced by HR executives, and discusses how the world is shifting towards an agile employment model in which companies look for specific skill sets and experience to fill project- and task-based “roles” instead of “jobs.” How to Make Contingent Workers Feel Like Family The rise of freelance professionals has fundamentally changed the structure of modern businesses, bringing new challenges to HR departments and management teams in the process. GigaOM author Jessica Stillman offers four tips to help integrate contractors into your company culture and maximize their productivity. Why Crowded Coffee Shops Fire Up Your Creativity A recent study led by Ravi Mehta found that a moderate level of ambient noise can help “trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas,” as summarized in this article for The Atlantic. He suggests that to overcome creative challenges, the coffee shop will outperform the library—which also may help to explain the rapid growth of the coworking trend. Whatdo you think? Do you thrive in a crowded coffee house or do you prefer the serenity of your home? The Key Ingredients of a Successful Team Thriving teams aren’t built merely by … Read Full Article

10 Tech Influencers You Should be Following on Twitter

June 19, 2012 by

In addition to its merits as a social platform, Twitter has become one of the best ways to discover and digest a huge volume of news, commentary and information, all tailored to your interests. If your interests happen to be technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, look no further than the Twitter accounts of these 10 gurus. Read Full Article