Perspectives on the Future of Work: The Book Edition

April 23, 2013 by

There was a time when physically being in the office was a logistical requirement. There was also a time when making an impact necessitated the strength of an institution — not just your own good ideas. Today, the world of work has shifted. This selection of recently and soon-to-be-published books explore not just what has changed, but how individuals and organizations can adapt and thrive in this new reality. Read Full Article

The Rise of the Extended Workforce and its Impact on HR

April 15, 2013 by

“In the future, organizations’ competitive success will hinge on a highly unlikely suspect: workers who aren’t employees at all.” A new report from Accenture takes a critical look at the trends that are making organizations more adaptive and nimble, and considers best practices that HR professionals should put in place to take advantage of this shift. Read Full Article

When is Enough, Enough? "Balance" in Portfolio Life

April 10, 2013 by

More and more people are changing the way they work from full time, one company at a time, career-ladder climbing to a more open approach of freelance, interim or contract work — what we refer to as “Portfolio Life.” With this approach to career-building, the additional flexibility, independence and autonomy can allow non-paid work options to come alive. In this guest post, Expert Alumni founder Jon Glesinger discusses what makes for a fulfilling "Portfolio Life." Read Full Article

Insights on Women, Work and 'Having it All'

April 2, 2013 by

From Sheryl Sandberg's new book Lean In to Marissa Mayer's controversial maternity leave (or lack thereof), discussions about women in leadership and working mothers have dominated the headlines in recent months. Here at oDesk, we are fortunate to have a resident expert on the topic — our talented VP of Marketing Jaleh Bisharat. Jaleh has spent time on both sides of the argument; she served as VP of Marketing at Amazon.com when her children were young, and then made the difficult decision to leave the company so she could spend more time with her family. In the past couple weeks she has weighed in on several different aspects of her career and personal decisions; check out some of her thoughts here. Read Full Article

Navigating Through Unpredictable Income: Tools & Best Practices for Financial Planning

March 19, 2013 by

For all the benefits of working as an independent professional, there is one common challenge: an unpredictable income stream. According to MBO Partners’ latest State of Independence in America report, the top source of concern for freelancers is a lack of predictable income. Getting by without a predictable paycheck requires organization, preparation, and budgeting. Fortunately, in response to this need, a plethora of online services and software have become available to help the growing number of freelancers and contractors manage their incomes and stay prepared in the face of financial uncertainty. Read Full Article

Fostering Smarter Job Creation Through Online Work: Insights from the World Bank ICT Days

March 14, 2013 by

At the recent World Bank ICT Days event in Washington D.C., global thought leaders gathered together and shared potential solutions to development challenges in World Bank member countries. Matt Cooper, oDesk VP of International and Enterprise, spoke about driving smarter job creation through online work, and presented the four criteria required to foster online work growth in developing countries. Read Full Article

Ditch the Desk: Why Some Work is Better Done Remote

March 8, 2013 by

In the wake of both Best Buy and Yahoo’s recent ban on working from home, the topic of flexible work has taken center stage—everyone has weighed in on whether flexible work policies are beneficial or unwise. But both sides are forgetting that this is not an either/or scenario. Instead, we should really be talking about how to make each worker most productive, whether they’re in a cubicle or a cafe. Unlocking high performance is not about picking the right dogmatic policies to implement; it’s about setting up teams to perform at their best. Read Full Article

Comedy in Business: What Improv Can Do For Your Team

March 5, 2013 by

A person’s ability to tap into their inner comedian on the spot is an indication that they might be a great fit — especially for your distributed team. Follow the example of TeamSnap, which uses improv in business: "Using improv techniques can make it much easier to face unexpected challenges, deal with surprises and work better with others,” said Andrew Berkowitz, TeamSnap's vice president of product management. Read Full Article

Flexible Work Can Revolutionize Your Company (If You Do it Right)

February 27, 2013 by

Flexible work can be a powerful thing. Here at oDesk, it's a critical part of our culture and organizational structure — our 120 on-premise employees are supported by 250 full-time-equivalent oDesk contractors working for us from around the world, and employees in our Silicon Valley offices can work from home (or wherever they like) every Tuesday. We find that these initiatives make us more productive, more efficient and even a bit more sane. But in the wake of Yahoo's recent memo revoking work-from-home privileges, there has been a flurry of debate about whether flexible work is a smart strategy or a foolish perk. oDesk VP of Marketing Jaleh Bisharat weighed in on the discussion in her article today for Huffington Post, noting that it may be time to rethink and articulate how we attract, empower and manage talent. Read Full Article

Freedom For Workers Means Productivity For Companies

February 26, 2013 by

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's recent decision to revoke Yahoo’s telecommuting privileges—banning working from home and requiring remote workers to relocate to a physical office—has been quite a controversial one. As we discuss every week on this blog, here at oDesk we believe that flexible work (including online work, remote work, telecommuting, distributed teams, etc.) is not only a win-win for both companies and workers, but it's increasingly becoming table stakes for businesses to be competitive in the future. Today on Forbes, oDesk CEO Gary Swart discusses just that. "The future of work is flexible, and policies like [Yahoo's] are essentially swimming against the tide, making it more difficult for them to compete for talent," he writes. Read Full Article