Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire an Awesome Developer on oDesk: Part I

January 23, 2014 by

I've been using oDesk for almost two years now—hiring for various types of profiles and skills, from multiple locations around the world—and it's been filled with a lot of ups and a few downs. When I was new to oDesk, I didn’t really know how to properly evaluate freelancers. What's more, it's always difficult to evaluate a skill you don’t have yourself. As a result, my turnover rate was pretty high. After a lot of trial and error, I fixed my process. I can now say confidently that most of the freelancers I'm hiring are awesome, and I believe they enjoy collaborating with me. After all, hiring the right people and managing them well are skills that only become more important when hiring online. So how can you have the same result? Check out the steps below for guidance on how to hire an awesome developer on oDesk. Today I'll go through the first three tips, and stay tuned tomorrow for the next three. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Top 5 Most Ridiculous—But Awesome—Home Offices

January 22, 2014 by

Freelancers and entrepreneurs often have the freedom to work from home. To get the most from those hours, we organize a workspace to make it our own. But in most cases, this space still blends into the rest of the house; this makes it more difficult to get into work mode than if the office was elsewhere. One fix is to create an office space that reflects your personality while also promoting hard work and creativity. I sometimes dream of creating a space so awesome, it could only be described as…well, ridiculously awesome! Here are my top five inspirations, starting with the least ridiculous. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How to Sell: Finding the Right Approach for Your Business

January 17, 2014 by

Now more than ever, companies need to understand the nuances of how and why people buy products or services. Is an as-simple-as-possible buying process the best way to convert prospects? Or do they need a full consultation with an expert before making a decision? In his recent Linkedin column, oDesk CEO Gary Swart advises businesses to answer these fundamental questions before creating a sales plan. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Making the Leap From Freelancers to Digital Agency

January 16, 2014 by

How can a few entrepreneurial friends—each doing their own thing—take a leap and launch a digital agency together? Making such a big change is a lot easier when you already have paying clients and a full pipeline of leads. When it came to getting Matchnode, our Chicago-based digital marketing agency, off the ground, we already had both—thanks in large part to oDesk. Learn how Matchnode evolved from an idea among friends to a viable business. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

The Next Silicon Valley is Closer Than You Think

January 13, 2014 by

Researchers found that cities known for supporting “anchor institutions” like large companies and well-funded universities (e.g., Boston, Mass.) employed significantly more technology inventors, but they were not producing a proportionally larger amount of citation-weighted patents. What’s the takeaway of these findings? The best cities for technology innovation have a varied ecosystem, with at least one large institution and many smaller companies. oDesk’s own VP Matt Cooper takes this discussion one step further in his Inc. column, arguing that the rise of online collaboration tools has rendered geographic location all but moot. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

For Productivity, Stop Crushing It & Be the Tortoise

January 10, 2014 by

Here we all are at the beginning of 2014 with shiny new backpacks full of resolutions, goals, plans, and projects. What thought process and workflow will you use to meet your goals? What if you started hitching your creative pursuits to the habit of consistency not flashes of brilliance? What if you invested only fifteen minutes a day, six days a week, regardless of how you felt? What if you gave yourself permission to be the humble tortoise, not the glamorous hare? The industrious ant, not the swashbuckling grasshopper. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Online Work Revolution: Are You Ready?

January 9, 2014 by

A rapidly growing number of businesses are turning to online work, where they can hire the best talent for any project—efficiently building and managing teams that span the US and even the globe. Whether you’re in engineering, sales, marketing, operations, or customer support, many of your peers and competitors are already leveraging online work. To make sure you stay ahead of the curve, check out oDesk's new white paper, "The Online Work Revolution," which is full of practical examples about creating and managing a remote workforce. It invites you to take inventory of your existing efforts to see if any of the "types of work being done online" apply to your company, in which case you could see significant benefits from trying online work. You can also read about how leading companies reap the benefits of online work, and learn how to implement online work at your company. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Book Review - "Remote: Office Not Required"

January 7, 2014 by

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's recent book "Remote: Office Not Required" delves into some of the underlying philosophies about remote work that shape the culture of their company, 37Signals. More of a collection of loosely connected, blog-like articles than a definitive management tome, the book largely covers content that will be familiar territory for this blog’s readership. That being said, the authors speak from hard-won experience and there are plenty of practical takeaways that make the book worth a read for even seasoned remote workers and managers. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

7 Habits for Successful Women in the Future of Work

January 2, 2014 by

It’s no secret that females in the corporate world come up against some unique challenges, and there’s no better resource for us than other successful businesswomen. oDesk VP Jaleh Bisharat offers her own advice to women in this article from her Huffington Post column, writing about general best practices as well as tips for how to keep yourself relevant in an ever-evolving marketplace. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Big Idea 2014: More SMBs Will Be Started Than Ever Before

December 31, 2013 by

In his recent LinkedIn column, Gary predicts that more small businesses will be launched in the upcoming year than ever before “because it’s easier than ever to do so.” Citing more accessible, on-demand technology, as well as a positive shift in investors’ attitudes towards entrepreneurial endeavors, he makes a compelling case for an uptick of small business growth. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Year in Review: Insights From oDesk Execs in 2013

December 30, 2013 by

From the controversial Yahoo remote work announcement to new research on the next generation of workers, we’ve found plenty to talk about in 2013. Over the past year, oDesk executives have shared their thoughts on these topics and more, many drawing from their personal experiences to explore the rapidly shifting world of work. In revisiting 2013's archives, we've pulled together this list of articles; glance through to see the discussions we’ve shared this year! Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

We Hear You: A Letter to Freelancers About Yesterday’s News

December 19, 2013 by

After announcing our exciting plan to merge our company with Elance, I was overwhelmed and humbled by thousands of emails. A number of you asked about potential changes to oDesk. Let me be clear: oDesk is constantly evolving and innovating to empower our customers—both our freelancers and our clients. Three freelancer worries from your emails stood out to me and I want to address them immediately so you don’t need to be concerned. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

How Freelancers Can Help You Celebrate More & Stress Less

December 17, 2013 by

With holidays and the end of the year looming, many business owners are burning the midnight oil—not just at work, but also with personal commitments to family and friends. Bringing freelance help on board gives you an extra pair of hands to help power through your to-do list. Here are 10 ways freelancers can help you manage the holidays and go full steam ahead into 2014. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Looking For a Client Holiday Gift? Try This First.

December 16, 2013 by

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’ve been tasked with finding a suitable holiday gift for your company’s high-priority clients. oDesk VP Matt Cooper recommends forgoing a physical gift and instead treating clients to a meal. In his recent column for Inc., he explains that a holiday lunch will not only help strengthen the trust between you and your customers, but it will also give you a chance to hear first-hand opinions from your most valued clients. Read Full Article