Digital Nomads

Jay: Ex Million-Mile Commuter Turned Digital Nomad

February 4, 2014 by

In 2011, tired of recycled air, bland food, drab office interiors and too much time away from family, entrepreneur Jay Shapiro made the decision to sell his digital advertising agency and found Infinite Monkeys, a DIY mobile apps tools site—that he built as an entirely location-independent business, relying on support from a virtual team. Taking advantage of his newfound freedom to work wherever he wants, Jay and his family began touring the world. They also took their “home” with them, in the form of a custom-built “Eco-Roamer,” a 33-foot camper van fashioned entirely out of sustainable materials. Jay designed the camper to serve as both a second home and mobile headquarters for his blossoming virtual business. Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

Bernard: A Digital Nomad in Southeast Asia

February 4, 2014 by

Sights and sounds that many of us will never experience are just another stop on the road for Bernard Vukas—from the towers of Ottoman mosques in Turkey, to the spicy aromas of rice and curry shops in Thailand, to the sounds of crashing waves just outside his workspace in the Philippines. Bernard is a Digital Nomad—and this lifestyle is growing in popularity. A Microsoft Office & Office 365 software developer originally from Croatia, Bernard has reinvented how he lives and works, pursuing a lifestyle of adventure and travel. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Make Money on oDesk in 7 Steps

February 3, 2014 by

Are you struggling to find enough work on oDesk? What you may be lacking is not necessarily the skills to do the work, but the skills to get the job. If that's the case, you're actually in a good position, because it's easier and faster to learn how to get work on oDesk than it is to learn new professional skills. After that, it is just a matter of determining how to apply these methods to your circumstances. As you do so, you will increase your chances of getting hired, and get more opportunities to deliver high-quality work that clients will give you good testimonials for—thus creating a virtuous cycle of more hiring. Read Full Article

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