The Way We Work

Behind The Runaway Success Laptop Stand: An Interview With The Roost Founder (& oDesk Alum!) James Olander

August 14, 2013 by

Earlier this summer, a cool new ergonomically designed laptop stand called The Roost hit Kickstarter, with a modest funding goal of $9,300. Today, just two months later, the innovative stand has raised $190,000. Fortunately for us, James Olander — who designed, created and launched The Roost — also happens to be a former product manager at oDesk. We caught up with him to hear all about The Roost and its amazing success (sneak peek: it involved oDesk freelancers!), and to find out why ergonomics are so critical to remote work success. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

The Way You Work: Behind the Scenes With oDesk Product Manager Sondra Suazo

July 25, 2013 by

Sondra Suazo, a product manager at oDesk, knows all about working flexibly—she recently moved from Silicon Valley (a few towns away from the oDesk HQ office in Redwood City, CA) to Santa Cruz. While she gained a breathtaking beachfront view, she also added more than 40 miles onto her commute—each way! We caught up with Sondra to learn how she made this move work (hint: it involves more frequent work-from-home days), how she works remotely, and what her favorite work-from-home tips are. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Connecting HQ And Your Remote Team: An Interview With oDesk’s IT Manager

July 9, 2013 by

When it comes to connecting your remote team with a central office, flashy can be fun — but also expensive and potentially unnecessary. How do you build an infrastructure that enables your team to succeed wherever they are, without going overboard? In this Q&A, oDesk’s IT Manager Gordon Thomas shares his practical approach to tech and how it might transfer to other businesses. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Virtual Newsroom Earns Pulitzer: An Interview With Editor David Sassoon

June 6, 2013 by

This year’s list of Pulitzer Prize winners included a first for the prestigious award: a completely virtual news agency. InsideClimate News, an online-only publication, won the National News Reporting category. The non-profit news agency is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, but only publisher David Sassoon clocks in at their official office. Other reporters and editors are flung across the U.S. — even around the globe. oDesk recently talked to publisher David Sassoon about the organization’s journey from a two-man blog to an award-winning investigative news site. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Remote Creatives: The Virtual Ad Agency

May 21, 2013 by

Greg Henderson was disillusioned. As a senior level creative at a global ad agency, his accomplishments were far more than he’d ever dreamed. Yet the “perfect” job was losing its charm. Realizing that he was forcing himself to go to the office each day, he finally began to acknowledge that he was frustrated with Madison Avenue's version of business as usual. Henderson began to wonder if there might be a better way; soon after, his virtual ad agency Red Rocket Connect came into its own. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Does Online Work Favor Experience? Mature Pros Take To Indie Lifestyle

January 28, 2013 by

"Not that many years ago, the idea of working online meant you had to be a young geek — I don't think that's true anymore" said Denise Loubert, a long-time corporate writer who has started four businesses during her career and now works online. More than 40 percent of independent workers are over the age of 50, and many are taking their careers online so they can pursue the work they love on a schedule that suits their lifestyle. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Your Go-To Guide to Working on oDesk: The oDesk Freelancer Manual

January 10, 2013 by

The freedom to work whenever you want, from wherever you want—plus the opportunity to earn more money and set your own rates—is a tantalizing prospect for anyone. This is why millions of professionals have left the office behind to join the world of online work. But what does online work really mean? And how do you become good at it? We thought freelancers on oDesk should have one unified, comprehensive guide to online work success, so we're thrilled to introduce the first ever oDesk Freelancer Manual. From finding great jobs that fit your skills to increasing your earnings and getting stellar feedback, this manual has you covered. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already well on your way to success, the oDesk Freelancer Manual can give you the edge in landing more jobs and growing your business. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

Thanks for a Great Year!

January 1, 2013 by

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for choosing oDesk this year. I am proud to be part of such an engaged, hardworking and innovative community of clients and contractors. By making oDesk your work home, you have continued to make it the largest and fastest-growing online workplace in the world. Thank you. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Location Independent: Bernard Vukas’ Travel and Work Experiment

December 13, 2012 by

Sights and sounds that many of us will never see or hear are just another stop on the road for Bernard Vukas—from Ottoman mosques in Turkey, to rice and curry shops in Thailand, to a beachfront office in the Philippines. With a lifestyle that is nothing if not location-independent, Vukas—a Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBA) developer originally from Croatia—has embraced the “work anywhere” freedom enabled by online work. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Latest Coveted Business Address: ‘Global Nomad’

December 10, 2012 by

Although his home is in northern New Jersey, Jay Shapiro's preferred business address is “global nomad,” as he runs his business — mobile app development platform Infinite Monkeys — from a laptop with no fixed address. Often it’s from his lake house in Canada, but occasionally it’s from his custom-built motor home — a carbon-neutral, heavily modified Ford F650 he calls the “EcoRoamer,” in which his family tours the world. “With the advent of online project management tools and access to a huge talent pool, we could assemble a team with all the skills you could possibly need to build a company," he says. "We have staff literally spread across six continents. They are an incredible team that brings us a level of skills and cost-efficiency we could never get in the past." Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

A Voyage into International Event Planning

November 26, 2012 by

Planning an international event is certainly not easy — at least, that’s what I thought as I planned two large events in Bangladesh and the Philippines for oDesk this year. I had never been to Bangladesh or the Philippines, nor do I have relatives there. Plus, in addition to planning the events from 7,000 miles away, I was working with a rather conservative budget. At first this project seemed extremely daunting and nerve-wracking, particularly when one event was estimated to have 1,000 attendees! But with a little prep and on-the-ground support, I’m happy to say that these events were a success. We had excellent feedback from our members and we learned a lot about contractors, their countries and ourselves in the process. As a result, I wanted to share my experiences to help future event planners. I won’t sugarcoat it, it does involve a lot of work. But with the tips laid out here, I hope you can benefit from my experience. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Creating Work-Family Balance Through Flexible Work

November 7, 2012 by

High levels of work-family stress are causing many people to look for more flexible solutions—and often, that solution is the life of an independent worker. A recent survey by professional staffing company Mom Corps found that 52 percent of employees would start their own business in order to get the flexibility they’re looking for. "As professionals come to terms with the idea of flexibility, they are gaining confidence in seeking their preferred work environment and shaping their careers accordingly," said Allison O'Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps. Read Full Article

All Things oDesk

“Straight-Shootin’” Insights from oDesk’s Events in Texas

October 18, 2012 by

The oDesk team recently traveled down to the thriving startup hub of Austin, Texas, to host both a client user group and a Contractor Appreciation Day (and to have some really great barbecue). We met with an extremely entrepreneurial and passionate group of both clients and contractors, who had some great insights to share about how to build a business on oDesk. Here were the top three highlights. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

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