What's New

Staffing Manager Console – powerful new tools for company managers

We have released three new screens for Staffing Managers to help manage their companies on oDesk:

Each Staffing Manager in your company can now view and manage all of the candidacies of your Affiliated Contractors (ACs). On the “Team Candidacies” tab you can view all of the active interview invitations and candidacies for your ACs. You can accept or reject interview invitations, or end a candidacy, on behalf of your AC. With the “Team Assignments” tab you can view all of your ACs’ active assignments, end assignments, give buyer feedback, and give a refund.

The Staffing Manager Console is a central place to manage your roster of ACs. You can see a list of all of your active ACs, with links to their Provider Profile, candidacies and assignments. You can also see their (hourly) last date worked, the rate that appears on their Provider Profile, and their Profile Visibility setting.

Most importantly, you can change their profile rate and profile visibility – just select the AC(s) you want to change, and select “Change Profile Rate”.

Work Diary 2.0 (Beta)

We’ve redesigned the Work Diary to make it easier for you to use. We think you’ll love these great new features:

  1. The new Work Diary will open within the main navigational window instead of popping up in its own window.
  2. The left navigation section can be hidden so that users with narrower screens and/or lower resolutions can see the entire row of screenshots without scrolling.
  3. The new Preferences bar allows you to toggle the following settings:
    • Time Zone between yours, the user’s, or GMT
    • Time Format between 12- and 24-hour
    • View between Thumbnail and List format
  4. If you are a member of multiple Teams, easily switch from one Team’s Work Diary to another using the new Team selector drop-down menu in the upper left.
  5. If your Team has multiple members, easily switch from one user’s Work Diary to another using the new user selector drop-down menu in the upper left.
  6. In your own Work Diary, you can now edit memos in-line one at a time or simultaneously change a whole batch of memos using the checkbox selectors and the Edit Memo button in the upper right.
  7. Offline time can be added using the Add offline time button in the upper right. You should add a memo to your offline time when you create it. Memos on offline time may also be changed in-line or in a batch. (Don’t forget to get permission from the buyer before logging offline time.)
  8. The Work Diary URLs are now in a more logical format: www.odesk.com/workdiary/team/user/date

You can find the new Work Diary in My oDesk > Work with Your Team > Work Diary (Beta):


Check out these new features plus many other refinements that add up to a cleaner, clearer, faster user experience.

If you run into any problems, please let us know. (You can use the “Classic” Work Diary in the meantime.)

And we’d love to know what you think! Post your comments here:

New version of Team Client for Unix/Linux

A new version of oDesk Team for Linux and FreeBSD has been released. You can download it here.

Changes since version 1.3.0:

  • After launch, oDesk Team now waits for explicit user confirmation before logging time and screenshots
  • oDesk Team icon now shows balloon with status information when you point mouse on it
  • Improvements in Minicam (web camera window): more image tuning options
  • Balloon notifications now display international characters correctly (using Pango)
  • Time management (NTP): changing local time on computer does not affect correct time logging
  • In screensnap drawing, font face, size and last entered text are remembered
  • Window decorations are included when active window is snapped
  • In “Recent screensnaps” mode, thumbnails are scaled correctly now
  • Fixed crash during snap of window placed partially outside of the screen
  • Web camera was not always released after taking snap – fixed

oDesk Pack for Windows

We’ve made some major enhancements to the oDesk client applications for Windows.  We’ve taken previously separate client applications like oDesk Team and oDesk Share and bundled those and more into a single downloadable client application – oDesk Pack for Windows.

Check out the new video tutorials.

New features include:

1. A single install package for several oDesk Applications, including oDesk Team, Share, ScreenSnap, MiniCam and oDesk Extras.

2. oDesk Preferences, which you can access by right-clicking on either the oDesk Team or oDesk Share icons in your system tray (the icons are new, too! oDesk Share and  oDesk Team). Using oDesk Preferences, you can select when different applications launch and control the settings for each application. You can also install oDesk Extras.

3. oDesk Extras, including:

        * Short URL, which allows you to create permanent short URLs for emails, etc.
        * Plain Text, which allows you to paste HTML text without tags into other documents
        * Windows Manipulation, which allows you to use hotkeys to change the size and position of windows

4. MiniCam, which allows you to see a tiny camera icon in your System Tray.

5. Local ScreenSnaps. Use our ScreenSnap tool to create JPEG, PNG and BMP images that you can save locally.

Embed Certifications

We’re impressed!

The oDesk provider network has now collectively passed over 63,000 online certification tests as a result of the efforts of over 21,000 providers. 

The certification tests have always been a way for oDesk providers to demonstrate their skills and abilities to potential buyers. 

Now you can tell the world about your oDesk certifications too, we’ve put together an oDesk Certified logo for each provider that has passed a test.  You can get the embed code from the My Tests section and post it anywhere you like.  The logo will link back to your oDesk profile by default.

Here’s one of the certifications I was lucky enough to pass:

oDesk Certified Search Engine Optimization Consultant

Introducing “Teams”

We believe that the future of oDesk lies with its ecosystem of entrepreneurs, “power users” who can deliver results for buyers, provide meaningful and lucrative work for providers, and strengthen the quality of the entire network.

We have seen some of our most successful providers create and grow their own Companies on oDesk. We have seen buyers leverage oDesk to a whole new way of working with remote resources. And we have seen some users, often IT services companies themselves, work both as a Buyer and a Provider on oDesk.

The “Teams” initiative is our first release aimed at empowering more of this behavior. There are two goals of the initiative:

  1. Help buyers build larger remote teams through oDesk
  2. Enable providers and services companies build out teams of providers to better serve buyers’ needs

We have released the first phase of the initiative. Included features:

  • Act as a buyer and a provider under one account
  • Manage team permissions of your team members in the new “Team Admin” screen
  • Unify multiple accounts into one User ID

Learn more about the “Teams” initiative

Show Full Name

“My name is J. Breinlinger.”

“No, no, wait, that’s too obvious – it’s Josh B.”

“D’oh. Well, my name is Josh Breinlinger”

We’ve enabled a new option for Providers to display their full first and last name in their oDesk profile and search results if they prefer that to the traditional first name and last initial format.  While it’s just an option, we believe that like a good portrait or profile title – it will help talented Providers stand out from the crowd.  We’ve also surpassed 50,000 Providers in the network, so there are quite a few John S.’s and Dmitry K.’s in the network now. 

If you’d like to show your full name in your profile, go to the Profile and Settings tab and change your preference in the profile editor.

PayPal for Providers

What is it?

We’ve added PayPal as a Payment Method for withdrawing money.

How do I get to it?
In the “My oDesk” tab, select “Billing and Payment” and “Payment Methods”.

How do I use it?

After making sure PayPal works in your country of residence, create a PayPal account and register your oDesk.com email address. Once you have done this, you will be able to withdraw your oDesk earnings into to your PayPal account. Find out more about this new feature in the oDesk Guide to PayPal.

Love it? Have suggestions or problems? Tell us what you think in the community forums.

The oConomy

We’re excited to bring you the “oConomy”, a detailed look inside the oDesk network and what is making it tick. As of today, the oConomy data covers more than 1,600,000 hours of work completed by over 47,000 providers from over 90 countries. We analyzed all the data we had and compiled a list of statistics, maps, charts, and rankings. We hope this helps all users get more out of oDesk. Here’s a short preview of what you’ll see when you click over to the oConomy.

Hourly Rates by Week Hourly Rates by Week
Providers Rate Distribution
Providers Rate Distribution
Feedback by Years of Experience
Feedback by Years of Experience
oDesk Growth Trends
oDesk Hours by Quarter

More than anything else – we need your input! 

This data is for you.  What else do you want to see?  What would help you be more successful on oDesk?  What insights can you make out of the data?  Leave a comment on the oConomy pages, and let us know.

oDesk Pack in Beta

What is it?

We’ve released an update to our oDesk Team application called oDesk Pack and we’re looking for beta testers!

The new oDesk Pack comes in a single install package and also has a suite of new features, including:

  • Local ScreenSnap — Save your ScreenSnaps to your desktop
  • oDesk Preferences — Manage when applications launch and control the settings
  • oDesk Extras — Try Short URL for sending URLs over IM or email, CleanText if you’re copying any HTML to another document and Windows Manipulation hotkeys if you’re looking for faster ways to work
  • MiniCam — Use a webcam? Check whether your face is on the screen with MiniCam

If you are a Windows Vista user or have had problems with oDesk Team restarting, we recommend that you try this version of the oDesk Team application.

Where can I try it?

Download the new oDesk Pack and run odesksetup.exe. This should upgrade your oDesk Team client.

Love it? Have suggestions or problems? Tell us what you think in the community forums.

Learn more about the oDesk Pack and the new features!