The Way We Work
March 2, 2009 by Guest Blogger

If you are ineffective during any part of your workday and cannot determine why, then you need oDesk to help you track the use of your time and increase your throughput. oDesk is an extremely useful site due to the increasing use of contingency workforces, rise in telecommuting and growth of independent contractors. This suite of time management tools, job boards, and contractor payment services is surely to become indispensable to project managers in today’s global economy.

During the past month, I have used the oDesk utilities, especially the Team Room, with several contractors and internal employees with incredible success. Time management, tracking of billable hours, team collaboration & communication  all are among the many capabilities of the Team Room. These features have increased the turnaround of team projects and improved the communication among staff members.

Additionally, I have been able to use the Team Room’s work diary to track my time spent on various tasks and produce a weekly time-study. The work diary allows a user to identity time spent on various projects during the day, track productivity levels with an activity meter, and store screenshots of work being completed. The combined information can be used to evaluate use of work hours, evaluate employee performance, and review the use of resources across a team.

The work diary can also be very useful to anyone working for several departments because the capture time and task tracking can be used to calculate chargeback time. Regardless of the chosen use of the work diary and other team room features, all of the mentioned features are extremely easy to use and can be seamlessly worked into the normal routine of almost any position working from a computer workstation, especially administrative, technical, and data entry positions.

The clean and well organized interfaces of oDesk will make use of its tools an easy sell. Whether you or your employees are interfacing with the installed software on your desktop or using the internet version, you will find that all the features and tools are intuitive and the learning curve is very small. During a recent roll-out, several contractors were extremely comfortable with the tool in fewer than 48 hours.

Once you have implemented oDesk in your organization, the ROI on your investment will increase daily. The increase in accountability and project turn-around time will be the two greatest rewards experienced. Accountability will rise immediately because team members will quickly realize that their progress can be followed in real-time by their colleagues. Project completion time will decrease because staff members will have one place to communicate and get progress updates from team members. All guesses regarding project progression are eliminated.

Miller Roberts is the Chief of Staff of the Career Communications Group and a buyer on oDesk.