All Things Upwork

After having such a blast presenting at SXSW last year, we were excited to see that the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker was finally open for voting! Even more thrilling is the number of panels suggested that remote team members and managers would find valuable (including two from oDesk executives!). Here are our top picks for your SXSW Interactive panel votes – log in and give us the ‘thumbs up’ to make sure you’ll get all the tools you need to succeed at SXSW!

Remote Work and Competition

Not About Price – Competition in the Global Economy – In 2006, 26 million Americans worked from home at least one day per week. By the end of 2010, that number is estimated to be over 100 million. People are making a shift away from rigid corporate structures towards a more flexible, more online way to work. But with that shift comes increasing accessibility to a worldwide workforce. Gary Swart, oDesk CEO, will be joined by top educators on the global economy, successful freelance contractors and champions of the online workforce to answer the question: “When facing competition from a world full of people with similar skills, many of whom can afford to be paid less, how can you come out ahead?”

Superhero Telecommuter – Productivity in Your Pajamas – This presentation will focus on giving attendees tips and advice on being a superhero telecommuter. It will also include advice on how to avoid common pitfalls such as “out of sight out of mind” and avoiding distractions of everyday home life, as well as some of the personality traits that fit best for a telecommuter and advice on how to pitch telecommuting to your boss.

Why Remote Work?

Working on a (Temp) Dream – We are living at the dawn of the freelance world, as more and more people find themselves working as consultants, contract workers or freelancers. This change is as profound as the shift that occurred during the industrial revolution. Matt Cooper, oDesk Director of Marketplace Operations, will be joined by top authors Kate Lister (Undress for Success) and Ed Gandia (The Wealthy Freelancer), as well as workplace experts and freelancers to investigate the impact of the gig economy on workers and businesses.

Agile Ain’t Just for Developers: The Agile People Manifesto – Programmers may be familiar with the Agile Manifesto – but how can an Agile approach change the future of work?

Remote Team Management

Team Dynamics with a Remote Team – One team shares their experiences managing a team in multiple locations — this includes working with round-the-world contract houses, and even volunteers.

Getting the Most from Distributed Work Teams – In today’s work environment, it’s not unusual to find yourself in a different city (or even country) than your colleagues and your managers. How can you meet expectations, spark your creativity and foster innovation when the nearest friendly ear is hundreds of miles away? As a manager, how do you effectively manage a team that you may never see face-to-face? Experts from businesses big and small, along with leading figures in higher education, talk about how to get the most from a distributed team.

Deleting the Workspace: Is the On-Site Office Needed? – Times are a-changin! Gen-Y is moving into managerial/leadership positions and they may have a different idea of how a business should be run. Technology allows for efficiently run virtual offices, with employees working from different ends of the globe! What will the future workplace look like? How can businesses properly integrate the changes that are being pushed by young professionals?

What panels would you love to see at SXSW? What other conferences are you itching to go to? Let us know in the comments!

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more