The Way We Work

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the best articles in labor markets, innovation and online work.

Week of May 28, 2012:

  • After reading a study on the formation of teams on social networks, Panos Ipeirotis — an Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the Academic in Residence here at oDesk — decided to research similar trends regarding online work. Looking at the emergence of teams in online work, Ipeirotis finds a significant shift towards the formation of larger online teams, and discusses the implications for company structure and even company formation in the future. “If these trends continue, expect sooner rather than later to see companies naturally hiring online and working with remote collaborators, no matter where the talent is located,” he writes. “People have been talking about online work being an alternative to immigration, but this seemed to be a solution for the remote future. With the exponential increase that we observe, the future may come much sooner than expected.” Check out the full article for the in-depth data analysis.
  • Did you know that in many Asian countries, the purpose of meetings is to formally approve a decision that has already been reached in prior informal meetings? Or that in Indonesia, asking someone’s opinion during a meeting can be considered confrontational? In today’s borderless world, a certain amount of intercultural knowledge is critical not just for international business ventures, but for working with global teams. To ensure your messages are not being misconstrued and that your team is communicating effectively, consider Jessica Stillman’s advice in GigaOM for avoiding some of the most common pitfalls in cross-cultural communication.
  • Embracing coworking ethos, many companies are working to physically downsize their space to save money and improve collaboration. In this article for, Erik Sherman suggests that utilizing alternative work spaces and remote work arrangements can help companies maximize profits as well as creativity.
  • Is having both spouses working from home the ultimate form of coworking? Jessica Stillman’s article in GigaOM suggests it may not bring marital bliss. “Surviving a dual remote worker marriage” chronicles the experience of freelance couples and provides some helpful advice for keeping your marriage healthy — and maintaining your sanity — if you are considering trying it yourself.

Did we miss anything? Are there any trends you find particularly interesting? Let us know in the comments section below!

Jenna Weiner

Content Marketer

Jenna Weiner is the former content marketing manager at oDesk and was the editor-in-chief of the oDesk blog. With a background in business and technology writing, she specializes in content marketing and strategy, public relations, and branding. Before joining oDesk, Jenna was a writer and editor for Monitor Group’s marketing department (now Monitor Deloitte) and was the Business & Technology Section Editor for Brafton Inc.… read more