The Way We Work

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on labor markets, innovation, and online work.

Week of 7/9/2012:

Shareable: Self-Employed Workers Sustain Small Economies
Shareable reports on a recent study by Penn State professor Stephan Goetz—titled “Self-Employment and Local Economic Performance”—which considers the impact of self-employment on communities around the United States. Goetz finds that self-employment “has a tangible effect in raising income growth and lowering poverty,” and suggests that encouraging entrepreneurship is a key strategy governments can take to drive innovation and fuel economic growth.

Forbes: Are You Ready For The Age Of The “Supertemp”?
n today’s uncertain economic climate, companies from tiny startups to global goliaths are embracing independent workers as a method to keep costs low and their businesses agile. In a thought-provoking article for Forbes, Elaine Pofeldt considers the impact this shift could have on modern professionals. She suggests that while it presents new professional opportunities for those who may not have an Ivy League pedigree, a wider range of workers will have to adopt the entrepreneurial spirit of freelancers—or risk falling behind.

Inc: Run a Successful and Productive Remote Team
Starting a company is an inherently stressful exercise. Between the long hours, the lofty goals, and the strained funds, early-stage teams are often stretched thin and moving quickly. Inc.’s Jessica Stillman seeks to find out if fledgling companies should hire remote employees at early stages, providing valuable best practice advice in the process.

Employment Today: The End of HR as the Middleman
Digital businesses are changing the world’s employment structure, managing dispersed teams and finding alternative methods to execute necessary tasks. David Page and Anita Lettink suggest that this organizational change must extend to HR departments in order to truly maximize the potential of new employment models.

Xerox Blogs: Here, There, Doesn’t Matter Where – I Am the Workplace
We are living in the “always on” workplace. Technological advances enabling instant communication have freed us to work from anywhere and everywhere—but this also means that, from the time you wake up to the time you head to bed, a constant barrage of emails, texts and tweets keep you engaged with your work. Kate Dobbertin, a product manager at Xerox, remarks on the growing importance of finding tools and methods to better manage the integration between work and life.

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