The Way We Work

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

Week of 9/21/2012:

BBC: The Workplace Of 2025 Will Be Wherever You Want It
Would you like to be “virtually transported” to the office? Ever wish you could interact with your colleagues via holograms? Writing for the BBC, Mark Heraghty suggests that those scenarios might not be too far off, because by 2025 telecommuting will be standard for workers everywhere. Citing corporate studies, MIT research and emerging technologies, Heraghty makes his case for why the future of work will be dispersed, interactive, and extremely fluid. The best part? He argues that “technology will be able to set us free from many of the restrictions of current work patterns” and even allow us to draw clearer work-life boundaries.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Don’t Ignore Those Non-Job Creating Entrepreneurs
While the growth of small business has been a prominent topic in the current presidential election, issues affecting freelancers have largely been missing from the political rhetoric. Richard Greenwald, a professor at St. Joseph’s College, argues that the explosion of self-employment in the United States is a key issue that politicians must address because all too often, the self-employed “fall through the cracks” in the current legal system. As the freelancing community continues to grow in size, policymakers must recognize and meet the needs of an increasingly nuanced employment system.

BBC: Speeding Up Work For People With Disabilities
While advances in telecommuting have enabled millions of professionals to clock in from home, these breakthroughs have had an especially significant impact on professionals with disabilities. In this article for the BBC, Barbara Otto describes the many ways that technology is helping people with disabilities find satisfying employment opportunities around the globe. Otto singles out oDesk for creating “a very level playing field for people with disabilities,” as it is accessible to all. She concludes that continued innovations in the online work area will have a huge positive impact on the economy, as these talented and creative individuals enter the workforce.

The Asian Age: For Tech Savvy Youth, Home’s The New Office
According to a recent survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the majority of Indian workers prefer working at home to commuting to the office. This article, published last Friday in The Asian Age, suggests that in today’s ultra-connected society, a trip to the office does not necessarily increase productivity or even the ability to collaborate as a team. While the virtual workplace continues to develop in India, the spread of crucial infrastructure (such as high-speed Internet connections and secure servers) will be a deciding factor in how quickly online work will become a reality for the majority of Indian professionals.

Open Forum: Why A Flexible Workplace Makes Sense
In this article for the American Express Open Forum, Millennial Branding’s Dan Schawbel discusses the rise of “workplace flexibility programs” in large corporations, and why he believes fluid work strategies can help your business thrive. Schawbel states that implementing flexible work policies can fundamentally improve your business, from attracting (and keeping) top talent to lowering costs and increasing engagement.

Harvard Business Review: The Rise Of Co-Working Office Spaces
Motivated by a desire for greater community and efficiency in the workplace, workers and companies have begun ditching traditional office paradigms in favor of new, alternative working spaces. From open offices and local coffee shops to futuristic corporate campuses, work is moving to new and exciting spaces (and away from the traditional cubicle). To better understand the ever-evolving workplace, author Anne Kreamer spent time at Grind, a popular coworking space in New York City. In this article for the Harvard Business Review, Kreamer explores the coworking experience of various Grind members, and discusses why she believes the trend will hold an important place in the future of work.

Did we miss anything? Are there any insights 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