The Way We Work
October 12, 2012 by Jenna Weiner

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

Week of 10/12/2012: Why Remote Offices Mean Better IT Teams
While companies large and small have embraced the use of remote teams, some managers remain skeptical about the loss of face-to-face relationships. This article encourages skeptics to be open-minded, if for no other reason than the fact that remote employees gain an average of six extra weeks of productivity over the course of the year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In this article, Rich Hein chronicles the experiences of Geoff Perlman, the CEO of REAL Software, who chose to leave the office behind and transition his team to an entirely virtual workplace. Hein provides practical advice for finding great remote employees, fostering collaboration, monitoring progress and avoiding potential issues.

Forbes: How To Manage The New Mobile Workforce
Mobile connectivity has transformed the business world as we know it, enabling professionals to work wherever and whenever they choose. Although it effectively ‘cuts the cord’ that kept workers tethered to their desks, mobility presents unique challenges for managers looking to lead and motivate distributed teams. Mark Dixon offers four best practice tips for managing virtual teams, claiming that a focus on engagement, connectivity, flexibility and consistency will lead to great remote teams.

Harvard Business Review: How To Build Trust In A Virtual Workplace
Great teamwork is hard enough to achieve in person; when employees are working virtually, many managers are entering unknown territory. Keith Ferrazzi, the CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, shares four tips for building great remote teams. He advises managers to help their virtual teams build trust through sharing experiences, communicating predictably, and creating an environment that’s conducive to effective bonding.

Chicago Business: The Pros And Cons Of A Completely Virtual Workplace
One year ago, Gini Dietrich decided to take her company entirely virtual, moving her staff out of their office and letting all her employees work remotely. A year later, she couldn’t be happier with her decision. Dietrich writes that working remotely has been an effective way to not only decrease overhead, but to eliminate the workplace distractions and increase productivity by almost 30 percent.

Business Insider: Here’s A Map Where You Can Find The Most Americans Who Work From Home
Have you ever wondered where American telecommuters set their laptops for a day’s work? Take a look at this U.S. Census graph to see where remote professionals are choosing to live (and work). The Census released a report this month showing that the percentage of Americans who work from home has grown from 4.8% of the country’s workforce in 1997 to 6.6% in 2010.

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