The Way We Work

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

Week of 10/19/2012:

Harvard Business Review: Metacognition—The Skill Every Global Leader Needs
Technology has fundamentally changed the structure of teams, enabling businesses to work with the best talent from anywhere around the globe. Having geographically distributed employees poses a unique challenge to managers, who must learn to adapt their current management styles to unlock the true potential of multicultural teams. In this article, Columbia Professor Michael W. Morris discusses a recent study he conducted on cultural ‘metacognition’ and its impact on the success of cross-cultural teams. Morris suggests that high cultural metacognition will be a crucial trait in successful managers, and offers four key tips to help develop it.

NBC: Here’s What’s Holding Back The Job Market
Jim Murphy, the CEO of Almac Clinical Technologies, wants to hire. His biggest issue? Finding the skilled workers he needs. This apparent contradiction—high unemployment coupled with unfilled jobs—is the product of a fundamental mismatch between the skills employers are seeking, and the skills American workers can offer. CNBC’s Jeff Cox discusses the impact staffing issues are having on the U.S. economy, while offering potential solutions to help close the talent gap.

ChannelWeb: Opportunities In A More Mobile World
The ubiquity of mobile connectivity has allowed professionals to work anytime and anywhere, enabling companies to unlock significant productivity gains. However, it also brings substantial IT and security challenges to businesses. Terry Erdle of CompTIA outlines a number of issues introduced by the mobile workforce, concluding that security implementation is key to reaping mobility’s benefits.

FastCo.Exist: A Visual Breakdown Of The Benefits Of Working From Home
Did you know that the number of regular telecommuters grew by 66% from 2005 to 2012, compared to just 3% growth for the U.S. workforce? Or that the average commuter spends $1,500 a year in gasoline alone? Check out this fun infographic, which shows the substantial benefits of telecommuting. Some of the best perks? Lower stress, higher productivity, smaller waistlines, and substantial savings on gas and insurance.

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