The Way We Work

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

Week of 11/16/2012:

Time: Hurricane Sandy Shows It’s Time To Embrace Workplace Flexibility
Peter Bacevice reflects on the impact of Superstorm Sandy, and the lessons we should take away about the future of the workplace. A proponent of flexible work, Bacevice highlights the benefits of allowing professionals to work on their own terms, from improving employee productivity and well-being to trimming company costs. By embracing what he calls “slow work”—a combination of workplace flexibility and results-only work environments, or “ROWE”—organizations build resilience and adaptability to adverse conditions. In addition, “companies that give employees the autonomy to work in ways that suit their needs are rewarded by workers who add value to the business,” Bacevice writes.

Smart Company: What To Do To Make Sure Working From Home Works
With so many benefits to flexible working, why aren’t more companies promoting it? Writing for Australian publication Smart Company, Cara Waters encourages managers to try implementing telecommuting and shares best practice tips for how to successfully navigate the transition. The technology is already there to facilitate it, so Waters advises managers to focus on trust, security, communication and frequent evaluations to help their teams run smoothly even at a distance.

Cantankerous Robots: Why I Decided To Spend More Time Working At Home
Sachib Kandar, CEO of, chronicles his experiences working remotely during Hurricane Sandy. No stranger to dispersed teams, Kandar was surprised to initially struggle when working from his apartment in New York. His solution? Kandar embraced a disciplined routine by clearly delineating between “work mode” and “relax mode,” and by using the Pomodoro Technique—a practice where bouts of productivity are interspersed with short breaks. Once he got into the habit of structuring his work-from-home days like that, he “realized not only how working from home was plausible, but why it can be beneficial,” he writes.

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