The Way We Work

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

Week of 12/7/2012:

Xconomy: Maximizing Value and Minimizing Risk With Remote Workers
A veteran in the world of remote work, Nathaniel Borenstein shares what he’s learned about ensuring that virtual work arrangements are successful for both the employer and the employee. Borenstein emphasizes the importance of trust as a building block for great remote work relationships, allowing teams to collaborate efficiently and work cohesively. While hardly a simple exercise, virtual work is a great way to attract new talent and reward employees for a job well done, he writes.

Deloitte: Making Virtual Work ‘Business As Usual’
The construct of ‘work as a place’ has been replaced by the recognition of work as an action—a thing you do as opposed to a place you go. In this Deloitte report, Julianne McInerney, Omosede Idehen and Leah Goodman write that, due to a multitude of pressures, the way we work is becoming increasingly virtual, diverse and dispersed—changes which present significant challenges for firms looking to compete in the global workplace. While infrastructure issues certainly must be addressed in the shift towards a remote workforce, the authors argue that the entrenched mindsets of managers and employees are the largest barriers to progress. Deloitte provides a useful roadmap for overcoming these barriers, concluding that making virtual work into ‘business as usual’ might be the best way to achieve your goals.

99U: Why You Should Treat Your Freelance Portfolio Like A Stock Portfolio
One of the main priorities of any freelancer is establishing a steady stream of work—and ensuring your skills stay relevant enough to keep that pipeline full. Sarah Horowitz, the founder of Freelancers Union, advocates for the use of a “freelance portfolio” to fine-tune your project mix, allowing you to stabilize your income flow and minimize risk. In addition, by establishing the right distribution of clients and projects, you can meet income goals and focus on fine-tuning your most in-demand skills.

Workbar: 5 Questions Good Managers Ask When Managing Remote Teams
With an astounding 61% of the Fortune 500 reporting they will broaden their telecommuting policies in the next few years, the ability to manage distributed teams is becoming an increasingly important skill in the workplace. Workbar shares five tips for maintaining company culture and improving efficiency when managing virtual teams. Their takeaways? Define goals, integrate communications, and make sure to show appreciation for the work they do.

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