The Way We Work

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

Week of 1/11/2013:

USA Today: New Virtual, Flex Workforce Stands Ready
Labor force participation is predicted to decline in the coming years as Baby Boomers retire, posing a significant challenge to long-term economic growth. One potential solution? Laura Vanderkam suggests that virtual work can help broaden the workforce and combat this economic threat. She argues that the widening world of virtual work is enabling professionals to work in new ways—ways that will allow a greater proportion of the population to find work on their own terms.

Wall Street Journal: Designing Offices With Mobile Employees In Mind
The impact of the mobile workforce can often be seen most acutely in a place they rarely set foot—the office. Liberated from their desks, mobile workers’ needs have fundamentally altered workplace design at forward-thinking companies around the globe. Rachael King discusses the various strategies companies are taking to maximize space for their flexible professionals (if they are not eliminating the office altogether).

Harvard Business Review: Your Employees Are Not Mind Readers
In virtual teams, effective management and clear goals are crucial for ensuring team success. Douglas R. Conant, formerly the CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, shares his thoughts on how leaders can engage in a meaningful way with employees and successfully champion new goals. His takeaways? Great leaders must share their values, respect employees’ autonomy, and always be ready to adapt to the challenges that may lie ahead.

Central Desktop: How Remote Collaboration Can Give You A Competitive Edge
From communicating across different time zones to evaluating the work of employees thousands of miles away, managing a remote team introduces new challenges to any business—but Varsity Tutors founder Chuck Cohn wouldn’t run his business any other way. Cohn discusses the competitive benefits of building remote teams, as well as the techniques he uses to keep his dispersed team running strong.

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