The Way We Work

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

Week of 2/22/2013:

Harvard Business Review: Independent Work May Be Inevitable
Is the attraction of a secure corporate job quickly fading? According to Rose Park Advisors co-founder Whitney Johnson, it may already be gone, as the ranks of independent workers are swelling at a rate far exceeding growth in the traditional workforce. Whether driven by economic circumstance or a desire for greater independence, Johnson states that these workers are creating a new economic reality outside the bounds of traditional employment. “The disruptions that are changing the landscape of American working life have been a minefield for so many,” she said. “But they are also making a new level of work-life flexibility possible that didn’t exist previously … letting work freedom ring is changing the American dream, hinting at the expanse of a frontier on the other side of the industrial revolution.”

Mashable: How To Solve The Top Pitfalls Of Working From Home
Moving work from the cubicle to the kitchen table brings serious benefits to the mobile professional, eliminating stressful commutes as well as office distractions. Nevertheless, remote workers face potentially growth-stunting challenges in the transition to the home office. Nellie Akalp breaks down four issues common to new telecommuters, and shares useful advice to help remote professionals hone their focus, create boundaries, set a concrete schedule and incorporate social interaction.

Forbes: One In Five Americans Work From Home, Numbers Seen Rising Over 60%
Whether it’s for one day a week or every day of the year, more than 30 million Americans are embracing the freedom of remote work. With the typical telecommuting employee saving an average of $4,200 — and 15 days in commute time — each year by working from home, businesses and professionals are taking serious notice of the teleworking trend. In addition to cost savings, companies from Best Buy to Dow Chemical are touting the productivity-boosting effects of the mobile workforce. Kenneth Rapoza writes on the ever-expanding flexible workforce, and the reasons more employees (and companies) are joining the remote work revolution.

WorkSnug: 4 Reasons Big Companies Are Embracing Coworking
According to Jeremy Neuner, freelancer dominance in coworking spaces may soon be coming to an end as a growing number of corporations encourage employees to experiment with workdays away from the corporate campus. From Plantronics to Cisco, corporations are beginning to take advantage of coworking’s numerous benefits. Whether it be a shorter commute, greater productivity, lower costs, or a smaller carbon footprint, firms are finding that expanding coworking privileges pays off in many ways.

ZDNet: Exciting Work Venues For The Mobile Professional
Working remotely can be a great way to explore your surroundings while experimenting with the ways that you work best. Despite the allure of your couch or the local coffee shop, a new atmosphere might just provide the creative boost you need to take your work to the next level. Veteran mobile worker James Kendrick explains why he prefers to energize his workday at museums, zoos and libraries.

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