The Way We Work

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

Week of 3/8/2013:

New York Times: Why Five Days In The Office Is Too Many
Is the office the best place to get work done? In this op-ed for The New York Times, Prerna Gupta argues that commuting to the office five days a week is hardly the most productive way to work. Gupta, currently the chief product officer at Smule, states that while the office should enable employees “to communicate ideas and to reinforce personal bonds,” professionals should be given the respect to work “on their own time, from wherever they choose.” In the context of Yahoo! (and now Best Buy) banning remote work, Gupta explains that while distributed teams must surmount greater communication challenges, people still work best where they are the happiest—whether that be in the office or on the couch.

CNET: Marissa Mayer Wouldn’t Approve Of These Spots I’ve Worked From
While working from hammocks, houseboats and travel trailers is far from standard, freelancer Eric Mack claims that these unique remote work experiences have made him a more focused and efficient professional. Mack left his last traditional office in 2006, choosing instead to report in virtually from all over the globe. Contending that time spent dealing with office politics and meetings can impinge on focus and productivity (especially for creative roles like writers), Mack reports that some of his best work has been done in solitary comfort while on the road.

Techno Buffalo: The Mobile Office—How To Work On The Go Like A Pro
As a mobile worker, the world can quite literally be your office. Whether you choose to work on a boat, on a plane, or under the Brooklyn Bridge, working on the go creates exciting new opportunities to venture out and explore the world. Adriana Lee shares great tips to help you successfully adjust to the world of remote work, from locking up your laptop at coffee shops to ensuring you have enough power to last you through the day.

The Globe And Mail: Telework Or Teamwork? Yahoo And The Evolution Of The Office
While Yahoo! is pulling its employees back into the office, many major corporations are setting them free to work as they please. Omar El Akkad and Suzanne Bowness discuss the innovative ways companies like Telus Corp. and IBM are promoting flexibility among their workers. Aiming to move 70% of its workforce out of the office by 2015, Telus provides a compelling look into the tangible benefits of remote work.

Business Insider: Is Working From Home Really Right For You?
While the idea of working in pajamas (and just a short jaunt away from a fully stocked kitchen) attracts many professionals to remote work, the true rigors of telecommuting are hardly so idyllic. For any remote superstar, true success is built on a foundation of solid planning and the right personality. Freelance writer MaryBeth Matzek shares five traits she believes are crucial for great remote employees.

Tech In Asia: Why (Almost) Every Startup Should Be Working From Home
Early-stage startups often face organizational challenges almost as large as the problems they aim to solve. C. Custer suggests that giving startup employees the option to work from home will help minimize those challenges and build a strong foundation going forward. From reducing office costs to finding killer talent and keeping employees happy, Custer believes that startups can reap the benefits of a remote strategy. “Working from home saves you money, makes workers happier, and allows you to broaden your searches for talent and to spread more easily and cheaply into new markets,” he writes. “As I see it, that’s a win-win-win-win.”

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