The Way We Work

Here at oDesk, we are extremely lucky to have some of the world’s most innovative, leading-edge entrepreneurs at our fingertips—our freelancers. As “solopreneurs,” they represent the next generation of professionals; those who realize that the 9-to-5 is a relic of the past and that work should be on your own terms.

We recently surveyed the professionals on oDesk about their views on entrepreneurship, their career paths and the future of work, and today we are excited to announce the results. The study, “Millennials and the Future of Work,” was released in partnership with Gen-Y consulting firm Millennial Branding.

We were especially delighted to partner with Millennial Branding’s founder Dan Schawbel, a recognized expert on career development and personal branding. Dan’s insights, combined with the firsthand experiences of more than 3,000 oDesk freelancers surveyed (including almost 2,000 Millennials), provide a fascinating glimpse into what the future of work will look like.

Here are some of the survey’s most compelling findings:

  • A hidden sector of the workforce is just biding its time: 72% of freelancers “moonlighting” after regular work hours say they want to quit their full-time jobs to be entirely independent, and 62% say they’ll quit within 2 years.
  • Flexible work arrangements are becoming table stakes: the top reason freelancers who are also at regular jobs want to quit is to have more freedom.
  • Entrepreneurs start young: Students are turning to freelancing to get experience, pay those loans and jumpstart their careers—21% of oDesk freelancers are still enrolled at a university.
  • Freelancers are “solopreneurs”: 60% classified themselves as entrepreneurs, and 21% have hired other freelancers within the past year.
  • Entrepreneurship is a state of mind: 90% define entrepreneurship today as a mindset, describing someone who is a “risk-taker,” “self-starter” and “visionary.”
  • Digital nomads unite: 64% of freelancers want the ability to work as they travel.

For the full results, visit the survey page here.Millennial survey infographic

Shoshana Deutschkron

Senior Director of Communications

As senior director of communications, Shoshana Deutschkron brings to Upwork extensive experience in strategic communications for the technology industry. Her unique data-driven background helps uncover insights from Upwork's online workplace data. Prior to Upwork, Shoshana was a vice president at market research firm Penn Schoen Berland, where she provided research-based communications counsel for companies including Ernst & Young, HP, EA and eBay. Throughout her career,… read more