The Way We Work

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on labor markets, talent management, freelancing, and the future of work.

Week of 7/19/2013:

Wall Street Journal Podcast | Dan Schawbel, Millennial Branding Founder
In response to the growing number of Americans who experience stress at work, Dan Schawbel shares advice on how to handle it. The first step is to identify the source of the stress — are you working too many hours? Is it a conflict with a coworker? Something else? Awareness of what is causing your stress will allow you to confront and resolve the issue. As a preventative measure, he recommends saying ‘no’ before taking on too much responsibility and clearly communicating why you cannot take on additional work.  He also reminds us that exercise and eating well help create balance and make you feel better.

Gallup | Remote Workers Log More Hours and Are Slightly More Engaged
Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report examines the productivity of working remotely. The report compares hours logged and worker engagement for both on-site and offsite workers, and reveals two key advantages to remote work: remote workers log an average of four more hours a week and are slightly more engaged.

HBR Blog I Prepare for the New Permanent Temp
With more companies hiring temporary employees, MIT’s Michael Schrage argues that the rapid increase of part-time employment in America’s job market is a trend that’s here to stay. He predicts that this phenomenon, the “New Permanent Temporary,” will continue because it allows companies to quickly hire skilled and competitively priced workers on demand. For the worker, this trend presents advantages and new challenges. Without a traditional full-time job, workers will have freedom and flexibility to work when and where they choose but they will have to take ownership of their own skills development.

Freelancers Union I Developing That “Business-Owner Mindset”: Talking with Ilize Benum of about the Mindshift We Need for a Successful Freelance Economy
In an interview with Freelancers Union founder Sara Horowitz, freelancer Ilises Benum gives advice on how to prepare for an economy that’s increasingly dependent on freelancers. Ilise explains that freelancers need to get out of the 9-to-5 mindset and start thinking more like a business owner. Part of adopting this new freelancer mentality means accepting that “every day has sunshine and every day has rain.”

The Economist | Go Freelance and Work Harder. But Will You Work Better?
A growing number of workers are becoming freelancers and logging longer hours, but whether or not they are more productive than full-time employees remains ambiguous, argues The Economist’s Buttonwood column. Freelancers depend on themselves for their next paycheck, suggesting that they are more motivated than full-time employees. However, despite their motivation, freelancers spend considerable time on tasks like marketing themselves and finding clients, and less time on perfecting their speciality. As the way the world works changes, businesses and freelancers will adapt to the nuances of remote work and more than likely productivity levels will follow suit.

Did we miss anything? Are there any insights you find particularly interesting? Let us know in the comments section below!

Amy Partridge

Communications Manager

Amy Partridge is the communications manager at Upwork. In this role, Amy is focused on supporting and accelerating Upwork’s global PR efforts. She brings with her a valuable combination of PR agency and client-side experience. Most recently, Amy was the communications director at tech startup Grubwithus. Amy holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Communications.