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 8/16/2013:

Wall Street Journal | Avoid Co-Working Spaces with ‘Brogrammers’
Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular among people who are looking to learn a new skill or technique, exchange ideas, and think creatively, but not all of them are worth the money, explains B.J. Mendleson, author of “Social Media BS.” He has worked in a number of co-working spaces across the United States throughout his career and loved it, but discovered that there are certain types of co-working spaces to avoid, like spaces full of ‘brogrammers.’ These are people that engage in friendly conversation hoping to get the inside scoop on the biggest investors and funding news. He also advises against choosing a co-working space filled exclusively with startups; instead, he recommends picking a place filled with professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds for more exposure to different information and ways of solving problems.

Forbes | Latest Findings On The Future of Work and What You Should Do About It
To provide businesses with information and actionable insights on how to attract and retain talent, Jacob Morgan and his team at Chess Media Group surveyed workers around the globe about hot topics like collaboration, bring your own device (BYOD) and flexible work. They received more than 600 responses, which revealed a number of important insights about the way work is now getting done. They found that more than two-thirds of respondents use collaborative technology at their current job, and that getting employees to adopt new technologies is very challenging and also important to enforce. Their results also suggest that BYOD and flexible work arrangements are becoming recruiting mainstays for attracting new hires.

Huff Post Impact | The Workplace of The Future: Connected, Collaborative, Creative
Technological advancements and new ways of working are blurring the line between life and work, and this is a good thing, explains Dave Evans. Collaboration tools like smart phones and video conferencing have made it easier to connect and communicate with colleagues from afar, allowing an increasing number of workers to leverage flexible work schedules. The ability to choose when and where you work not only makes it easier to achieve work-life balance, but may also increase creativity. Citing a 16-year Idea Champion study, Dave mentions that 97% of people typically come up with their best ideas when they’re not in the office.

The New York Times Magazine | The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In
Looking to determine whether or not women can be the mothers they want to be and also have meaningful careers, Judith Warner interviewed 22 women from the “Opt-Out Generation.” This term refers to women who chose to leave well-paying jobs in the 90s to devote themselves to their families. Twenty years later, the majority have have gone back to work and taken exciting jobs that offer flexible schedules, albeit for less pay than they earned before leaving the workforce. Their reflections reveal that many educated, ambitious women want the ability to spend time with their children and have a flexible, interesting job.

Fast Company | How To Create Meaningful Work Relationships While Working From Home
For the growing number of professionals working from home, psychologist Kerry Schofield explains why virtual relationships occur less organically than in-person ones and offers advice on how to build strong relationships with teammates when working remotely. She explains that online relationships require considerably more effort to develop and nurture, adding that humor can help grow connections with teammates when connecting via the Internet. Given the growing number of collaborative tools available, she suggests using video tools like Skype and Google Hangout because they best simulate in-person meetings and interactions. As the workforce is becoming increasingly distributed with people working collaboratively from all over the globe, Kerry recognizes there will be growing pains and reminds us that virtual relationships require a little extra TLC and patience.

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.