The Way We Work

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing, and the future of work.

Week of 9/6/2013:

Wall Street Journal | Grow the Talent
A shortage of highly skilled technical talent is a pain point for many businesses. Rather than accept this reality, Maynard Webb advises companies to support continued education for workers. He explains that today’s workers need to learn new skills throughout their career to keep up with advances in technology, so providing workers with skill development opportunities and training will increase retention as well as performance. Maynard also recommends that businesses widen their talent pool by looking outside of their local geographies to find workers with the skills they need. He explains, “It is no longer about finding the best talent within driving distance to the office; it’s about accessing the best talent, wherever it is in the world.”

US News and World Report | 8 Benefits Employees Wish Employers Would Offer
To shed light on what workers want most from their managers, Alison Green profiles the eight most-desired benefits of today’s workers. The list—which includes the ability to vacation without guilt, the option to telecommute when possible, and the option to have a flexible work schedule—shows that a healthy work-life balance is hugely important. Workers also highly rank opportunities for professional development and meaningful roles, demonstrating that today’s workforce values autonomy, flexibility and responsibility most of all.

CNN Money | Flexible Hours: Not Just a ‘Women’s Issue’ Anymore
A recent poll by EY (formerly Ernst and Young) of 1,215 U.S. managers and workers found that flexible work is a highly valued benefit for men and women of all ages, Anne Fisher reports. The study found that Gen Y workers rank flex time among the top benefits they want most, and that Gen X workers have an even stronger preference for flexible work—38% of women and 40% of men of this generation consider flex time non-negotiable. The results of the survey suggest that flexible work will become an increasingly important business strategy for companies looking to recruit and retain top talent.

CBS News | When the Workplace is Your Own Home
When Dr. Shamir Shaw, a radiologist, started working from home, his commute shrunk from one hour each way to about 10 seconds. He now spends the saved time with his family, and has the added benefit of setting his own hours. Stories such as these have generated great interest in remote work and have triggered a host of questions regarding its popularity and its impact on productivity. It remains to be seen how telecommuting will change the way Americans work, but the latest poll from CBS News shows 24% of Americans already telecommute regularly.

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

Catherine Raney

Marketing Coordinator

Catherine Raney is the Marketing Coordinator at oDesk, focusing on creating educational resource materials and building recognition programs. Before joining oDesk she worked with different international nonprofit organizations including Ashoka and Asylum Access, where she developed a deep interest in globalization and social change. Catherine recently graduated from Claremont McKenna College where she majored in history. She was just awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which she… read more