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 9/13/2013:

The Wall Street Journal | More Workers Choose Independence
A new report from MBO Partners found that more than 17 million Americans now identify themselves as independent workers—a 10% increase over the past two years. Interviewing MBO Partners CEO Gene Zaino on the sources of the trend, Lauren Weber identifies freedom, economic hardship and the Affordable Care Act as potential causes of the trend. Of the independent workers surveyed, 64% rated their career satisfaction as an 8 to 10 (on a 10-point scale), whereas only 30% of Americans overall reported being excited about their jobs in a recent Gallup poll.

Entrepreneur | How Your Business Can Get in on the Sharing Economy
A growing number of companies are offering consumers on-demand access to rooms, bikes, rides and more. Searching for a common thread among these services, Andrew Reid pinpoints the societal, economic, and technological forces behind the unprecedented surge of the collaborative economy. Reid recommends that businesses looking to emulate the success of Uber or Airbnb should build around the voice and vision of their customers rather than their executives.

Forbes | The Evolution of Work
Rapid technological changes are leading to fundamental behavioral and organizational shifts in workplaces around the globe. From flattened hierarchies to online work, there are an entire set of changes that encompass the distributed office of the future, Jacob Morgan explains.

GigaOM | Jobs & the Future of Work According to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
Looking ahead to the future of work may mean rethinking the concept of full-time employment, GigaOM founder Om Malik learned after listening to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner speak at Techcrunch Disrupt 2013. Weiner shared his predictions for the job search of the future—emphasizing the preference for fractionalized and flexible work over more rigid jobs. In showcasing “the identity, personality and professional talent of a person in the future,” Weiner pointed to individual reputation as an anchor for connecting people, data and organizations.

Malta Today | Half of us Work Remotely—When will the Rest Catch Up?
From its recent research among 26,000 business managers across 90 countries, global workplace provider Regus found that almost 50% of those surveyed now work remotely for at least half the week. Regus CEO Mark Dixon asserts: “Flexible working is a winner for all concerned when the management team takes the lead,” citing greater productivity and lower turnover when workers are given flexibility.

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.