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 10/11/2013:

CNN | Five Reasons the Office Will Become Redundant
Will the traditional cubicle-filled office still exist in ten years? From always-on connectivity to the emergence of megacities, the nature of work is changing. Drawing from discussions about the future of work during this week’s FutureCast conference in Palo Alto, CA, Andrew Keen identifies five reasons why he and others are convinced the 20th century office will soon disappear.

Entrepreneur | How to Get The Most Out of Employees Who Work From Home
When leading a distributed team, employers should embrace unique management approaches to bring out increased productivity and creativity. With years of experience managing virtual teams distributed across the globe, Marten Mickos outlines his guiding principles for successful remote work. One tip: hire for strong communication skills – particularly the ability to write clearly – to ensure team members can collaborate effortlessly.

Business Insider | Why Small Businesses Are Building Remote Workforces
For resource-strapped startups and small businesses, allowing people to work from home offers an attractive alternative to office leases and long commutes. Gathering insights from fully distributed companies – such as Mozilla, 37signals, and Automattic – Alison Griswold explains why young companies without a workplace status quo increasingly choose a remote structure. She observes that a daily 1.5-hour commute adds up to 16 days each year – time that could be better spent with family or at work.

Forbes | Forget Work Life Balance – Seven Paradigm Shifts for The New 24/7 Normal
Advances in communication and information technology are fast outpacing cultural changes in the workplace. Henna Inam shares seven lifestyle changes necessary for workers to thrive in the “new normal” of work-life balance. She advises shifting our frame of mind from just managing time to managing attention, as a torrent of emails, texts, chats, and other distractions compete for our focus.

Wired | How Not to Work From Home, According to the Giants of Tech
Is the tech industry undergoing a retreat from remote work? Earlier this week, Hewlett Packard recalled employees into the office, stating “HP needs all hands on deck…to build a stronger culture of engagement and collaboration.” However, as Ryan Tate explains, it may not be quite so clear-cut. Delineating between company cultures that either foster or discourage working from home, he explores the nuanced circumstances behind policy changes at HP, Best Buy, and Yahoo.

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

Ryan Fan

Marketing Intern

Ryan Fan is a Marketing Intern at oDesk. He currently attends Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where he is pursuing a B.S.B.A in Marketing and Management.