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 10/4/2013:

Forbes | 8 Indisputable Reasons Why We Don’t Need Offices
The days of sitting in a cubicle and stagnant work environments are over. Jacob Morgan highlights why employees and managers increasingly seek out flexible alternatives to traditional corporate offices. Pulling from reports by the United States Census Bureau, Global Workplace Analytics, MIT, and Umeå University, Morgan advocates for allowing workers to decide how and where they can be most productive.

USA TODAY | How To Be Productive Working From Home
Over 13 million Americans telecommute for at least part of the work week, according to recent research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Citing increased independence and productivity as well as higher job satisfaction among those who work from home, Katie Golde provides sound advice for making the most of a flexible work lifestyle. Tips include designating a professional workspace, setting a firm schedule, and staying disciplined with potential distractions around the house.

Businessweek | A French Entrepreneur Tries Telecommuting From a Desert Island, Robinson Crusoe-Style
Online work doesn’t always happen at home or a local coffee shop. French entrepreneur Gauthier Toulemonde plans to continue running his publishing business from an uninhabited Indonesian island, powering his satellite phone and Internet connection with solar panels. Carol Matlack reveals more details of this highly unusual trip, scheduled to begin in mid-October. Taking the future of work to a new extreme, Toulemonde explains his desire “to test whether it’s possible to work when you are very far away from civilization.”

Sam Altman | How To Hire
How do you find the perfect candidate for a position you desperately need to fill? Drawing from a wealth of startup experience as co-founder of Loopt and a part-time partner at Y Combinator, Sam Altman shares candid directions about building a successful team from the ground up. One recommendation: have interviewees audition by completing a test project as a contractor—a great way to identify candidates who not only manifest your business’s values, culture, and mission, but who can also deliver results from the start.

Business 2 Community | Connecting The Distributed Organization
A perceived lack of communication isn’t a reason to keep employees from working outside of the office. Revisiting Marissa Mayer’s controversial decision to ban Yahoo! employees from working from home, Richard Hughes explores different ways in which companies can structure their remote and in-office workforces to promote both productivity and collaboration. Hughes also differentiates between synchronous and asynchronous communication, such as video conferencing and email respectively, that need to be balanced when managing virtual teams across multiple time zones.

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.