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 12/6/2013:

GeekWire | Where Do You Work? Why Multiple ‘Offices’ Are The Next Productivity Hack
Remote work doesn’t always have to happen in a single home office or coffee shop. Regularly changing your environment can be an effective way to stay fresh and find inspiration. Citing a 2013 Stanford Study on working from home, author Malcolm Gladwell’s writing habits, as well as personal examples, Mónica Guzmán suggests that changing scenery to suit the type of work you’re doing may be the best option for productivity.

Digital Trends | ‘Web Robinson’ Returns To Civilization After The Ultimate Remote Working Trip
In October, French entrepreneur Gauthier Toulemonde left Paris behind to test the limits of remote work, running his publishing business for 40 days from an uninhabited Indonesian island. Equipped with satellite phones, portable solar panels, a laptop and bare living essentials, Toulemonde recently returned from his solitary—yet productive—stint in the Pacific. David Nield describes in further detail Toulemonde’s trek as a modern Robinson Crusoe.

Harvard Business Review | Hiding From Managers Can Increase Your Productivity
Would you get more done with a curtain around your desk? Recent research by Harvard Business School assistant professor Ethan S. Bernstein indicates that you might. Running counter to a common belief that removing walls in the office spurs transparency, Carmen Nobel discusses Bernstein’s Transparency Paradox, a workplace phenomenon in which employees are more productive and innovative when they know managers aren’t actively watching.

Ars Technica | Robots And Telepresence: Bandwidth-Heavy Tools Invade The Business World
Businesses are innovating with tools to work and connect globally. But are our networks robust enough to match? Using remote-presence robots like Suitable Technologies’ Beam as an example, Jon Brodkin examines the implications collaborative workplace technologies are having on the skyrocketing demand for Internet bandwidth. With business use of online video expected to quintuple by 2017 and entrepreneurs creating new ways to collaborate, Brodkin describes the technical difficulties of closing the distance.

Forbes | Taking The Jeff Bezos Approach To Building Your Own Startup
Faced with the prospect of leaving a steady job to pursue a risky startup, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos asked himself a simple question: What would 80-year-old Jeff Bezos think? Eric Tyler notes that Bezos found the risk of having an impact mattered more than the safety of the status quo—a sentiment that rings true for increasingly entrepreneurial Millennials. Introducing his recently launched startup toolbox, Tyler highlights how these attitudes and the accelerating pace of technology will bring a new wave of disruptive companies.

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.