The Way We Work
March 14, 2014 by Amy Partridge

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

Week of 3/14/2014:

The New York Times | It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting Is Fast on the Rise
Telecommuting is reshaping the way people around the world go to work and is quickly becoming the new normal, but the way we define telecommuters is still blurry.

There’s a perception that telecommuters are moms with young kids or people in their 20s. However, the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey says the typical telecommuter is a “49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees.”

Alina Tugend explores the rise of telecommuting and the evolution of the remote worker, as well as the good and the bad things that accompany them.

Entrepreneur | 10 Questions to Ask Before Allowing Employees to Telecommute
Before leading a distributed team or hiring remote team members, managers should consider key questions to ensure they are setting their teams up for productivity and creativity.

Kim Lachance Shandrow looks beyond the benefits of trimming operating costs and reducing burnout to important logistical issues like technology and troubleshooting, tracking work progress remotely, and including everyone in company culture — whether they’re inside the office or not.

AOL Jobs | 3 Strategies To Get Promoted When You Work From Home
One of the most frequent issues with telecommuting is a lack of visibility that can create a longer road to promotion — the “out of sight, out of mind” effect.

Alison Griswold shares three strategies remote workers can use to continue developing their career at the same pace as their in-office counterparts. Across these three tips there is one central theme: communication is paramount.  

Gallup Business Journal | Can People Collaborate Effectively While Working Remotely?
Does remote work inhibit or foster collaboration? Dr. Vint Cerf, Google’s vice president and chief Internet evangelist, says it isn’t a black-and-white answer. Also the senior scientist behind Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace study, Cerf says flexible work is a benefit that has its limitations.

In his analysis, he emphasizes the importance of frequent opportunities for casual interactions between coworkers paired with the higher engagement and productivity levels often associated with remote work. Ultimately, he concludes, companies will need to devise policies that meet their own needs and values — paying close attention to indicators of success as defined by each individual organization.

What news or advice about the future of work caught your eye this week? Tell us about it 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.