The Way We Work

Getting the most from a distributed team — when the people you work with might span a country, if not the world — can require a slight reimagining of existing business practices. Here at oDesk, connecting virtually is part of the way we work; we wouldn’t tout the benefits of distributed teams without knowing firsthand how to bring a team together, and we try to practice what we preach.

Meetings that include remote contractors, for example, are easier to conduct now than ever, thanks to technologies like Skype and Google Hangouts. However, virtual meetings also have unique features and caveats that managers should be aware of and handle accordingly.

Jaleh Bisharat, oDesk’s vice president of marketing, shares lessons she’s learned in “8 Tips for Running a Virtual Meeting Like a Rockstar” on Huffington Post. Her advice includes the importance of giving remote team members a chance to start the discussion:

“Given the challenges of jumping into a lively conversation from a distance, we always invite our remote team members to speak first. We do this to show respect, as well as to be sure we don’t miss out on their contributions.”

To read the rest of Jaleh’s tips for running productive meetings, click here!

Jaleh Bisharat

Senior Vice President of Marketing

Jaleh Bisharat, Elance-oDesk’s senior vice president marketing, is a seasoned marketing executive with a history of growing startups into vibrant brands that inspire passion in their customers. Before joining oDesk, she was the vice president of marketing at several innovative companies including OpenTable, Jawbone and, and also served on the Board of Directors at OpenTable and Homestead Technologies. Jaleh received a Bachelor of the… read more