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 5/27/2014:

Forbes | What Will It Take To Succeed In The Future World Of Work?

While the world of work is changing, many businesses and professionals are wondering what the future will look like and what skills will be required in order to be successful.

Forbes contributor Bonnie Marcus interviewed Alison Maitland, author of “Future Work: Changing Organizational Culture for the New World of Work,” to learn what and how to prepare for the future. Skills like leadership, trust, and the ability to delegate are taking on a new level of prominence, she explains.

However, she says, people will be judged more on performance and results than they are now. As workers become increasingly location independent and “work in a mix of office some of the time, home some of the time, other locations…” Maitland notes they’ll face a new set of challenges and that building relationships virtually will become increasingly critical.

HR Executive Online | Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

The National Bureau of Economic Research found that we don’t move as much as we used to; all moves — interstate and across state borders — have been trending down, especially since 2000.

Peter Cappelli, an author and professor at the Wharton School, has a few hypotheses about what might be behind the decline, including the changing job market. He notes that companies are adopting new hiring practices, and large facilities and multiple office locations are becoming less common.

Most simply, he explains, professionals and businesses no longer need to live in the same area in order to work together.

TIME | Here’s Why Your Work Life Will Never Truly Be Flexible

Location may matter less, but new research from Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work finds that few businesses are truly offering flexible work programs — and only three percent extend those arrangements to “all or most” workers.

Instead, it appears most professionals spend more time working than doing any other activity, and some employers have cut back on more traditional flex time options.

To compensate for that extra time, Sloan Center director Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes suggests that organizations consider additional perks — like working from home, varied in-office hours or paid-leave for new dads — to keep their teams engaged and inspired.

Fast Company | 5 Ways to Make the Digital Workplace More Personal

Have you ever sent an IM to a colleague sitting within 10 feet of you? Chances are good that your answer is “yes”.

As technology enables us to work with anyone from anywhere, we understandably have come to rely on collaboration tools to exchange and relay information — which makes it easy to forget about human interaction.

Including a shout-out to the classic notebook, Randhir Vieira recommends that we incorporate face time and take time to sign off and shut down.

Have any news items sparked your interest during the past week? Share them 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.