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 5/05/2014:

Fast Company | The Next Big Idea For Workers Will Come From The Old School Labor Movement

Freelancers everywhere “value time, well-being, and community as much as a paycheck, and they want their consumption to match their ideals,” wrote Sara Horowitz of the Freelancer’s Union.

To make that happen, she says, we need to create an ecosystem of organizations that support those same ideals—not unlike the unions that formed at the beginning of the 20th century.

“They served as vehicles to build the community as a whole—in the factory, in the halls of government, and in their workers’ neighborhoods,” she explained, describing a new era of “social unionism” that’s starting to emerge.

HBR | How We Built a New Company Culture

Startups have a relatively fresh slate when it comes to building company culture. When an organization is decades old, however, it can seem like an uphill—if not impossible—task. When François Nader took the helm of NPS Pharmaceuticals, he knew something had to change. But how?

“Anyone can write down words, call them values, and incur no change,” Nader explained. “Something has to be done to turn them into an actual culture.” In this HBR article, he explains the six rules he followed to successfully create real change within the company.

Fast Company | Infographic: The Death of the Office

Is office life coming to an end? Maybe, maybe not—but, as Jennifer Miller observes, it certainly isn’t what it used to be. Introducing a recently released infographic from Intuit, she notes that “seventy-eight percent [of people surveyed] said they’d forego free meals and 31% would take a salary cut for the privilege of working at home.”

Highlighting the benefits of remote work and looking ahead toward the office of the future—even what will happen with bring your own device (BYOD) policies—this infographic illustrates how our work environment, and what we value, has evolved. [Update: an interactive version of this infographic is available.]

PolicyMic | 90% of Our Peers See Entrepreneurship Differently Than Most People Think

For many people, Samantha Papadakis says, the image of an entrepreneur is someone in flip-flops and a hoodie, who makes a cool app with startup funds, then sells it for billions of dollars a few years later.

That sterotype isn’t just inaccurate, she writes, it also does a disservice to the many entrepreneurs working outside the spotlight—on their own projects, or jumping in to help other organizations. Papadakis profiles several Millenials who are using their creativity and drive to make changes through work they love doing.

What news about the future of work have you been talking about this week? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Amy Sept

Managing Editor

As the managing editor of the Upwork blog, Amy Sept works with regular and guest writers to share information that helps freelancers and businesses navigate the future of work. She owns Nimbyist Communications and helps non-profits, startups, and small business owners get their content marketing on track.