oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing and the future of work.
Week of 6/16/2014:
Innovations in technology — both hardware and software — have helped fuel the rise of freelancing around the globe. Professionals are no longer limited to jobs located within driving distance of their homes; instead, they can work from anywhere with an Internet connection, prepared with a few essential tips, tricks and gadgets.
Freelance writer Aubre Andrus recommends saving everything to the cloud, managing your schedule with a calendar that syncs across all devices, and organizing your finances using a secure and easy site.
Arguably the most important solution Andrus recommends is investing in portable WiFi. “Travelers will find the battle for free and fast Internet a tiring one,” she wrote. “Services like FreedomPop give you the freedom (get it?) to bring wi-fi wherever you go at a very low monthly price.”
The days of sitting in a cubicle and stagnant work environments are over. Professionals are increasingly looking for flexible alternatives to the traditional corporate office, and HR professional Heather Huhman highlights things that remote workers should and should not do to be successful.
Suggesting that telecommuters be in constant communication with their teams while trying to work during normal business hours, Huhman also says it’s best to stay focused on work; don’t adopt bad habits like giving the babysitter the day off or taking personal calls.
As the number of independent professionals and digital nomads continues to rise, tech writer Geoffrey Morrison debunks five myths about using technology abroad to help you stay connected while traveling.
The three main takeaways from Morrison’s list:
- bring a plug adapter, not a converter,
- pack a power strip or a USB battery pack, and
- invest in an unlocked smartphone for WiFi on-the-go.
He says that the other good news for travelers is that nowadays, in most countries, you can buy anything you forget or lose along the way — from headphones to battery packs.
Businesses are increasingly recognizing the benefits of telecommuting, though a small number remain skeptical.
Productivity expert Laura Stack reminds managers of the added perks, like reduced overhead costs and an enhanced talent pool, while also asking important questions about the type of job being evaluated and its compatibility with telecommuting.
While most jobs that can be completed in front of a computer can be done from just about anywhere in the world, she acknowledges that some jobs still require face time. However, she explains, with clear guidelines and transparency, remote work is something that can work well for many organizations.
What news caught your attention over the past week? Tell us about it in the comments below.