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 7/14/2014:

The Telegraph | Silicon Valley Harvesting Interns Straight From High School

Summer is upon us and that means companies have filled empty seats with interns eager to get hands-on experience under their belts.

What’s interesting about this year’s intern class is the age of the people some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies are hiring: with the intense competition for talent, major businesses are targeting skilled high school students to fill internships.

Laurence Dodds, an intern himself, explains that Silicon Valley’s tech companies are also willing to pay for top talent; a survey by Glassdoor revealed that Facebook pays interns just over $6,200 per month, with Google paying nearly $6,000. Dodds says companies are also adding perks like concerts—and building ties with parents.

Intuit | Death of the Office?

Technology is driving an age of collaboration outside the confines of the office: 24 percent of U.S. workers telecommute at least part of each workweek, and nearly 10 percent of the British workforce does, too.

Pulling data from numerous sources—including Inc. Magazine, a Citrix Survey, and Entrepreneur Magazine—Intuit created an infographic that highlights trends and describes how the workplace is evolving: what’s driving the rise of telecommuting, preferences of working professionals, and what the future of work will likely look like.

Business Insider | 7 Tips for Improving Your Remote Meetings

As businesses increasingly adopt flexible work policies, managers need to ever-so-slightly reimagine some of their current business practices to help get the most from their distributed teams.

The Young Entrepreneur Council compiled seven tips for running a successful virtual meeting that ensure online meetings are just as, if not more, effective as in-person gatherings.

One major takeaway is the importance of leveraging technology: use video calls, always screenshare, and don’t allow muting.

Their recommendations also include making it a point to schedule meetings with time zones in mind, and assigning ownership of at least one agenda item to every person in the meeting to keep people engaged rather than multi-tasking.

Fox Business | 7 Best Practices to Boost Employee Engagement

No matter how small or large your business is, maintaining employee engagement and satisfaction is likely a priority. One thing that’s critical to getting your team on board is strong leadership.

Research shows that the best and most inspiring leaders don’t just communicate a vision: they live it, value their people, and empower them by giving them a voice.

Michael Lee Stallard, co-founder, president and CEO of E Pluribus Partners, presents his top seven best practices for leaders to engage their team:

  1. Set “top five” high level annual priorities
  2. Know their stories
  3. Help people get into the “right role”
  4. Develop the habit of emphasizing positives
  5. Provide constructive feedback in a constructive way
  6. Provide autonomy in execution
  7. Hold in-person meetings and regularly check-in

What news item caught your attention during the past week? Tell us about it in the comments 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.