The Way We Work
February 16, 2015 by Liz Dantzker

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing, and the future of work.

Week of 2/16/2015:

Entrepreneur | A Web Entrepreneur’s 3 Tips for Matching the Love of Family With the Love of Work

Running your own business, especially during the early phases of a startup, can and will pull even the most committed family member away from the “life” part of work-life balance.

As Adam Toren, co-founder of, knows all too well, “many entrepreneurs chose this path thinking the balance will pan out at some point in time, only to find themselves year over year without it.”

His solutions for these problems are deceptively simple. Setting a schedule, and sticking to it, can help counteract the feeling that there’s no time to take a break or pack up for the evening.

Another aspect to keep in mind is that your plan will shift as your family does. Having kids is a game-changer, Toren says, and entrepreneurs need to be flexible — because their children won’t be.

Inc. | Success Is Controlling How You Spend Your Time

Peter Cohan, founder of Peter S. Cohan & Associates, argues that today’s definition of success should not be measured solely in money, but in how much you can control and enjoy your time.

Of course, he says, this kind of freedom usually happens because you already know you can pay your bills. However, he advises young professionals to think critically about three aspects of any job they want to embark upon: “Am I passionate about the work? Am I one of the world’s best at doing this work? Will the market compensate me well enough for it?”

Keeping these aspects in mind, especially when considering the gruelling road of founding a startup, can help keep you focused and on track to get the most out of your professional career.

Fast Company | Stop Trying to Bribe Your Employees and do This Instead

Engaging employees is one of the biggest challenges companies face. J.T. O’Donnell, CEO of Careerealism, argues that perks, while a nice gesture, ultimately do very little to actually motivate your staff. Instead, you should try upping their intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation.

By encouraging intrinsic motivation — the drive to work hard “without any expected reward or external motivation” — O’Donnell says businesses will be able to get the most out of their employees.

The truth about this drive, she explains, is that it is entirely based on life outside of work: “Our work selves are only one part of our whole selves — the other parts are the internal self, the external self, and relationships — and it’s important for employers to adopt a holistic approach to understanding employees.”

What changes in the workplace have caught your attention recently? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Liz Dantzker

Marketing Coordinator at Upwork

Liz Dantzker is a marketing coordinator for Upwork, working in many facets of the department and learning as much as she can. She recently graduated from the Colorado College with a BA in psychology. She loves California but still misses the Rocky Mountains!