All Things Upwork

oDesk Hosts Panel on “Talent Wars” Moderated by TechCrunch

October 15, 2012 by

Last week, oDesk held a panel in San Francisco on “Talent Wars: How Startups are Fighting Back,” discussing the critical role of talent to growing startups as well as the approaches startups are taking to build successful teams. TechCrunch reporter Colleen Taylor moderated the panel featuring Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk; Kevin Harvey, General Partner at Benchmark Capital; Rob LaFave, Co-Founder and CEO of Foodzie; and Sandra Miller, Managing Director of New Venture Development at Singularity University. The panel confirmed that many businesses are finding it extremely difficult to access the right people, and that the problem is especially acute for startups — which are in dire need of talent in order to grow, but do not have the resources to compete with large companies. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

How Results-Focused Management Empowers Remote Teams

October 2, 2012 by

Many organizations have revolutionized their culture, embraced remote work and fostered spikes in productivity by embracing a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). Best Buy pioneered the methodology, which is now being practiced by both the private sector and public sector. In this article, Charles Brian Quinn, president of Highgroove Studios, talks about his company's experience implementing ROWE. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Behind the Scenes: Testing oDesk’s WebApp

September 26, 2012 by

Since testing Web applications can be challenging, we wanted to share insight into how we approached testing for oDesk's site redesign. We focused on four types of testing: Unit testing, functional testing, UI testing and performance testing. Yiota Tsakiri, a Product Architect at oDesk who led the development side of oDesk’s recent redesign, shares a closer look at how we approached each one. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Connecting Americans to Jobs: FCC & oDesk Discuss Broadband Internet Access and Job Creation

September 12, 2012 by

On Monday night, we were pleased to host a dinner discussion with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, on the topic of broadband Internet access and its role in job creation. The topic is an important one: currently 19 million Americans are without Internet access. That represents 19 million Americans who could be working online, building their careers and bringing money into the U.S. economy. For a sense of the opportunity lost there, consider that, to date this year, businesses have spent $32 million hiring U.S. contractors online through oDesk. But that’s just the beginning—the overall online work market is expected to reach $1B by the end of this year. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Large-Scale Experiment Shows Working From Home Improves Performance, Reduces Costs

August 27, 2012 by

While evidence shows that telecommuting can improve productivity and employee satisfaction, some businesses still have lingering concerns that remote workers will shirk their responsibilities given such flexibility and lack of supervision. One major Chinese company recently decided to find out for sure. In perhaps the largest-scale remote work study conducted to date, CTrip—China’s largest travel agency with a $5 billion valuation on NASDAQ and 13,000 employees—set out to investigate the benefits, drawbacks and feasibility of implementing a widespread work-from-home policy. The results, published by Stanford’s Economics Department and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, with cooperation from CTrip, were overwhelmingly positive. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Small Town Living, Big Town Talent

August 22, 2012 by

Tom Rupsis moved to a small town in Montana so his kids could be close to family. But the beautiful scenery and small-town charm did nothing to alleviate hiring challenges for his growing IT consulting business. He needed to fill several technical positions, but found most applicants minimally qualified for the job. His situation is not unique: While studies have shown that rural residents generally live happier and less stressful lives than their urban counterparts, they also have their challenges. One problem that significantly affects businesses in smaller communities is “brain drain”—the flight of technical talent from rural areas to urban centers. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Love the Way You Work, and Be a Parent Too

August 16, 2012 by

The decisions I made about my career and life were never easy, and choosing when to 'lean in' versus when to focus more on family was deeply personal. But I've also watched other women grapple with similar questions, and for those who chose to pursue a career in addition to raising a family, I've seen many navigate it brilliantly, while others struggled. What made the difference? Over the years, I've picked up some strategies, many from successful bosses and other working moms. Here are my favorites. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Digitization of the Supply Side of the Labor Market

August 13, 2012 by

We are witnessing an unprecedented, voluntary data collection and digitization of the supply side of the labor market. This “supply digitization” is going to be very impactful, because once the supply side of the labor market is digitized, platforms can begin making data-driven, highly contextualized recommendations to both sides of the market. In other words, the more detailed digital data these platforms have, the better they are able to recommend highly relevant jobs to job-seekers and equally relevant candidates to employers. But there still remains a lot of work to be done for this machine-learning research to reach its full economic and even humanitarian potential. Read Full Article