The Way We Work

Freedom For Workers Means Productivity For Companies

February 26, 2013 by

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's recent decision to revoke Yahoo’s telecommuting privileges—banning working from home and requiring remote workers to relocate to a physical office—has been quite a controversial one. As we discuss every week on this blog, here at oDesk we believe that flexible work (including online work, remote work, telecommuting, distributed teams, etc.) is not only a win-win for both companies and workers, but it's increasingly becoming table stakes for businesses to be competitive in the future. Today on Forbes, oDesk CEO Gary Swart discusses just that. "The future of work is flexible, and policies like [Yahoo's] are essentially swimming against the tide, making it more difficult for them to compete for talent," he writes. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Getting an SBA Loan for Your Small Business: Part I

February 19, 2013 by

Growing a small business — even with the amazing tools available to the modern business owner — can be a challenge, and one of the biggest challenges is often finding the money to power that growth. As the owner of an oDesk-based business and someone who recently completed the process of applying for (and receiving) a Small Business Adminsistration (SBA)-backed loan, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned. Here are three steps to get you started in the SBA loan process. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

You Can Always Get What You Want: oDesk, Uber & Etsy Discuss On-Demand Access

February 14, 2013 by

We all know the Internet is driving disruption in just about every industry, but one of the biggest trends is the shift towards on-demand access, changing how we access what we want. The first generation of online marketplaces (like Amazon) brought fast, direct access to all types of consumer goods, including books, appliances, and electronics. But these early marketplaces mostly address mass-market, physical goods. Could this model apply to services as well? Last week, thought leaders from oDesk, Uber and Etsy gathered in Sydney, Australia, to discuss how their businesses are stripping away friction and providing consumers with direct access to what they want: staffing, transportation, and craftsmanship, respectively. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Disruption Ahead: Reflections on DLD13

February 11, 2013 by

Recently I had the opportunity to present at DLD (Digital-Life-Design), Europe’s leading innovation conference. Held in Munich, this year’s conference theme was “Patterns that Connect.” Of course, the ultimate “connector” today is the Internet. It’s changing the way we access the services and products we want and need, by eliminating the friction of intermediaries. This new model, which we call “direct access," is revolutionizing both the consumer and enterprise world. At DLD, discussions of the ‘direct access’ model abounded. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Doctor Is In — 8,000 Miles Away

February 5, 2013 by

In the African nation of Botswana, there is just one public oral surgeon available. For patients in rural areas, travel to the specialist’s office in the capital city of Gaborone is difficult, and follow-up visits are almost impossible. Forecasts indicate the number of physicians is declining; these types of shortages are only going to become more common, both in developing and developed countries. That’s why the fledgling field of remote healthcare — telemedicine — is poised to change everything. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Talent War: Winning the Game by Changing the Rules

January 31, 2013 by

Americans are living two contradictory economic realities. The unemployment rate is at 7.8%, and people across the U.S. are still struggling to find work. But business owners and recruiters, especially in Silicon Valley, tell a different story—one of a vicious “War for Talent.” It is extremely difficult to recruit high-caliber talent, especially when heavyweights like Facebook and Google are competing for the same people. So what is a startup to do, faced with such stiff competition and limited resources? If you can’t win the game, change the rules. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Does Online Work Favor Experience? Mature Pros Take To Indie Lifestyle

January 28, 2013 by

"Not that many years ago, the idea of working online meant you had to be a young geek — I don't think that's true anymore" said Denise Loubert, a long-time corporate writer who has started four businesses during her career and now works online. More than 40 percent of independent workers are over the age of 50, and many are taking their careers online so they can pursue the work they love on a schedule that suits their lifestyle. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Hiring Virtual Assistants (and How to Avoid Them)

January 17, 2013 by

The decision to hire a virtual assistant for the first time is a big one, and one that—done right—can dramatically improve your life. But working with a virtual assistant isn’t as simple as pressing an “easy button” and walking away. For many people, hiring, delegating, and managing are entirely new skill sets to learn and master. This article won’t turn you into a pro overnight, but will give you some insight into five very common mistakes people make when hiring virtual assistants, and how you can avoid them. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Competing in the ‘Social Era’ of Business: oDesk Catches Up With Nilofer Merchant

January 14, 2013 by

When we think about “social business,” a handful of buzzwords come to mind—from social media marketing and internal social channels to collaborative technology and even charitably focused “social enterprises.” But Nilofer Merchant has something different in mind, something that will have a much broader impact on the entire business landscape. Merchant, an author, speaker and corporate director, discusses the new age of “social business” in her latest book, “11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era,” which was recently named one of Fast Company’s 12 best business books of 2012. The Harvard Business Review digital book discusses how incorporating a social foundation into an organization’s very structure and design can give it an edge in the coming years, making it more innovative and agile. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Your Go-To Guide to Working on oDesk: The oDesk Freelancer Manual

January 10, 2013 by

The freedom to work whenever you want, from wherever you want—plus the opportunity to earn more money and set your own rates—is a tantalizing prospect for anyone. This is why millions of professionals have left the office behind to join the world of online work. But what does online work really mean? And how do you become good at it? We thought freelancers on oDesk should have one unified, comprehensive guide to online work success, so we're thrilled to introduce the first ever oDesk Freelancer Manual. From finding great jobs that fit your skills to increasing your earnings and getting stellar feedback, this manual has you covered. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already well on your way to success, the oDesk Freelancer Manual can give you the edge in landing more jobs and growing your business. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Data Reveals the Future of Work: Our Top Posts for 2012

January 8, 2013 by

Here at oDesk, we analyze data to better understand trends and growth — plus, we just like exploring the world of online work. As it turns out, you find the numbers just as interesting as we do! All but one of our top five oDesk posts from 2012, as determined by viewership, center around the “oConomy” — not just the world of online work, but the role oDesk plays in this ecosystem. Here’s a quick recap of the year's most popular posts. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Say What?: Why the English Language is Weird and What To Do About It

January 3, 2013 by

Welcome to the wild world of English idioms! Where nothing is as it seems and phrases like “you’re pulling my leg” have nothing to do with someone truly tugging on your lower limb. As oDesk’s official word wrangler, this is a subject I spend a lot of time pondering. (Like, waaaayyyy too much time.) So I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how both sides of the communication equation can navigate a notoriously wacky language. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Thanks for a Great Year!

January 1, 2013 by

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for choosing oDesk this year. I am proud to be part of such an engaged, hardworking and innovative community of clients and contractors. By making oDesk your work home, you have continued to make it the largest and fastest-growing online workplace in the world. Thank you. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Keeping Your Body Happy While You Work: Ergonomics 101

December 26, 2012 by

‘Tis the season for working while traveling. We’ve all been there, sending out one last email before the flight attendant tells you to turn off your mobile device, or finishing a report from the train terminal. These days you can find people logging into work from just about anywhere, but that doesn’t mean we’re impervious to the damage that sitting all day or staring at tiny type on a monitor can do to our bodies. We’ve pulled together a collection of quick and easy ergonomics tips that you can implement in your daily routine to keep those muscles and joints from complaining. Read Full Article