The Way We Work

Infographic: Working Across Time Zones

Are you part of a globally distributed team? Do you work with freelancers or clients virtually from around the world? Are you curious about what the work day looks like in other countries? If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions, read on — the folks at Washington University’s School of Law’s @WashULaw program have created this handy infographic resource for working across time zones. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

How to Foster a Work-Hard/Play-Hard Culture with Blended Teams

These days, it’s easy to think that adding a ping pong table or instituting Hawaiian Shirt Fridays is enough to create the work-hard, play-hard culture that has served companies like Google and Facebook so well. But in reality, it takes more than superficial perks to truly invigorate your company’s culture and transform it into a workplace where passionate people are knocking down your door trying to find out how they can join the company. It can be even more challenging to create this kind of culture when key members of your team work remotely, but that’s actually when it becomes most important. BusinessBee's Elli Bishop helps you get started with four critical tactics that will energize your business and establish a vibrant culture, fostering high productivity and record-breaking results. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Jay Shapiro

Ever wanted to start your own business...while simultaneously traveling the world with your wife and two kids in an eco-friendly RV? Well, that’s what oDesk client Jay Shapiro wanted to do — and did. By tapping into online work, he was able to build Infinite Monkeys — a site that allows anyone to easily create a mobile app — while he remained happily on the road. Along the road to success, Jay made some important discoveries about the benefits of online work and developed his own best practices for leveraging remote teams. Here are five of his best nuggets of advice. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Behind The Runaway Success Laptop Stand: An Interview With The Roost Founder (& oDesk Alum!) James Olander

Earlier this summer, a cool new ergonomically designed laptop stand called The Roost hit Kickstarter, with a modest funding goal of $9,300. Today, just two months later, the innovative stand has raised $190,000. Fortunately for us, James Olander — who designed, created and launched The Roost — also happens to be a former product manager at oDesk. We caught up with him to hear all about The Roost and its amazing success (sneak peek: it involved oDesk freelancers!), and to find out why ergonomics are so critical to remote work success. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Rise of Specialists Online: Growing Opportunity for a Long Tail of Skills

The Internet is the main driving force of long-tail markets, as suppliers of these more unique items are now able to tap into buyers via online marketplaces (such as eBay and Amazon). But what if the long tail phenomenon spread to a more advanced market, one that would bring a broader economic impact? In other words, what if it spread to the world of work? As oDesk approached $1 billion cumulative spent hiring via our site, I wondered if the long tail was taking hold in our online workplace. With the Internet opening up access to businesses and professionals worldwide, I hypothesized that plotting oDesk skills data would show a long tail. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Way You Work: Behind the Scenes With oDesk Product Manager Sondra Suazo

Sondra Suazo, a product manager at oDesk, knows all about working flexibly—she recently moved from Silicon Valley (a few towns away from the oDesk HQ office in Redwood City, CA) to Santa Cruz. While she gained a breathtaking beachfront view, she also added more than 40 miles onto her commute—each way! We caught up with Sondra to learn how she made this move work (hint: it involves more frequent work-from-home days), how she works remotely, and what her favorite work-from-home tips are. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Only 4 Dimensions That Matter In Hiring (& Why You’re Probably Evaluating Them Wrong)

We're excited to announce that our CEO, Gary Swart, has joined the LinkedIn Influencer program! His first post was published today, about the only 4 dimensions that matter in hiring (and the surprising 2 that matter the most). Check it out here to find out why "you can teach a chicken to climb a tree, but you're better off getting a squirrel in the first place." Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Connecting HQ And Your Remote Team: An Interview With oDesk’s IT Manager

When it comes to connecting your remote team with a central office, flashy can be fun — but also expensive and potentially unnecessary. How do you build an infrastructure that enables your team to succeed wherever they are, without going overboard? In this Q&A, oDesk’s IT Manager Gordon Thomas shares his practical approach to tech and how it might transfer to other businesses. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

5-Star Feedback: Your Greatest Asset in the Virtual Workforce

As any online worker will tell you, there’s something we all want more of: 5-star feedback ratings. This is particularly true for freelancers who are somewhat new to online work. As I’ve seen from personal experience, a stellar feedback score can rapidly boost your visibility to prospective clients and significantly accelerate your earning potential. Simply put, the oDesk feedback score is arguably an oDesker’s most valuable asset. So if feedback is indeed so important, how can you get more of it? What specific actions must you take as a freelancer? What should you do to avoid bad feedback? Here are some of my favorite feedback best practices. Read Full Article