All Things Upwork

Age of the Contractor

January 17, 2008 by

Check this out: Age of the Contractor article was posted in the New York Times. Andrew Benkard interviewed oDesk’s CEO, Gary Swart, and here’s part of what he had to say: “Here’s the problem: you have hired a website designer in Mumbai, India to redesign your site and you are paying her an hourly wage. How do you know she isn’t sipping chai when she should be coding – and perhaps more to this point, how do you know she’s on the right track in terms of what you want? Enter oDesk…” Read the full article on oDesk in the New York Times. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The best portraits on oDesk

January 17, 2008 by

There’s always been some discussion about whether or not portraits are important for the provider profiles. I firmly believe that they are – and I’m happy to see some providers have used the portrait to really market themselves well. Consider these portraits: – This says to me that the provider is professional, can functionally use Photoshop, and gives me a sense of his style. – I like this one. It shows both individualism as well as the corporate brand of the oDesk affiliate company. – Another well done portrait showcasing the company name and brand as well as the individual. – This one makes me feel like she’s already thinking about my design. – Ok, this guy knows his stuff, a true computer geek with disassembled parts in the background. – Nice touch, but would prefer more of the face. If I’m looking for an animator, I’m intrigued. – A bit impersonal since no face, but I like the clever sense of style. – Hmm. Nothing like showing off a little local scenery I suppose. – Professional, casual, sincere. I get a sense of the individual as well as the workplace. Quite nice. Compare the portraits above to this one: What do you think potential buyers would prefer? So, upload a portrait. Exercise some creativity, but keep it personal and individual. You only have a brief second to impress buyers in the search results and a good intriguing portrait can capture that attention. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Pack in Beta

January 16, 2008 by

What is it? We’ve released an update to our oDesk Team application called oDesk Pack and we’re looking for beta testers! The new oDesk Pack comes in a single install package and also has a suite of new features, including: Local ScreenSnap — Save your ScreenSnaps to your desktop oDesk Preferences — Manage when applications launch and control the settings oDesk Extras — Try Short URL for sending URLs over IM or email, CleanText if you’re copying any HTML to another document and Windows Manipulation hotkeys if you’re looking for faster ways to work MiniCam — Use a webcam? Check whether your face is on the screen with MiniCam If you are a Windows Vista user or have had problems with oDesk Team restarting, we recommend that you try this version of the oDesk Team application. Where can I try it? Download the new oDesk Pack and run odesksetup.exe. This should upgrade your oDesk Team client. Love it? Have suggestions or problems? Tell us what you think in the community forums. Learn more about the oDesk Pack and the new features! … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Job Facts Popup

January 9, 2008 by

We have made it easier for buyers to view the job facts for a provider’s past work on oDesk. Clicking on a job listed in the provider profile used to take you to another page; now, the job facts will popup in the same screen. This will make navigating through profiles even easier. How does it work? When viewing a provider’s profile in the Profiles Beta view, select either the “Overview” tab (for recent jobs) “Work History & Feedback” tab (for all jobs): Click on any job title that is a link and a summary will pop up with the information about the job and the buyer, as shown below: … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Job Application Quota

January 9, 2008 by

What is it? The merit-based job application quota limits the number of jobs providers can apply to on a weekly basis. Why did we do this? We believe that quality is critical to everyone and we want to reward quality providers. While we know that new providers on the oDesk network may have a difficult time getting their first jobs, we believe it is in their best interest to take online skill tests and thoughtfully apply to jobs. Some buyers have been flooded with interview requests and cut-and-paste cover letters when they post a new job. Our current job quota is 20 jobs per week; this feature will change that. We think that by instituting a merit-based job application quota, providers will more carefully select which jobs they will apply to. How does it work? The job application quota is based on the providerâs feedback score and the number of tests taken. Providers who have not received any feedback can increase their job application quota by taking more online skill tests. Providers who have received a low Feedback Score can raise their quota by accruing higher feedback numbers and raising their provider Feedback Score. To calculate your job application quota, refer to the number of online skill tests you have taken and your total feedback score (if you have feedback). Learn more about the job application quota. How can I take online tests? We have partnered with a vendor to provider over 100 different skill tests in a wide range of skills. To take tests, sign into my.odesk.com and select the Provider Console. Look for the My Tests link on the left-hand side: You can then select one of the dozens of tests we have available. Learn more about online testing on oDesk. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Essential tools for remote communication

January 8, 2008 by

It’s 2008. You probably have contractors in 6 different time zones. Development in Russia, QA in India, home-sourced Customer Support in Utah, and an SEO link-builder in the Philippines. How are you communicating with your team? Here are the tools that I love: Chat Google Talk – can’t live without it. It’s running 24×7 and stacked chats preserve my sanity. The translation bots are also uber-cool for communicating with any ESL (English as Second Language) colleagues. Pidgin – so maybe you talk with people on Google Talk, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, and Skype. Running out of system resources? Run Pidgin as your one-stop shop for chat clients. Skype – can’t beat it for Group chats or conference calls. I personally think VoIP quality is better on G-Talk for 1:1, but groups require Skype. Yahoo Messenger – a nice full featured chat client. As with any chats for work, make sure to turn on archiving. Task Management Bugzilla – a little difficult open-source-style UI, but very useful and powerful. Provisioned free with each oDesk account. Basecamp – widely regarded as one of the best for task and project management. Jira – also gets great feedback from project managers that utilize the tool. Trac – useful and powerful open-source task management system. One of the few along with Basecamp and Jira that have risen to the top of the crowded project management software space. Remember the Milk – for something a little different and lighter weight, check out Remember the Milk. You can share task lists and track status and priority of each items. Learn the hotkeys. Oh, did I mention it’s free. Documents Google Docs – the days of emailing Word and Excel docs are dead. Use … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

8 warning signs that a contract job is failing

January 4, 2008 by

Guess what? Not every job succeeds. Some recent articles cite very low general satisfaction rates with contract relationships: IT World Canada has a nice article about satisfaction rates citing a drop from 50% to an abysmal 35% satisfaction rate. TransWorldNews cites in their article, Buyer Viewpoint on Information Technology Outsourcing that “45% of the respondents claim that their ITO projects are either unsuccessful or partially successful.” While nobody can ever completely avoid the chance of failure, there are plenty of things you can look for as ‘early warning’ signs. If you ignore these, chances are that you’ll soon be throwing good money after bad. If you heed these warning signs when you see them, you can adapt quickly and increase your chances of successfully course-correcting. Now, please don’t let these issues scare you off from pursuing remote contractors to work on your jobs; these are intended to help reach successful outcomes. And fact is, these warning signs are relevant for in-house jobs as well as outsourced ones. 1 – Slowing response time – in my opinion, it should never take more than 1 business day to respond to email. If it suddenly starts taking longer, all is not well on the other end. Press the issue, find out why the responses are taking longer. Demand a faster response and make sure it’s just a temporary blip. 2 – Hesitation to show work – a manager should always be able to see the work in progress. There’s no such thing as “it’s not ready for you to see yet”. You’re an understanding manager, ask to see the work in progress and make sure you like where it’s going. 3 – Missed milestone – not the end of the world (I’ve heard some development projects aren’t always delivered … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Buy oDesk T-shirts at the New oDesk Store

December 20, 2007 by

What is it? You can now purchase oDesk gear at the brand new oDesk Store! We’re offering three cool T-shirt designs you can wear to show your oDesk love! Buy one for yourself, for your friends, or as a holiday gift. Where can I find it? The oDesk Store is still in beta, so it currently resides in oDesklabs. But you can still browse through the T-shirts and make purchases today. The store is powered by Printmojo, so all of your purchases are handled through their secure site. What do the T-shirts look like? We thought you would never ask. Two of them were designed by one of our providers, Ivan A.! Happy Shopping! … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Show Your oDesk Love with a T-Shirt!

December 20, 2007 by

We’re excited to announce the launch of the oDesk Store! We’re featuring three awesome designs to celebrate oDesk love: The store is still in beta, but you can browse through the designs and make purchases today. All of the purchases are handled by Printmojo, who will process and arrange all of the shipping through their secure site. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, those are some pretty cool T-shirts. I wish I was a savvy graphic designer and could come up with something like that for my company.” We’ll let you in on a little secret. Our marketing department didn’t design all of those T-shirts — we outsourced it! We posted a job on oDesk and browsed through provider profiles (particularly those who specialize in graphic design). We found Ivan A., hired him, gave him an idea of what we were looking for, and then let him get creative. Ivan also designed the look and feel of our oDesk Store (he used a customizable PHP script from Printmojo). So even if you don’t have an ecommerce or design background, you can still put together a pretty cool T-shirt store … Read Full Article

The Perfect Job, Sent Straight To You

December 19, 2007 by

We’ve releasing a new feature that allows you to create custom RSS feeds for your RSS reader or site! Looking for high-paying copy editing jobs to advertise on your forums? How about programming jobs that demand specific skills? Don’t waste your time wading through job posts — have them sent directly to you. How does it work? 1. Select your job search criteria. Let’s say you’re a PHP developer interested in only long-term projects that pay per hour. Head over to our job search page and enter in the criteria that fits your project. In this example, we’ve entered: * Keyword: PHP (only in titles and skills) * Hourly Jobs only (Full Time: 30+ hours/week) * Buyers with at least 1 job (this will include buyers with some experience) Click “search” and you get jobs that fit that specific criteria. To have those jobs sent to your RSS Reader, right click the RSS link on the right hand side of the screen to copy the link. Paste it into your RSS Feed Reader and when those jobs are posted on our site, they’ll be sent straight to you! … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Customize RSS Feeds

December 19, 2007 by

What is it? You can now create customized RSS Feeds for specific search parameters. Why did we do this? Our existing RSS Feeds listed all jobs; not very useful for someone looking for a specific job. What does it look like? We’ll demonstrate with an example: Imagine that you are a PHP Developer looking for: Only Hourly Paid Jobs Full-Time Work (30+ hrs/week) Job Duration Minimum 8 weeks Buyers with at least 1 paid job Select these criteria in the Advanced Search box on the Jobs Search Page: Click the Search button. If the jobs that appear appeal to you, right-click the RSS link and copy the link to paste it into your RSS Reader: From now on, your RSS feed will only show jobs with the specific criteria you selected. You can create as many customized RSS Feeds as you like! … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

oDesk Perspective: Boost Your SEO

December 18, 2007 by

Ready to optimize your site so that you get a notable increase in traffic? Here are some ways to boost your SEO. Want to learn more? We’ve also included a list of resources if you want to delve deeper. 1. Links! Links! Links! — First, do your research. Use this cool backlink search tool to find out who is linking to you and what kind of anchor text they are using. — Next, hire a provider to compile and organize a list of sites your competitors are linked to. Have the provider find the contact information for those sites. — Finally, the pitch. Find a provider knowledgeable in SEO who can pitch your site to the owners of your competitor’s sites. SEO Moz, a blog on all things SEO has a great post on link building. Beware of spamming, though. Nobody likes that. 2. Blog Away. Write content that is interesting, controversial, or funny and people will link to you. Not the best writer? Find a blogger on oDesk. Find bloggers you like that talk about your industry and link to them. Most bloggers religiously check their backlinks, so they’ll link to you too if they like your site or product. 3. Make Your Anchor Text Relevant. Missing valuable keywords on your pages? Do you have a lot of “click here” and “learn more” links on your site? Hire a copywriter to get rid of them and include anchor text that is relevant and descriptive about your company and product. 4. Do Some On-Site Cleanup. Crawlers read text only, so make sure your text is positioned properly on the page so that it is easily read by users and crawlers. Use Semantic HTML and CSS to make sure crawlers have no … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Outsourcing to the U.S. or Canada? You’re not alone.

December 13, 2007 by

When people think of outsourcing, they often think of India. Or Russia. Perhaps the Philippines, or Bolivia. When oDesk was founded, the idea was to connect small- to medium-sized businesses around the world with providers worldwide who could provide IT services at competitive rates. All around our site are images of globes and mentions of the words “global,” “international,” “worldwide.” Certainly a great number of our providers are international. So it came as a surprise when we looked at recent data and discovered that U.S.- and Canadian-based providers are the fastest growing group on oDesk (when these two countries are added together). How did we measure this? We looked at the number of providers working over a set time period grouped by country. When we last looked at this data, the U.S. held spot number two in terms of the number of timesheets submitted by providers. Add the U.S. and Canada together, and bam, you’ve passed India. What’s interesting, though, is then to look at the number of hours providers worked each day. Our providers in Asia continue to log in over 50% of the total hours logged each day, while U.S.-based providers log a lower percentage. What this suggests is that while providers in the U.S. are quickly joining our network, they are likely supplementing their incomes with jobs from oDesk (and thus not working a full workday on our site), while providers in Asia, including India, are more likely to be working full-time for oDesk projects. Still, as U.S.- and Canadian-based providers continue to accrue feedback and work history on oDesk, I wonder whether they will slowly begin to switch to becoming full-time freelancers and we’ll thus see a growth in the number of hours logged by North American providers. We’ve already got some full-time … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Show Work in Portfolio

December 12, 2007 by

What is it? We have given our Provider Profiles a makeover! By organizing the profile into tabs, we have made it easier to find: An Overview of the Profile oDesk Work History Resume The Provider’s Tests and Certifications We have also introduced the Provider Portfolio, which will allow providers to upload examples of their work (including graphics, Flash Animations, Word Docs, PDFs, etc.). Why did we do this? We thought the current provider profiles made it difficult to find important information, particularly because it was tricky to sort through all the text. We also wanted to give providers a way to showcase their previous work, particularly those who had not yet logged in many hours through oDesk and thus had a limited oDesk Work History. Solution: the Provider Portfolio! What does it look like? To see the new look of the Provider Profiles, click on the link on the top right hand side of your provider profile that says: Try our new Profiles Beta! You will be able to see the individual tabs with different parts of your profile as shown below: Please note that in this release, you cannot access your new profile from the Profile Editor. To access your profile, go to public provider search. To upload files to your Portfolio, access the Portfolio editor by logging into my.odesk.com and selecting the Profile & Settings tab. Click Add or Edit under the Portfolio Projects section to add files or images and a description of the project. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

“Here Comes Another Bubble” (sing along now)

December 5, 2007 by

Geeky guys in blue shirts and khaki pants? Silly made-up domain names? 23-year-old CEOs? Twenty-somethings flocking to Palo Alto to strike it rich in the land of opportunity? Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? “Here comes another bubble” has got it all. We stumbled upon this hilarious video from the Richter Scale blog about the sheer ridiculousness of Silicon Valley. It opens up with Peter Thiel (of PayPal fame and an early investor of Facebook), who states: “There’s absolutely no bubble in technology” and takes us through the crash of the last bubble to now, where companies like Facebook are being valued at $15 billion (Ford, by comparison, is worth around $16 billion, the video informs us). If you’re in the Valley (and even if you’re not), you’ll definitely enjoy this clip. We did want to note one thing: Several media outlets have been buzzing about one bubble indicator: made-up, off-the-beat domain names (the Wall Street Journal calls it the Goofy-Name Index). The video even pokes at several names currently in use (Meebo, Flickr, WikiYou)… etc. But there is value in having a unique name. For one, people remember it. They associate that word with your company, and your company alone. And when they search for your company, you’re easy to find. Try doing a search for “oDesk” on Google. You’ll find us right away. (And if you’re curious about the origin of our name, check out the oDesk page on Wikipedia). And after you’re done Googling us, watch the video again. I did, and couldn’t stop laughing (despite weird looks from cubicle-mates). Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Providers: Inform buyers when you take leave

December 4, 2007 by

What is it? Going on vacation this holiday season? Taking time off? Providers can now inform current and future buyers that they’ll be taking a leave of absence. Indicate the dates you will be on leave on your provider profile. Send emails to current buyers when you decide to take a leave through our automated system. Why did we do this? Oftentimes providers are tagged as unresponsive because they are away for a few days and forget to notify buyers. We’ve made it easy to notify buyers and the rest of the oDesk network that you’re away from your computer. What does it look like? 1. Sign into your provider console by going to my.odesk.com. 2. Click on the Profile and Settings Tab and locate the Provider Leave link on the Provider Console. 3. Check the box and select the dates of your leave by clicking on the pop-up calendars. 4. If you wish to let your current buyers know that you will be on leave, click “Yes” and an email will be sent to your buyers automatically. If you click “No,” you will be directed to your Profile information. 5. Under the My Profile link within Profile and Settings, you will now be able to see My Public Profile. The dates of your leave will appear under Weekly Availability. Your leave information will also appear in the Team Room. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Search Results Yield Only Active Providers

December 4, 2007 by

What is it? We have made it easier for buyers to find active providers on our site. We are making the profiles of providers who meet all of the following criteria private. Providers who have signed up, but who have … Never earned any money on oDesk Profiles that are less than 50 percent complete Not been active on the site for more than 90 days (three months) … will see receive email notification that their profiles have turned private. Providers who wish to continue being active on oDesk will have the ability to complete their profiles and become public at any time. Providers: Haven’t completed your profile? Come back to our site, finish your profile, and set it to public to stay active in the search results. Why did we do this? With tens of thousands of providers on our network, we wanted to highlight providers who are actively working and ready to take on new job opportunities on oDesk. By making inactive provider profiles private, buyers will have an easier time finding providers who will respond to job interview requests. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Making More Cents in 2008

November 29, 2007 by

It’s that time of the year. People are putting up the Christmas trees, hanging lights outside of their homes, shopping like crazy (or not)… and reviewing their plans for next year. Yep, it’s time for companies to plan for 2008. Every business, large or small, looks for ways to improve their product and cut costs. While browsing through Business Week, I came across a great article on the topic: Ten Penny-Pinching Ideas for 2008 by Gene Marks. Among his suggestions (geared toward small businesses): – Set up remote access (we think this is a great idea, too). If someone’s on the road or wants to work from home, they’ll have virtual access to the office. – Create alerts. Remind yourself of when someone hasn’t paid, when you need to pay bills, when you need to check up on a project or meet a deadline. – Invest in smartphones (particularly if you have remote workers). Keep in touch no matter where you are (a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it.) Some suggestions we would like to add: – Outsource your company’s T-Shirt design. oDesk recently needed some new designs for our swag, and rather than bog down our Marketing department, we hired a provider to do the job. About 15 hours and $150 later, we had seven designs to choose from and our provider is now building us a custom Printmojo store. – Do your own marketing. Check out the Duct Tape Marketing Blog for ideas and tips. Hire a provider to create professional looking HTML newsletters or write press releases and then post them yourself on sites such as this one. – Outsource your customer service. Staffing a live chat system like phplive.com can be a burden, but plenty of … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Happy Turkey Day

November 21, 2007 by

We wish all our our oDesk providers and buyers a Happy Thanksgiving! This is really a holiday where many of us reflect on all we have to be thankful for, and here at oDesk, we’re grateful for many things. Just today, thanks to our amazing network of hardworking providers and diligent buyers, we hit a record of 4,002 hours worked in one day. So it is with many thanks that we acknowledge your hard work on oDesk, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Read Full Article

15 Tips for a Memorable Cover Letter

November 19, 2007 by

Applying for a job? You’re not alone. oDesk jobs receive an average of 12 applications in the first 24 hours. How to ensure that you’ll get a chance to interview? Write a cover letter that stands out and that shows the employer you’re seriously interested in the work. Here are 15 tips to help you create an outstanding cover letter: 1. Read the job application carefully. The best way to ensure that you won’t get the job is to write something that shows you really didn’t read through the job description or that you don’t have the skills required. 2. Highlight relevant skills, but be brief. And while we’re at it, if you’ve taken a few skill tests on oDesk, that can help you verify those skills and impress buyers. 3. Spell check and proof-read. You’ll have someone’s attention for only a few minutes. Make sure you make a good impression. I recently saw a cover letter with someone who said they had perfect Englich. Yep, wasn’t too convinced. 4. If possible, include links to relevant work experience. 5. Be professional. Humor can backfire. You may laugh at these examples of funny cover letters, but future employers may not feel the same way. 6. Don’t cut and paste. When you’re applying to a bunch of jobs, it’s tempting to create a cookie cutter template, but employers will be more impressed when you spend the time to tailor your cover letter to the job. 7. Include your contact information and best times to reach you. Put your availability in the buyer’s time zone. Can you best be reached through Skype? Yahoo Messenger? Gchat? Let the buyer know. 8. Be online as much as possible. You never know when the buyer might be online and decide to contact you. 9. Explain your current availability. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk makes the Red Herring Short List

November 14, 2007 by

We’re psyched! oDesk made the short list for the Red Herring 100 Global 2007! Drawing from a pool of 1,800 promising, privately-held companies from around the world, editors at Red Herring Magazine selected only 200 companies as finalists. In the next round, the top 100 companies will be announced at the Red Herring Global 2007 conference to be held in Seattle on Dec. 3-5. Companies are chosen for their financial performance, innovation, management, global strategy and ecosystem integration. We’ve been working on making oDesk a standout startup for freelancers and IT companies and have been working on even more features to improve our product and customer experience. We’re excited to be considered for this distinction and look forward to seeing the results! Learn more about the Red Herring Global 2007 on our website. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Tune into oDesk on The CEO Show

November 8, 2007 by

We’re excited to announce that our CEO, Gary Swart, was broadcasted on the waves this last Sunday! The radio waves, that is: Gary chatted with Robert Reiss on The CEO Show on November 11 at 10 p.m. PST on “The New World Order of Hiring.” How do you hire top talent? How do people around the world manage to find each other and work together? Gary shared his views on how to run a successful outsourced team, provide good customer service, and manage a network of over 30,000 community members. As the CEO of oDesk, Gary interacts with providers and buyers on a regular basis and has learned from their best (and not-so-great) practices. Looking into the future, Gary shared his thoughts on rising trends in hiring and the outsourcing industry. Robert Reiss has interviewed CEOs such as David Neeleman of Jet Blue, Bernard Marcus of Home Depot and Jay Walker of Priceline.com, so we’re pumped to be included in the mix. Want to tune in? Listen to the entire interview here. For more on The CEO Show, visit the website. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Cough, cough… Boss, I’m not feeling too well today

November 7, 2007 by

We’ve all been there. It’s a gorgeous day outside, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and you have to go to work. You pick up the phone, practice your best hoarse, scratchy voice, and when the voice on the other line says hello, you launch into your spiel: “Yes, cough, cough. How are you doing, sir? Me? Well, I have a terrible cold today, cough, cough. Odd, isn’t it? No, no, I didn’t feel bad yesterday, it must be one of those 24-hour bugs that’s going around. Probably best to stay home, so as not to get the other employees sick.” Your way of looking at it: Hey, I’m just taking it easy for one day, right? No big deal. Your employers’? Absence Abuse. Business Week has a great article out right now by Michelle Conlin looking at the problem of absenteeism at work. According to the research cited in the article, only about 85% of labor costs pay for actual work. The rest is vacation and those “sick” days everyone takes every once in a while. But too many “sick” days has become an issue for some companies and they’ve begun to take action. Some have begun monitoring carefully who’s been calling in sick and how often. In some workplaces, if you call in sick too many times, disciplinary actions begin. There are many reasons people call in sick. Some are genuinely ill, others just need a day off. But some employees are simply dissatisfied with their jobs and are loathe to go to work. The article mentions the experience of one unit within a manufacturing company that was calling in sick significantly more often than other units within the same firm. The culprit ended up being the manager, whom many employees disliked (and … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The road to world peace?

November 6, 2007 by

The sudden turn of events in Pakistan over the last few days has been nothing short of frightening. As we scanned through the headlines, our thoughts here at oDesk quickly turned to the 1,000+ oDesk community members residing in Pakistan. Many of us here in the office have made connections with providers and buyers residing in the country, and we know many of our buyers have established important connections with users there as well. What also came to mind as we read through the stories is just how connected we all are in today’s economy. Pakistan has gone through Martial Law before, but the effects are now greater due to the interconnected nature of the global economy. Many of us have professional connections with citizens affected by political situations in various countries, and in an increasingly connected society, conflicts reach further than their borders. The flipside is that our interconnectedness has the ability to move us to action. The more connections we make with citizens in other countries, the more we’re likely to (a) work to understand their culture to improve our communication, (b) empathize with them and (c) prevent and resolve conflicts in order to keep our interconnected economies humming. We hope that in coming years, as business connections through outsourcing increase, that we’ll all feel a greater stake in the political situations in other countries. For now, however, we wish our friends in Pakistan the best and hope all remain safe. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Outsourcing: The next generation

November 5, 2007 by

Steve Lohr’s recent article in the New York Times on hiring tutors from India (Hello India, I need help with my math) shines a spotlight on the increasingly popular trend of outsourcing consumer services. The article focuses on one offshore tutoring company and also touches upon the practice of hiring virtual personal assistants. We’ve seen this trend reflected in our marketplace as well. Take a look at the numerous Buyers on oDesk who are currently seeking personal assistants. These assistants can help busy professionals with a variety of different tasks, including managing databases, preparing documents, taking calls, and booking travel arrangements. Already there are more than 2,000 providers on our network available as “personal assistants.” What is particularly startling about the trend highlighted in the New York Times is that many of these new outsourcing clients are young. Really young. They’re kids seeking homework and exam help from tutors working on the other side of the globe. This next generation is primed for a working world without borders. Computer savvy, comfortable with communicating online and already experienced in the world of offshoring, by the time this generation hits the workforce, there will be no hesitation in finding outsourcing solutions. They won’t hesitate to look for creative ways to outsource their business tasks and personal lives, leading to further growth in the outsourcing realm. We have one thing to say: Generation Y (and beyond), oDesk will be ready for you … Read Full Article