The Way We Work

The Best I Ever Had

April 26, 2011 by

Everyone has something beyond their expertise and skills that they bring to work every day. For some, it's a nonstop positive attitude. Others, the ability to make everyone's workload feel a little lighter. As a contractor, what "bonus" characteristics can you bring to be considered a valuable member of the team? Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

In-Demand Skills in a Borderless Economy

January 4, 2011 by

Online work is creating an economy of opportunity — where work is not linked to location, but to skills, experience and abilities. For employees and contractors, this allows them to manage their own work-life balance, get paid based on merit, and access an entire world of work opportunities. But what skills are in demand when the talent pool is worldwide? Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Contractors Earn More than $200M

October 15, 2010 by

  A little over an hour ago, the odometer at oDesk’s oConomy rolled over a major milestone. Our contractors have earned over $200 million dollars on oDesk – a fantastic achievement that made our Redwood City office erupt in cheers. Hard to believe it was just 1 short year ago that we were celebrating our first $100M earned by oDesk contractors. Just last month, our users gave us another reason to celebrate by surpassing 1M hours worked in a single month. As the largest and fastest-growing global employment platform, more remote work is done on oDesk than anywhere else. So congratulations again to our fantastic contractors, and to the employers who hire them. You guys are truly changing how the world works! Update: You can watch the oDometer roll over $200M in this video. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Remote Work at SXSW – Vote for your favorites!

August 16, 2010 by

After having such a blast presenting at SXSW last year, we were excited to see that the 2011 SXSW Panel Picker was finally open for voting! Even more thrilling is the number of panels suggested that remote team members and managers would find valuable (including two from oDesk executives!). Here are our top picks for your SXSW Interactive panel votes – log in and give us the ‘thumbs up’ to make sure you’ll get all the tools you need to succeed at SXSW! Remote Work and Competition Not About Price – Competition in the Global Economy – In 2006, 26 million Americans worked from home at least one day per week. By the end of 2010, that number is estimated to be over 100 million. People are making a shift away from rigid corporate structures towards a more flexible, more online way to work. But with that shift comes increasing accessibility to a worldwide workforce. Gary Swart, oDesk CEO, will be joined by top educators on the global economy, successful freelance contractors and champions of the online workforce to answer the question: “When facing competition from a world full of people with similar skills, many of whom can afford to be paid less, how can you come out ahead?” Superhero Telecommuter – Productivity in Your Pajamas – This presentation will focus on giving attendees tips and advice on being a superhero telecommuter. It will also include advice on how to avoid common pitfalls such as “out of sight out of mind” and avoiding distractions of everyday home life, as well as some of the personality traits that fit best for a telecommuter and advice on how to pitch telecommuting to your boss. Why Remote Work? Working on a (Temp) Dream – We are living … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Fixed-Price Finesse: The Test Run

May 20, 2010 by

Employers looking for the superstar worker who can lead a major programming overhaul or provide steady support for the foreseeable future usually don't want to trust something of that scope to an unproven talent. Enter the fixed-price job. It has less flexibility than hourly work, and requires more clarity up front, but it can be great way for an employer to quickly whittle down a list of promising applicants. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Marketing Work Joins Top In-Demand Categories

May 19, 2010 by

In our recent Online Employment Situation Summary (a companion to the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Employment Situation Summary), we took a look at the $8.6M worth of online work performed last month to discover the types of work most requested by hiring employers. While certain technical work still rules the roost (Web Programming and Web Design, we’re looking at you!), there were a few new entries to the top 25 that caught our attention. Marketing is hardly a new business skill, but certain specialized areas are enjoying increased demand. #25 Search Engine Marketing While SEM has hovered in the top 25 work categories before, it’s the growth seen in this area over the past year that is truly staggering. Up 27 places on the list since May 2009, folks with the skills to optimize web sites, drive link building, and build social bookmarking are finding themselves in a field that is in high demand. SEM pros have enjoyed a staggering increase in demand over the past year. #24 Telemarketing & Telesales Like many types of work, the growth in telemarketing and telesales over the past few months seems to be tied directly to the recession. Online telemarketing professionals are a natural fit for businesses looking to expand into new markets without large investments . Up both month-over-month and year-over-year, folks with the people skills to engage users and customers by phone are enjoying a long-term growth curve in demand. #19 Social Media Marketing Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. It also opens doors for companies to increase brand awareness and facilitate conversations with customers in a relatively inexpensive platform. It should come as … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Coworking and the Future of Work

March 16, 2010 by

Yesterday, Gary shared his vision for the future with attendees at SXSW 2010 as part of the panel “What Coworking Tells Us About the Future of Work”. Today, he shared with me some of his thoughts on coworking, co-location, and the future of work: Coworking is the future of work. There’s a community, a synergy, bred by coworking that may not exist in corporate-mandated structures. Where I differ from the other panelists, though, is that I don’t believe coworking needs to be tied to a physical location. Clay Spinuzzi shared this earlier. The key for me is that this “space of endless mobility” this “space made of flows of information and communication” is managed by the Internet. Think about it… If its managed by the Internet, why do I have be at a physical THERE? With this in mind, what does the future of work look like? It’s Coworking without location. Currently, people are telecommuting. They’re working from home, from coffeeshops, from coworking spaces. They are making a shift away from rigid corporate structures towards a more flexible, more online way to work. And it’s a shift that will keep growing. How do I know? Because oDesk has more than doubled in size, year over year, for the past 3 years. How much work is really happening online? To provide a little perspective: In just one week, online workers accomplish more online workers accomplish more than 80 years worth of 40-hour workweeks. How do they do it? It’s transparency. The Internet has opened the door for this open, free flow of information and communication between workers and employers, beyond the limitations of the physical environment. As an employer, you gain the ability to collaborate with workers anywhere in the world, and find the best … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Holiday Travel: Stay Connected with Remote Access Tech

December 16, 2009 by

If you’re planning on getting out of town for the holidays, then you may want to consider some of these technologies to help keep your important data with you while you travel. Holiday travel is unpredictable – don’t get stranded without your work! Keep it Simple There are two rather low-tech solutions that deserve a mention. First off, a portable storage solution can be a lifesaver, either a USB key or portable hard drive. Backup all of your important files to portable storage device before you leave, and backup again periodically while you are traveling. Secondly, if the majority of your work is documents and spreadsheets, then you owe it to yourself to consider using Google Docs. It keeps all of your documents organized with your Gmail account online, and allows for access anywhere there is internet access. In addition, if you use a browser like Google Chrome (or if you have Google Gears installed), the support for offline editing, and keeping local copies of your files sync to your computer is excellent. Check out Google’s Blog for an article on using Google Docs Offline. Sync Services If you have multiple PCs and/or handhelds, then a service like SugarSync , Syncplicity or DropBox might be the right answer. For a reasonable fee, these services can keep all of the files on your laptop and desktop synchronized as well as maintaining a remote backup of your files in “the cloud”, which simplifies access from mobile devices. This option is great for users with multiple office locations, and multiple computers. Check out PC Magazine’s review … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Provider Voice: Bidding for Work – It’s Not About Price

October 28, 2009 by

Recently I’ve seen some tweets from those curious about the presence of extremely low bids on oDesk. My response is that it doesn’t matter. Or at least, it shouldn’t. Face it, if the only thing that makes you a viable candidate for a project is your price, then you’ll need to have the lowest bid. But is that the kind of freelance or contract work you want? This isn’t a groundbreaking thought, but perhaps I can offer the perspective of an active contractor and bring some of the philosophical arguments into the real world. I’m self-employed and manage the technology needs of small businesses, consult on various projects, and write software. I use oDesk to manage all of my contract web development work. In that field, you’ll find some jobs with hourly rates of $10, $5, and even $3, yet I have active and ongoing projects at much higher rates. Last November, in an interview with the BBC, I expressed that I was satisfied with the amount of work I had through oDesk, but was confident I could get more if I wanted. A little less than a year later, things have slowed down and I decided it was time to start bidding on work again. A few weeks ago I started actively bidding for new oDesk jobs. Here’s how I view the process – in some admittedly broad strokes: Understand that you’re not going to get – or even be considered for – some jobs. Some buyers are looking for the lowest bid – and for some jobs that is fine. Other buyers won’t be able to meet your rates, which may very well mean they can’t afford what they say they want. Don’t let a candidacy that ends with ‘rate too high’ shake … Read Full Article