The Way We Work

Self-Employed & Loving It: Pros of All Ages Choose Independence

There are 17.7 million independent workers in the U.S. at the moment, according to the newly released State of Independence in America report from MBO Partners, and they are overwhelmingly satisfied with the path they've taken. “Most independents choose and plan to continue this path because they want control over their lives, including the ability to determine when, where and what type of work they do,” the report’s authors explain, citing a survey of more than 4,000 independent workers in the U.S. That sense of being in charge is what has even more professionals poised to join their ranks—regardless of age. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: iOS Mobile App Development Expert Salvatore Balzano

A senior developer for an IT company in Italy doing telecom, Salvatore Balzano moved to Spain and began searching for a flexible work solution that would allow him to travel and earn a good living. Unfortunately, his move coincided with the global economic downturn, and he found that the companies in Spain were unable to compensate him appropriately. Then Salvatore turned to the online workplace. He joined oDesk, landed a few projects and now works with clients from Denmark to Portland, doing iOS mobile app development. "Now I earn a good living doing iOS on oDesk," he says. "I’m working with people from all over the world, learning about them and their culture." Here's his story and its top takeaways for aspiring freelance developers. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

6 Ways Authors Can Use Virtual Assistants

Content is the currency of a writer’s business, so authors need to maximize their efforts toward that goal if they want to be successful. Their time is best spent perfecting their craft, putting the pen to paper (or more likely the cursor to the screen), and writing the next chapter in their book. One way to really take that effort to the next level is to utilize a virtual assistant, who can help with all the non-writing tasks that go into each writing project. Here are six ways authors (or writers of any type) can leverage a virtual assistant (VA). Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Chris Clegg on How to Hire Online

Chris Clegg founded Portland Marketing Analytics in 2010, and decided to experiment with online work to see if this new way of working could help grow his business. He quickly discovered that oDesk was more cost-efficient than a traditional staffing agency and more effective than going through a recruiter, so he began to use oDesk as his go-to pool for talented professionals. Three years later, his company’s revenue has increased every year, and it’s now on track to become a multi-million dollar company. He told us, “I couldn’t have done it without the support of oDesk contractors.” En route to success, Chris developed his own list of online work dos and don’ts. Here are four of his favorite tips on how to hire online and get to work. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Other Side of Remote Collaboration: Learnings From Eastern Europe

oDesk Interaction Designer Shipra Kayan has worked with oDesk’s distributed development team for almost four years, collaborating solely over email, shared documents, Skype chats and Google Hangouts. She has gotten to know many of these developers quite well after talking to them on almost a daily basis for years, but had only physically met the handful of developers who have visited the oDesk office. Shipra wanted to change that. With the goal of experiencing firsthand what the development team—and all of our users—do every day, she set out on a trip to Macedonia and the Ukraine to work side by side with many of oDesk’s core developers. She has been faithfully documenting her experience and reflections on her blog; here are some of our favorite excerpts. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: Ruby on Rails Expert Freelancer Marcel Morgan

Marcel Morgan knew the corporate life wasn’t for him. Despite his comfortable corporate job as a web developer, the Jamaica-based Ruby on Rails expert felt stuck because he wasn’t able to work on projects that interested him. So Marcel started freelancing through oDesk on nights and weekends, building a part-time business in addition to his full-time job. As his client list grew longer and his online reputation grew stronger, he decided it was time to quit his corporate job to freelance full time on oDesk. "I knew it was the right thing for me to do," he said. "I couldn’t be happier.” Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Managing an Online Team: The Top 3 Best Practices From oDesk Pros

Despite their rapid growth in adoption, flexible work strategies are still in their infancy—which means there are few widely known best practices on hiring and managing an online team. But we consider ourselves lucky—we have a whole community of oDeskers who are seasoned online work experts, ready and willing to share their wisdom. And with that in mind, we are happy to introduce our all-new Client Resource Center, made possible by the many inspiring stories and best practices from some of our favorite users. In the Client Resource Center, you’ll find inspirational stories, client videos, and our free eBook, which all feature proven tips from real-life oDesk clients. But here you can get a sneak peek into 3 of their best pieces of advice. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Adam Neary

Turning to the online workplace to power his company was Adam Neary’s Hail Mary. His company, Profitably, a financial analytics platform for small and midsize businesses, was just two years old and suffering a deep backslide. Using online work, his company did the impossible. He explains, “What we were not able to do with nearly $1.5 million in person, we’ve done there and back again for significantly less. Instead of having six generalists in New York City, we found an army of specialists on oDesk. It has been huge for us." Now a seasoned expert with online work, Adam has refined his strategies for making the most of online workplaces. Here are three pearls of wisdom he has shared with us. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Best of Tip Tuesday: Online Work Advice from Real oDesk Freelancers & Clients

In our weekly ‘Tip Tuesday’ posts on Facebook, we ask our community about working and hiring on oDesk and invite them to respond with their top tips. We have been amazed by the wealth of knowledge and expertise we received; thank you all for your great comments! Though it was difficult to choose our favorite responses among so many valuable tips, below are this month’s winners. Read Full Article