oDesk, a company on the forefront of helping businesses find employees to work remotely, (” the world’s largest and fastest-growing global employment platform,”) sent an email out today titled “The Evolution of Employment” detailing how the job-market is rapidly shifting towards an environment that favors “free-agents” or contracted and part-time employees. From the email, “With online employment platforms enabling unprecedented access to talent and jobs, employers and workers alike are thriving in a virtual, borderless economy. Businesses are growing by leveraging remote contractors to build distributed teams, and contractors, in turn, are earning more money and even starting their own small businesses.”
Some notable statistics from the oDesk survey that inspired the email, 54 percent of employers do not have a preference where their workers are based, while 71 percent of workers do not have a preference around where their employer (or the source of work) is located. Also, 34 percent of employers are having difficulty filling vacancies locally, leading them to look online for long-distance connections, with 28 percent of employers indicating the primary reason for building a distributed team is to access talent that is hard to find locally, and 21 percent of employers saying that the ability to hire an online workforce enabled them to scale up or down quickly.
The survey also found that despite working at a distance, distributed labor teams (remote workers) still felt highly engaged and connected, “55 percent of employers assign “core” or “critical” work to remote contractors. 87 percent of contractors, in turn, feel that they are an integral part of their employers’ staff. 77 percent of employers communicate with their contractors several times per week. 81 percent of contractors reported the same.”
The survey concluded this month, over 16,000 contracted workers and their employers were polled.