A long tail of specialists
is growing on oDesk.
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The Rise of Online Work Infographic


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Not since the Industrial Revolution have we experienced such rapid disruption of the way we work. In 2005, two entrepreneurs who wanted to work together (despite being half a world apart) created technology to instill visibility and trust in “virtual” work relationships. This technology became oDesk, and oDesk became the leader of a new market called “online work”— any work done on a computer and delivered via the Internet.

Today, oDesk announced that it reached U.S.$1 billion of work done via its online workplace. A number in and of itself means nothing, but the millions of people feeling the positive impact of online work means everything. The simple truth underlying this landmark is that work is no longer a place. oDesk is proud to be the first online workplace to reach this landmark, while remaining true to our mission: creating freedom and opportunity for the world’s best businesses and best professionals to work together.

For more information on this landmark and the rise of online work, we invite you to explore the materials below. If you’re considering hiring via oDesk, our new resource center ( features tips and insights from people who have paved the way. And if you’re hiring or working on oDesk already, thank you for being part of this incredible community. We love the way we work!

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The Rise of Online Work Infographic

  1. 1. IMPROVING ACCESS TO SKILLS FASTER HIRING 24-HOUR PRODUCTIVITY A long tail of specialists is growing on oDesk. 4 Million Freelancers Listing 2,389 skills in the past year With more than 2.6M tests taken as proof of these skills 90% of spend on oDesk With teams in multiple time zones, two-thirds (59%) of online work happens outside the client’s 9-to-5 hours. ONLINE OFFLINE 3 87 ONLINE WORK HAS ARRIVED! MORE THAN $1 BILLION HAS BEEN SPENT ON WORK VIA ODESK SPECIALIZED ROLES ARE ON THE RISE 40% 50% 55% 45% 60% 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Nonroutine Occupations Routine Occupations THE DECLINE OF INDUSTRIAL AGE WORK Source: US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey “If you literally have twice as many productive working hours in a 24-hour cycle as your competitors, you can get much further ahead than they can in one day.” The online workplace delivers: The Rise of the Online Workplace TECHNOLOGY TODAY BRINGS WORK TO THE WORKER 64% of businesses were looking for a new way to hire when they found online work. “talent shortages are likely to affect their bottom line in the next 5 years.” 66% of multinational companies say... #OFJOBOPENINGS SKILL RANK ON ODESK 4 CATEGORIES 35 CATEGORIES (with 42 other categories growing quickly) VS WHERE DOES WORK GO FROM HERE? Futurists describe the evolution of work “We've passed into a new economic era, confronting business and individuals with mounting challenges. Work marketplaces based on social platforms—'placeforms'—fill a new societal need." – Stowe Boyd “Cloud computing is making it easier to start businesses anywhere. Over the next decade the ‘rise of the rest’ will play a key role in creating jobs.” – Steve Case “Technology is transforming our relationship to assets and ownership. Technology unlocks the idling capacity...” – Rachel Botsman "Millennials will be 75% of the workforce by 2025. They see no need to be confined to a corporate office, view the future of work as virtual, and want freedom and flexibility to work anywhere and anytime they please." – Dan Schawbel “It will become difficult to distinguish online workers from traditional employees.” – Jeremiah Owyang “Work is no longer a place. Future teams will be flexible and results-focused. This creates more economic opportunity for both businesses that need to get more done, and professionals who want to be untethered from a desk.” – Gary Swart “Where, how, when, and even why we work is changing rapidly. Five generations—from digital natives to digital immigrants—are all in the same work place, but with different expectations. Organizations must strategically invest in human capital or face epic failure.” – R. Ray Wang Joshua Warren // Creatuity Corp. ON ODESK ALONE By 2018 online work is projected to be a $5B market The $1B already spent on oDesk makes it the largest online workplace 3 Average days to hire 1 Brought to you by FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE WWW.ODESK.COM/RISEOFONLINEWORK Love the way you work. June 2012 study by the Economist Intelligence Unit U.S. Office of Personnel Management Staffing Industry Analysts 1 2 3 2 IN 2007 IN 2012