New Way to Work Contest Celebrates Self-Employed Professionals and Companies Embracing New Trend of Online Work

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - December 16, 2009 - Elance, the leading site for online work, today announced the winners of its “New Way to Work” Contest. The contest spotlights the growing number of businesses and individuals who are choosing online work vs. the conventional construct of employment in a traditional office environment. Benjamin Gran wins the Grand Prize for his entry, “Cubicles are the Phone Booths of the Future” will receive one year’s worth of health insurance premiums or $10,000. The Second Place winner is Salma Jafri for her entry, “My New Way to Work” and she will win $1,000. Casey McConnell ( and Michael Rodrigues ( tie for Third Place and will share the $1,000 prize.

“Online workers represent one of the biggest trends in the 21st century labor market,” said Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance. “Professionals are shunning cubicles and commutes for more flexible, self-directed opportunities and companies see a great opportunity to increase innovation and output without increasing overhead."
More than 60,000 companies are currently hiring and working with online professionals and teams on Elance and the demand shows no sign of slowing down, even as traditional job growth has stagnated or declined in many sectors. According to Ray Boggs, a vice president of IDC, Framingham, Mass., a market research firm, full-time, home-based freelancers and independent contractors in the U.S. are expected to increase by 200,000 workers to 11 million by the end of 2009. IDC sees another 200,000-worker increase in 2010. Elance sponsored the “New Way to Work” Contest to spotlight this new work model and the broad range of professionals and their clients pioneering this movement.

Contest participants were encouraged to show the world what the “new way to work” means to them through any medium they chose, including video, text, song, photography, and even tweets. There was no restriction on the format, but all submissions had to be publishable to the web.

Freelance writer Benjamin Gran won the grand prize with his message of workplace innovation and change, likening the end of the era of cubicles to the end of the era of phone booths.His entry showcases how the world of work is changing dramatically and old constructs are being challenged with the new way to work. Just as the mobile phone replaced the traditional phone booth, cubicles are being replaced by the online work place.

The strength of the competition encouraged the judges to add second and third prize categories to highlight additional, compelling entries.The Second Place entry from Salma Jafri tells an inspiring story of a new mother who taps into the power of online work to reinvent her career while supporting her family and achieving a rewarding work-life balance. Third prize winners Casey McConnell and Michael Rodrigues demonstrate how the world of online work is transforming the way small businesses are growing their companies leveraging the on-demand work model to build talented teams that will propel their companies forward in 2010.

Winners were selected by an elite panel of judges that included Tory Johnson, career expert, founder and CEO of Women For Hire and New York Times bestselling author whose latest book is Fired to Hired; Tim Ferris, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, technology investor, and productivity expert; John Jantsch, award winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing and Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. The winners and all 10 finalists are featured on the Elance blog at

About Elance

Elance, the leading site for online work, is a highly efficient solution for companies who hire contractors and service providers online to get work done.

Elance instantly matches employers with a ready and qualified workforce of more than 100,000 rated and tested professionals with technical, marketing and business skills, and provides the tools to manage online and pay for results. With more than $230 million in earnings to date, contractors and service providers around the world use Elance to meet employers and get paid for delivering great results.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit Elance at

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Elance and the Elance logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Elance, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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Carolyn Adams
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