Elance report examines the impact of online work as hiring by businesses surges 60%.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — May 22, 2013 — Elance, the leading online work platform, today announced the release of its first Annual Impact Report. Conducted with third party research firm Imperative, the Report examines the global socio-economic impact of online work, a $1 billion category projected to double by 2014. The Report provides key insights into why Elance’s network of online professionals surged 52% in the past year and hiring by businesses on Elance jumped 60%. The Report also benchmarks six key areas of impact: opportunity, productivity, happiness, community, flexibility and equality.

“Work has profound positive impacts beyond the traditional economic dimensions,” said Fabio Rosati, president and CEO of Elance. “This Report illustrates some of the impacts of online work to highlight the life-changing economic and social value being created by millions of entrepreneurs, companies and freelance workers who connect through our online workplace.”

Key insights from the Report include:

The Impact of Online Work on Freelancers

  • Online work connects people to a higher volume of job opportunities. The average freelancer receives an average of 5.8 new job opportunities per month.
  • People working online are happier and more productive. Sixty-nine percent (69%) are happier when freelancing versus working at a traditional onsite job. The average freelancer estimates that they have 28 more personal days than they did when working in a corporate environment. As a result, 71% claim they are more productive.
  • Freelancers expect to make more money in 2013. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of freelance professionals expect their income to increase in 2013.

The Impact of Online Work on Businesses

  • Hiring freelancers online gives businesses a competitive edge. Eighty-five percent (85%) of companies believe hiring freelance talent online gives them a competitive advantage. Seventy-four percent (74%) of companies reported they will hire more freelancers in 2013.
  • Faster hiring results in faster bottom-line impact. The average hiring time on Elance is 3.3 days versus 23 days for traditional hiring, according to a new measure of Labor Department data.
  • The demand for high-quality talent, not costs, is driving businesses to turn to online freelancers. While hiring freelancers online typically leads to significant savings for businesses, the bigger driver is that higher-quality talent can now be found online. In the past year alone, there has been a 153% increase in freelancers online with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“This was one of the widest-reaching and most comprehensive impact assessments I’ve seen a company invest in to date,” said Arthur Woods, Partner at Imperative. “Our study engaged Elance’s team members, freelancers and clients, leveraging academic research including the PERMA measure around well-being. The Report results underscored the fact that online work can be a force for social good.”

To download the Elance Annual Impact Report, please visit elance.com/impact.

About the Report
All quantitative and qualitative data was collected and synthesized by an independent third party, Imperative. The data in the report is based on three in depth studies spanning a sample size of 1,300 individuals. Read the full report here.

Measurement and Evaluation
The methodology for gauging well-being, PERMA, was taken from the University of Pennsylvania global survey of well-being. PERMA is an acronym for the five indicators of well-being: Positive, Emotion, Engagement, Relationship, Meaning and Achievement. The PERMA scores of Elance community members were compared to the University of Pennsylvania benchmark average.

About Elance
Elance. is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today’s freelance revolution, Elance connects the world through work.

Today over 500,000 businesses and 2 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1 million freelance jobs are completed through Elance annually.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Elance is a privately-held company. For more information, visit

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