We know that one of the very best reasons to work online is to minimize, or often eliminate, the commute to your office or jobsite. We've asked you in the past to share with us your cloud commute stories, and you responded with some incredible videos from all parts of the globe.
We wanted to share The True Cost of Commuting, a great infographic we came across from Stream Refinance on the total cost of a work commute—from mileage to cost to the amount of your life spent in your vehicle!
Some of the highlights:
The IRS estimates the total cost of driving an average car to be 51 cents per mile
In a dual-commuting household with two cars, that equates to $125,000 spent in gas alone over ten years
A commute of 19 miles is estimated to take about 40 minutes each way, which means 80 minutes in your vehicle each day
80 minutes a day means you spend 6 hours and 40 minutes there a week—nearly an additional full work day!
Read on to see the entire inforgraphic; the numbers don't lie! So we ask you—what's the best part of your commute as an Elancer?
With jobs being the topic of discussion throughout Europe and the United States, President Obama has hit the road to rally support for his jobs creation bill. However, our new Online Employment Report shows that more work is already moving to the cloud across all industries.
In contrast to sluggish hiring in the traditional employment market, the number of businesses hiring online workers jumped 107% and Elancers earned 51% more in the last year, with a record $38 million earned in Q3 2011. To view the entire report, please visit the Online Employment Report here.
Some of the notable hiring trends we saw this past quarter include:
Engineers Building Momentum Businesses need engineering expertise across nearly every discipline today and demand for engineers is growing on Elance: Chemical Engineering (+155%), Network Engineering (+45%), Civil Engineering (+36%), Electrical Engineering (+28%) and Mechanical Engineering (+13%). CAD skills also saw greater demand: AutoCAD (+32%), ArchiCAD (+60%) and Rhino CAD (+7%).
More Compliance Demand for legal professionals, with lawyers specializing in Tax Law (+69%), International Law (+27%) and Employment Law (+13%) all saw significant increases during Q3 2011.
Customer Service Excellence Customer service agents and virtual assistants on Elance have earned 58% more than last year in Q3.
If you own your own business, you surely know how difficult it can be to find enough time in the work day. Earlier this week, Intuit posted an interesting infographic on information they've compiled on small business owners, their work habits, and the ways they're trying to increase productivity with their limited hours. Some highlights:
The top goal for small business owners in the upcoming year is to use their time more efficiently.
In August 2011, small business hourly employees worked an average of 108 hours, roughly a 25-hour work week.
Alternatively, 46% of small business owners report working more than 40 hours a week.
50% of small businesses revaled that knowledge workers spend about half of their day on necessary but unproductive tasks. Perhaps they could hire a Virtual Assistant?
36% spent forwarding emails and doing follow-up, dealing with spam and unsolicited calls
14% spent contacting people and finding information
Bnet.com lists Elance as one of 12 tools that can help small business save time and money.
To view the full infographic, please visit Intuit here.
We've discussed how Elance can help small businesses, from the point when an entrepreneur takes an idea to execution to helping existing businesses save money and increase resources. For small business owners looking to make the most of their time and resources, here are some hand-picked pieces of advice from the Elance Blog:
CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the technology industry, polled 602 IT professionals at firms with up to 499 employees in May. The findingsof their Third Annual Small and Medium Business Technology Adoptions Trends study show that one-third of respondents expect to increase their IT budgets by 10% or more, with most looking to improve network efficiencies, among other goals. Seven out of ten small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) surveyed said they expect to increase their technology spending over the next 12 months.
From the study:
“Technology is more accessible, more affordable and more available to SMBs than ever before,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “SMBs may not have an abundance of capital to invest, so they have to make every dollar count. But the majority is willing to spend money on new technologies, especially solutions that give them capabilities on par with a larger enterprise. Technology plays an integral role in the life of a small business.”
The complete study is available at no cost to CompTIA members or by contacting email@example.com.
Today we're pleased to announce the results from our annual survey on small business hiring trends. The survey reveals the job outlook is bright for people working online as businesses continue to adopt online hiring as a core strategy to remain agile in today's economic climate.
Small-and medium-sized businesses also show that adaptability and efficiency are key motivating factors for hiring online professionals with 73% of businesses citing the flexibility to scale up and down quickly as a key benefit and 60% indicating faster time to hire vs. traditional hiring approaches yielding huge time savings.
Businesses Gain More Mileage with Hybrid Hiring Models
Growing numbers of companies are planning to scale up their online hiring after reaping the benefits of a flexible, on-demand team of experts. Eighty-three percent of businesses plan to hire at least 50% of their workers online in the next 12 months, and nearly half of all businesses plan to make 90% of their hires online. Only 10% of respondents plan to hire 90% onsite and 10% online in the next year, showing strong business interest in expanding internal teams with professionals in the cloud.
Online workers play a key role to businesses with 87% of survey respondents indicating that online contractors are a vital part of their business. Several key drivers that motivate businesses to hire online are: cost savings (85%), flexibility to scale up and down (73%) and faster time to hire (60%). In fact, 94% experienced at least a 25% time savings by hiring online while 76% have cut their times by 50% or more. In addition, 89% of respondents have realized a significantly reduced time for project cycles while 66% sliced half or more off project completion times.
In this day and age, there is an abundance of professional talent waiting to be leveraged, but it often poses a challenge to find what you need locally. Enter the Internet. David Bratvold, founder of The Daily Crowdsource, the leading resource for crowdsourcing-related news, shares five reasons why turning to online workers makes the most sense for your next hiring decision.
Whether you call it freelancing, crowdsourcing, cloudsourcing, independent contracting, or any other fancy buzzword, it’s important to understand the benefits to hiring labor from a cloud of workers through the Internet. Here are five reasons to look to the cloud for your next hire:
1. You’ll get quick turnaround times
Cloud workers tend to work from project to project (or only a few at a time), so it’s likely that yours will be the most important project to them at that moment. That’s quite the contrast to an internal employee or agency with up to 20 projects going at any given time. There’s also no overhead, middleman, or management structure to slow down the communication process. You’ll be communicating directly with the worker, who’s anxious to finish your project and get paid.
2. You can hire experts Imagine a company which only employs experts. The value of output would be extremely high. With hiring from the human cloud, you’re giving your business the opportunity to work only with experts. When you need a website designed, rather than train or hire an internal employee who would only rise to perhaps an average designer, the human cloud can deliver you a website design expert whose job (and passion) is solely designing creative websites. Cloud workers specialize in a specific niche from a wide range of possibilities. These are people who love what they specialize in, and typically have a lot of experience. For those who haven’t yet built an extensive Job History on Elance, they can take one of hundreds of Elance Skill Tests that evaluate and rate their expertise, which should help you determine the most qualified candidates. Would you rather hire someone who eats, breathes, & dreams about writing, or rely on your existing office staff to develop your website copy?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that in 2010, over 80 percent of American employees worked on weekdays, with 35 percent on weekends. The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data includes the average amount of time per day in 2010 that individuals worked, did household activities, and engaged in leisure and sports activities, but more importantly offers interesting numbers on work-from-home Americans.
Among the significant findings for online workers:
Many more people worked on weekdays than on weekend days: 82 percent of employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 35 percent on an average weekend day.
On the days that they worked, 24 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home, and 83 percent did some or all of their work at their workplace. Men and women were about equally likely to do some or all of their work at home.
Self-employed workers were three times more likely than wage and salary workers to have done some work at home on days worked—64 percent compared with 19 percent.
On the days that they worked, 36 percent of employed people age 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher did some work at home compared with only 10 percent of those with less than a high school. Compared to our recent Freelance Talent Report, that number of online workers who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher jumps to 69%, suggesting that more and more college graduates are getting their work done at home.
As part of their yearly forecast, JWT Intelligence, one of the leading marketing communications agency networks in the world, put together a slideshow called "100 Things to Watch in 2011," which we thought would be particularly interesting to all of the Elancers out there. Many of these "100 Things" them are technology-centric; some are simply people representing pop culture, sports, architecture, fashion and other sectors. Several may have a hand in altering the way we freelance and work online, some will give us more tools for communication, and some are just plain cool.
3. Apps Beyond Mobile With more of our desktop activities migrating to the Internet,Web developers are applying the principles of mobile app culture—software that provides fast links to games, entertainment, news, etc.—to desktop computers and browsers. Apple [has launched] an App Store for Macs, Google has created the Chrome Web Store (an “open marketplace for Web apps”), and new Mozilla tools let anyone turn a browser into an app store.
We’re capping off our 2010 Year in Review not by reflecting on the past, but looking towards the future of work as we see it. You’ve probably noticed in our year-end review and throughout our quarterly Online Employment Reports a shift in demand for specific skills in the Elance marketplace—but what trends are we really looking at, beyond the numbers?
Here are some of our predictions for the new year:
Digital Portfolios Push Resumes to the Brink of Extinction
Simply put, digital portfolios provide businesses and employers far more context and insight into a potential hire than any traditional resume ever could. Case in point: Throughout the course of the past year, records on Elance were continually broken as the number of individual online portfolio assets surpassed 1.2 million and the number of online worker profiles exceeded 300,000. In 2011, expect referencing of verified work history, digital portfolios, online test scores, online reviews, social graph and social media footprint to become the standard for hiring short or long-term employees.
Online Work Flourishes, More Businesses Hire in the Cloud
Every year, advancements in technology continue to take communication to unprecedented heights. Businesses both large and small will adopt more robust online tools, like shared digital workrooms, real-time collaboration, telepresence and online employment platforms to hire the people they need to get the job done. Online work won’t be just a buzzword in 2011 – it will be the way to do business, period.
Web Design: Desktop Ditched for Mobile
Back in the day, the first step was build a website, then build a mobile app. However, consumers and businesses in 2010 have made it clear: With a 98% increase in demand for mobile developers on Elance, touchscreen tablets and mobile devices are becoming the ultimate number one priority. In 2011, it will be absolutely key for businesses, startups and entrepreneurs looking to construct new websites or revamp existing ones to design with mobile in mind. Expect to see simpler, cleaner, more straightforward web designs and a shift in design philosophy that puts mobile first, desktop second.
Traditional Marketing is Dead
The numbers do not lie. In 2010, businesses have signaled a shift in investments for freelance talent that has gone from traditional marketing techniques like direct mail, telemarketing and other forms of traditional marketing, to cutting edge forms of promotion and customer acquisition, like Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing. Next year, traditional marketing will become even more obsolete as businesses will be drawn towards viral and social marketing methods.
What are your predictions for 2011? Post your thoughts below and then be sure to stop by and read our other predictions for next year in the Elance 2010 Year in Review, which also features The Top Freelancing Cities in America, The Best and Worst Moments in Work, and more.