pie chartA study by Genesis Research Associates and oDesk.com found that nearly 60 percent of businesses expect to double budgets for online workers in 2013, further expanding the $250 billion virtual economy for freelancing.

“American workers are now finding their greatest career opportunities in online virtual marketplaces such as oDesk.com,” said Matt Keener, author of Executive in Sweatpants: A Handbook for Launching Your Work from Home Career. “A major reason many Americans still struggle to find meaningful work is because they are using tactics from the 1990s and early 2000s. The future for employment is now here…and it’s online.”

The Genesis Research Associates study found that businesses are finding increasing value in developing a stable of regular full-time and part-time virtual team members. Nearly all (94 percent) of surveyed organizations said that most businesses will be using so-called “blended teams,” a workforce composed of a mixture of on-site and online employees, within the next ten years. The growing popularity comes from the much easier hiring processed involved in bringing on a new online worker compared to a traditional on-site employee.

Additionally, the study found that the total length of time required to hire an online worker is just over 10 percent of the time it takes to hire an on-site employee; a median of 2.8 days for online employees compared to 23.9 days for on-premise workers. Surveyed businesses also reported that hiring traditional employees was 68 percent more stressful than hiring online workers.


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