The rise of the Internet has brought a lot of revolutionary changes to the workforce — social media, Google, and now online employment.
Elance, the leading platform for online work, recently released its 2011 Online Employment Review which says that “the future of work will be contingent, global and online.” As I know firsthand from working here at Come Recommended, a completely virtual company, working online allows for immediate results for clients. Plus, business isn’t just 9-to-5 anymore — online workers are typically more accessible outside of normal work hours.
The report showed the business hiring online and professionals working online through Elance increased 120% in 2011, with 650,000 new jobs posted and cumulative earnings totaling over $500 million. The rising earnings of online professionals was evident in more than 100 countries, and in the U.S., earnings rose in 43 out of 50 states.
“This year’s job numbers suggest a structural change in traditional employment, as more businesses are adopting online and contingent work as a coreo business strategy,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance.
Some important findings of the study:
- 83% of small businesses plan to hire up to 50% of their workers as online contractors in the next year
- nearly 1 in 3 workers began freelancing and pursing independent careers to they could be their own boss
- top benefits of working online are schedule control (90%), following passions (87%), and eliminate a commute (85%)
- skills in demand are software development, creative, marketing, administrative, and consulting.
Predictions for online work in 2010 include the rise of the virtual workplace, exporting professional services to other parts of the globe, and the importance of compliance when adopting the contingent workforce. Also, the report found that promising online careers for 2012 are software developer, visual designer, user experience designer, digital marketer, technical writer, web researcher, data analyst, content moderator, accountant, and distributed workforce manager.
What do you think of this increase in online hiring? Are you surprised?
Kate D’Amico is in her senior year at Virginia Tech where she is studying communications with an emphasis in public relations as well as psychology and special events management and marketing. She has prior internship experience in corporate communications and public relations for technology, nonprofit, and association clients.