Australia is rapidly adopting online work: oDesk

Study shows more Australian businesses are hiring online workers

The traditional hiring method is evolving at a rapid pace as more Australians work online and businesses turn to hiring online workers, according to the world’s largest online workplace, oDesk.

In its first Australian Online Work Survey, which polled 306 Australian businesses that had hired one or more online contractors recently, it showed 70 per cent of them said traditional hiring is painful and 61 per cent mentioned they were actively looking for a new way to hire.

About 71 of respondents claimed hiring online workers provided them with more flexible staffing and 92 per cent mentioned cost savings.

It also highlighted 93 per cent of the respondents said that they will spend the same amount of time or more on online work this year, with two-thirds of them saying they will spend at least 50 per cent more.

“Online work is a competitive advantage, showing that it helps break free of the rigid limitations of the Industrial-Age hiring and allows businesses to create flexible working relationships. It empowers Australian businesses to be more competitive not only locally, but on a global scale,” oDesk CEO, Gary Swart, said.

Findings from the survey also showed that the decision to hire online workers is often driven by a need for in-house staff to have a higher-level focus (67 per cent said this was an important reason).

Beyond higher-level focus, other benefits driving online work adoption include:

  • Cost savings – 92 per cent said this was an important reason to hire online workers.
  • 71 per cent said flexible staffing and scalable for variances in needs was an important reason.
  • Faster hiring (70 per cent said this was an important reason, and findings also showed that it takes an average of 2.8 days to hire an online worker).

oDesk said within 10 years, most businesses will have blended teams of online and on-site workers. 96 per cent of respondents agreed.

It also estimated that the online work market in total is approaching $1 billion this year and that one in three workers will be hired to work online by 2020.

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