We at Elance hosted a gala Work Differently Summit recently at our Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
The idea behind the event was to give clients, freelancers and friends an opportunity to learn about new advances in the world of online work. Our leadership team was also on hand to inform attendees of new developments in the pipeline, as well as outlining other features of note.
We also had a popular freelancer and a panel of three successful clients present information explaining how online work has influenced their lives and livelihood, and why they “Work Differently” in today’s shifting world of staffing.
What was striking was a recent survey reporting that by 2017, Elance clients estimate that 54 percent of their workforce will be freelancers. Also, 73 percent of those asked expect to hire more contractors this year than last.
There are a number of skills increasingly in demand among those businesses now hiring contractors. While information technology and programming skills make up the largest single categories, the highest percentage of growth is in the creative (Photoshop and web design are growing especially quickly) and marketing (particularly digital and social media) categories. Attendees felt that this trend suggests that companies now have confidence in the economy and are ready to spend money to promote the new technologies they’ve developed.
In the following weeks we plan to host similar events in other U.S. cities, as well as in Europe.