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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 28, 2011

How the cloud is changing work in the US

If it has been quiet around your headquarters for the last week, you're company may be the exception. Data from SlideRocket indicates more than half of American workers are working through this holiday season. Some will work from home, some from the office and most will also check-in using mobile devices.

by Kristina Knight

From a mobile standpoint, SlideRocket's data shows an increase in mobile presentation views of more than 900%; many of these views come from Apple's iPad device. That is how businesses are increasingly going 'mobile' - a trend that freelancers and contract workers have been in on for a couple of years now.

New data out from Elance finds more workers are looking to the contract/freelance realm so they can create a more flexible working schedule. Many of these workers are looking into small businesses as a way to work remotely - good news for both contract workers and small businesses. Over the past year there has been a 125% increase in online hiring from small businesses.

Other interesting findings include:

• 134% increase in freelancers signing up on the Elance platform to find work
• Online workers in South Carolina earned 104% more and in Michigan earned 98% more
• More businesses are looking into 'hybrid' environments - where employees sometimes work from home and sometimes work at company headquarters
• 83% of businesses surveyed said they would hire at least half of new employees in 2012 online

"SMBs are no longer restricted to looking for local workers," said Ved Sinha, Vice President of Interactive Marketing, Elance. "They have a global pool of people to get work done, and they can fill a position quickly and cost-effectively. There is no office or commuting overhead and yet SMBs can be selective about candidates, hiring the best for the position."

Looking ahead to 2012, Sinha believes contract/freelance work will continue to show strong increases. From an employee standpoint, the International workplace may be one of the hottest areas. Elance's data show a strong uptick in Americans working in a freelance capacity for foreign companies.

"US workers can help companies who want to break in to the US marketplace," said Sinha. "And, there are skills available in the US that aren't readily available in other countries - high-end design, writing and IT skills are more readily available in the US."

Tags: ecommerce, Elance, SlideRocket, small business tips, small business trends, work online

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