Project flow: 3 key trends in distributed work

The media makes lots of noise when a Silicon Valley stalwart like Yahoo ends its work-from-home policy, or when Boeing gets burned by outsourcing.

But there’s an undeniable shift happening, toward judicious and strategic use of distributed talent — whether full-timers who don’t happen to live where your company has an office, or freelancers who prefer not to become anyone’s employee.

gary-odesk-largerAnd that requires innovators to develop a new skill set: what oDesk chief executive Gary Swart, left, calls “remote management.” How do you manage people you may not be able to promote, or give performance reviews? People who may write be great designers, but feel more comfortable conversing via e-mail than hopping on a phone call?

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