Six Hot Workplace Trends for 2011

Digital portfolios trump resumes, more workers telecommute, social media continues its spread, and mobile marches over desktops. Check out these key technology work trends for the year ahead.

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Tue, December 14, 2010

CIO — In late 2009, when the unemployment rate reached 10 percent for the first time since the early '80s, everyone hoped that 2010 would be a comeback year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. After early signs of progress, economic growth sputtered this year and the unemployment rate sits at 9.8 percent as we approach Christmas.

But while 2010 may not have been the turnaround year for which most had hoped, the workplace still evolved in new and exciting ways, according to a recent report by Elance, an online job marketplace for freelance and freelance agencies. Technology and marketing skills and the medium by which they are delivered became even more centered on the Web.

Throughout the year, mobile applications gained on desktop apps as companies focused more on facilitating smartphones and tablet PCs. At the same time, traditional marketing techniques were edged out by Web-based marketing via search engines and social media.

But arguably the most important trend, noted Elance, is the sheer amount of online jobs that are not based at a physical location. While onsite employment remained stagnant in 2010, Elance had its 1 millionth post since 2006 for jobs that are based online. With a current average of 400,000 online jobs posted annually, this trend shows no sign of slowing down, according to Elance CEO Fabrio Rosati.

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One thing is clear: It's a digital world, and the smart companies will hire more flexibly and get more work done online in 2011.

Here are seven technology-centered work trends for the coming year that every company and employee needs to know about.

Digital Portfolios Replacing Resumes

It's time to leave that resume on the printer, and build a digital portfolio.

A digital portfolio, be it a LinkedIn profile page or a personal blog or a professional service like Elance that provides tools to build an online work profile, will give employers more insight into a potential hire through online work samples, references and verification of skills than any traditional resume ever could.

"The traditional resume will be extinct in a few years," says Elance CEO Rosati. "They are static and they get out of date very quickly. They're not even meaningful because you can't truly judge a person from words on a paper."

Expect employers to look to digital portfolios and social media footprints even more in 2011 when hiring short- and long-term employees, according to Elance.

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