With the advent of the internet, many freelancers hailed the opportunity to work from home and websites such as eLance were born. According to the Herald Sun, the U.S. and Australia hold the largest gathering of freelance workers with around 30 percent of the Australian workforce having done some form of freelance work in 2014. Just their workforce alone generated close to $69.3 million for eLance and their sister site, oDesk
Freelance writers the world over have just welcomed yet another name change for eLance’s website, oDesk. First they knew it as eLance when it debuted in 1999 as a virtual work database. Even when it merged with oDesk in 2013, eLance still existed as a separate entity. Now, however, things might change with the newest change to the freelance conglomeration being oDesk’s name change to Upwork.
According to the new CEO of Upwork, Stephane Kasriel, the following services will be improved:
- Hiring. According to the Herald Sun, with the new eLance system, Upwork, firms will be able to fill job opportunities within three minutes.
- Collaboration. An update to messaging services and the addition of an android and iOS app will mean people using Upwork can collaborate and communicate with team members more effectively.
- Teams. Teams can now be organized in larger groups than ever before thanks to Upwork Enterprise.
- Growth. Kastriel is boasting that with the new improvements and the name change, services will grow exponentially via Upwork.
But what will become of eLance with all these changes? While it still exists as a freelancing platform, according to a statement by Upwork spokesperson Christina Schultz to Small Business Trends, eLance will continue as normal — for a short time.
“The plan is to keep Elance.com around for a couple of years and then eventually it will be going away.”
By keeping eLance running in the short term, users on this platform will be able to adapt to the new way of doing things at Upwork and there will be the offer of a “one way bridge” over time as users move from eLance to Upwork. As far as the difference between eLance and Upwork’s previous namesake, oDesk, the only real difference between services was a matter of sight fee differences, so, in theory, there should be no great unhinging when it comes time for users to upgrade to Upwork. Currently there has been no notification on how long eLance will be operational.
[Image credit: Upwork.com]