Upwork: Reimagining the Future of Work Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Upwork: Reimagining the Future of Work Case Solution 


Upwork is the world’s biggest freelance talent platform which originated as a result of a merger between the two companies Elance.com and oDesk. In 2015, Stephane Kasriel became the president of Upwork. The primary objective of the Upwork talent platform is to help the companies to work with the best endowment in the world despite their locality. It also helps the companies to search the most talented individuals from undeveloped marketplaces like Silicon Valley Company associated along with Ukrainian web developers.

Moreover, in 2014, both the companies, Elance.com and oDesk, merged to operate the online freelance platform effectively and efficiently. As a result of this merger, in 2015, a new business originated by the name of Upwork freelancer platform which allowed the companies to search, pay and work together online. Furthermore, the company is ranked 29th in the staffing industry analysts list globally.

The company is considered as the largest international staffing, talent engagement firm, and online firm among the top 124 companies. The company also generated high market share in the staffing industry with $450 billion and in temporary staffing accounting, the company earned $375 billion and through its online business the company acquired $2-3 billion. The primary goal of Kasriel is to bring Upwork into the mainstream as well as he believed that if the company wanted to achieve high success in the online business, then it needs experienced candidates for online projects who perform their jobs and duties efficiently. However, Kasriel decided that if the company maintains its online freelance platform globally, then it is necessary for the company to manage both the companies independently which would not only generate profit in the business, but, also capture large customers.

In this case, it is also stated that the company functions in Elance and the members in the new platforms, which are entirely based on the infrastructure of the desk. Moreover, the case highlights the challenges and opportunities that the company faces in the merger of the online freelance platform.


After the merger of both the companies, Elance.com and oDest.com, the company faced many challenges and opportunities in the market. According to Kasriel, the company faced many issues from the competitors which include people and businesses. Moreover, the significant drop off point of Upwork is that the clients do not fill the jobs as well as they never come back to the post of their first job. The company faced issues in maintaining the friction of hiring and removing geographical barriers. Furthermore, due to the lack of technology and imbalanced system, the company faced many problems in the online business. However, before the merger, many questions arose for Upwork as to how the company maintains its work forces in the disrupted enormous market and facilitates its customers. According to Kasriel, due to the lack of association with the service distributors, the company also failed to maintain its efficient work environment in the online platform business. As a result, the company went for merger and supported its online services accordingly.


The primary objective of the company is to use the internet to connect the businesses to professional, project-based freelancers in the world. In 2013, the company freelancers increased to 2.8 million by using its platform. Moreover, the company also analyzed that 48% of respondents freelanced as their sole source of income and 25% of the earning were from those who worked full time jobs, whereas, it is enhancing due to its contract work. The research shows that the freelancers of Elance daily perform approximately 2-6 projects at a time. Moreover, the company uses the virtual currency "connect" with its bidding processes. However, freelancers also received four free contracts every month and they also need to spend at least one contract to tender the application for the venture...............

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