The online work industry grew 67 per cent in 2012 and will be worth more than $US5 billion by 2018, according to the world's largest online workplace, oDesk.
In a recent oDesk online work study, the company found that more than $US1 billion has already been spent on work conducted via the platform and Australia is leading the charge as the top hiring country based on spend per capita.
oDesk CEO, Gary Swart, said this milestone highlights significant disruption taking place in the way businesses staff work and that online work is fulfilling increasing demand for specialised professionals.
Swart claimed that businesses, especially start-ups, are turning to online work as tech innovations - including the ability to hire team members via the Internet -- make it easier to start a business from anywhere.
He attributed a recent report by Google and PwC, which estimated that the Australian technology start-up sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion of GDP to the Australian economy and 540,000 jobs by 2033.
"Work is no longer a place. Businesses are building flexible, distributed teams which create more economic opportunity for everyone. Online work is especially empowering start-ups, as the Internet connects them with the skilled professionals they need," he said.
Swart mentioned that online workplaces are creating a flexible, global community of businesses and professionals who can now work together to close these talent gaps.
"Today, it's all about finding the right people to work together. Bringing the work to the worker via the Internet is quickly becoming the norm. Businesses want the best talent to ensure their competitiveness, and professionals want freedom and flexibility," he added.