Distributed, Dynamic Workforces Through Homeshoring?

from the the-new-workforce dept

While most of the attention paid to people who work at home focuses on telecommuting options, there is a growing trend of being able to use temporary or part-time workers out of their homes as well — and some are apparently looking at it as an alternative to offshoring. Lots of folks are familiar with things like JetBlue’s customer service staff all working out of their homes, but a startup is trying to organize plenty of other jobs in the same manner, allowing programmers, designers and writers to work part-time from their homes on an as-necessary basis. In some ways, this is just an update on various freelance/contractor job boards — but the idea is that the companies using this type of work outsource more of the management of the system to this particular startup, which does background checks on the various workers and even digitally looks over their shoulder on occassion to make sure they’re really working (which, obviously, some may find invasive). Still, it does seem like a more interesting way to enable people to work on their own time from home than options like having people stare at security camera output all day. Either way, it is enabling new ways of working, often for groups of people who might otherwise find it more difficult to make a living.

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Comments on “Distributed, Dynamic Workforces Through Homeshoring?”

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nonuser says:

who cares about hour police

as long as the person is reasonably available when contacted through IM or other means, and maintains good output. If they figure out that nobody’s in before 9 AM and use that time to work out, more power as long as they’re productive the rest of the day. One drawback with telecommuting at a large distance – large enough so that you typically never meet the employee, except through video – is that you have to worry about provenance of their work. Are they lifting source code or graphics off the ‘net, perhaps even subcontracting the work themselves to offshore workers? Of course this is a risk even with a regular employee, but at least they have to look you in the eye on a regular basis and answer questions in person.

Don Gray says:

Re: who cares about hour police

We were talking about this exact thing at work the other day.

What prevents someone whom is a “remote” employee from outsourcing their work. Personal outsourcing.

Basically shift the outsourcing risk to individual employees that the corp can just fire if things don’t go right.

Anonymous of Course says:

In Japan (and probably in other countries too)

homeshoring is more popular than it is in the US.

A guy can buy amachine tool and turn out widgets

in his garage for a big corporation and they’re OK

with that. In the US the lack of an edifice often

scares corporations off of potential suppliers of

reliable, high-quality work at a fair price.

I hope this will change someday. Farming out

work to individuals with low ovehead and few

customers is good business… it’s just a

different way of doing things so it’s scary.

Paradigm Shifty says:

Shifting Paradigms

It may well be that corporations will find this somewhat scary. By all means, the interview process should still be in person. It gives everyone a chance to look at each other in the eye. And perhaps periodic meetings at corporate HQs would be in order as well.

I think that what will tip the scales is the housing market in combination with the rising price of gas. If you can’t afford to live near where you work, and you can’t afford to drive from where you live to where you work, something is going to have to give. If the local work force included all the skill sets needed, then employers wouldn’t be casting their nets as wide as they often do. So I don’t think it’s a question of if they will, but when will they wake up and smell the gas fumes.

rijit says:

Working from home...

I work from home and it has it’s own pitfalls such as slacking because of family time. After all, the family knows your home, so why not get you to run errands, etc. I get the work done, usually to the detriment of my sleep time, but working from home is not for everyone it takes alot of will power to keep churning through the repetitive parts of the job.

Wilks says:

An Unstoppable Force - Improving the short life

The art of working from home will be unstoppable. Life’s getting shorter, especially in developed countries like Singapore.

For many of us living THE greedy life, this IS going to sky-rocket the level of happiness. At least, having the time to be happy. Apart from the typical work-life preachings, how about siesta or even a delicious lunchtime quickie? Now you’re hungry. (FYI, for very obvious reasons, like Japan, our population growth is down. Very down. Pun unintended)

Not without its fair share of challenges but advantages are indeed compelling. It is achievable. Creativity is required. FYI, nothing is impossible for the truly innovative. 1 widely-publicized example, Gene O’Kelly, ex-CEO of KPMG. He left aged 53. It’s a high price to pay. How do you value success? Glamour’s an epidemic here. Are you ready for discounts?

Those who treasure their short lives will want their time back.

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