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Today, I think an employer is more likely to hire cheap overseas telecommuting labor over someone who wants to live out his dream in a country farm house.

To start with, you need to remember that telecommuting (if done properly) is both a cost cutting and a productivity boosting move for some companies. A friend of mine works for a medium-to-large insurance company, and he told me about a recent experiment they did where they allowed about a hundred employees to work 2-3 days from home. They found that not only did it save them on infastructure costs (electricity, etc), but that the employees productivity was boosted (no water cooler is my guess). The overall outcome of the experiment was that it was a good thing all around for them, and last I heard they were going to implement it on a larger scale.

As for cheap overseas help, it is a cost cutting measure for some companies, but many companies still can't get their acts together enough to be able to do that. It takes a level of discipline which most companies just do not have, and lets not forget about the language barrier and time-zine differences. Those facotrs alone are why small, agile consultancies (like the one I work for) are only minimally affected by this trend (so far).

Another point to make about "cost cutting measures" in general is that they are not always the whats best for the company. We have done work for some large NYC companies and there is a trend in the younger managers to squeeze us for all they can, and then we hear them at the next budget cycle that their budgets have been cut (wonder why?). However the older, more experienced, managers tend to give us what we ask for (within reason of course) and not try to squeeze us, they never complain about budgets (well, sometimes, but not as bad as the squeezers do). The fact is that if you "save" money and have $$ left over in your budget at the end of the year, then many times, your budget gets cut to that level (cause clearly you can do what you do for less). Where if you don't try and do everything on-the-cheap, pay people what they are worth and be sure to use up every last cent. Then 9 times out of 10 you not only do you (usually) get the same $$ the next budget cycle, but you also have a better quality product (cause you didn't try and bleed your contractors dry).

Of course this particular phenomenon tends to be found more in larger companies. But even in smaller companies, taking the long-term view is a good thing, and being short-sighted eventually gets you in trouble.

Anyway, thats just my two cents :)


In reply to Re^2: (OT): Human Multi-tasking by stvn
in thread (OT): Human Multi-tasking by dragonchild

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