Opinion: Why Outsourcing and Remote Working are Inevitable
IBM may have ended their workplace telecommuting program, but a look at policies and trends prove that outsourcing and remote working are inevitable.
Outsourcing was labeled as inevitable soon after its benefits were experienced by numerous businesses: cutting down expenses, delegating time-consuming tasks to external resources and reducing the load with internal resources. But, the recent changes in global policies testify furthermore that outsourcing, and remote working, are inevitable business models.
There is a rising global trend that offers support for the concerns of ordinary people. For instance, Donald Trump built his campaign in part on “We will bring back our jobs” referring to globalization, offshoring and outsourcing trends. But after he got elected, he proposed a cabinet made up of people who are billionaires and multimillionaires and who are practicing the policies Trump was advocating against during his presidential campaign.
It seems that, no matter in which direction the democratic system goes, remote working and outsourcing remain inevitable. Let’s see why is this so.
Populism as a Political Agenda
There are several instances where populism is used in someone’s political agenda in order to convey a powerful message to the voters who are afraid that current outsourcing and remote working trends are putting their job positions at risk. There is never an alternative offered by those politicians.
Another question that arises is whether the populism efforts are made to help the middle class or to put companies in a position where they will have more revenue and better profit margins when launching their products and services on the market.
The companies that do decide to cancel their remote working policies and practices are not doing that because of the workforce, but for their own gains and prosperity. Let's take IBM, a company that has embraced remote working for decades, which has now moved to recall its remote workers.
Is IBM doing this because the future of remote working is grim?
It seems that IBM has made the decision to co-locate remote workers because of their new market strategy and new goals that are aligned with that strategy -- become more competitive on the market, deliver cheaper products and services and leverage the benefits of in-person collaboration.
All the current statistics of remote working and outsourcing testify that the future of these is not grim at all; in fact, it was never brighter than it is today. The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Workforce report by Global Workplace Analytics and Flexjobs.com (available below) paints quite a different picture. After analyzing data from the U.S. Census, numbers show that, in the last 10 years, the body of remote workers has grown by 115 percent. And the data did not include self-employed workers and freelancers working from home.
After analyzing the State of the American Workplace, Gallup reports that based on 2015 and 2016 data, an amazing 43 percent of employees spend at least some time working remotely. Back in 2012, Gallup found the number of American workers involved in remote working at least part of the time was 39 percent. It's more than clear that remote working is a positive trend.
Factors Related to the Growth of Outsourcing
Alongside remote working, politicians like to address outsourcing and the problems it creates for traditional workers. Especially when it comes in the same package with offshoring. It seems that there are no politicians who recognize the significant change in the nature of work and how outsourcing has evolved along with it.
In the past, outsourcing was the solution for companies who only wanted to lower production costs. Today, companies are aligning with outsourcing partners, like Back Office Pro, to outsource single-service operations which require resources and assets that are outside of the organization’s core.
Furthermore, companies are continuing to outsource all sorts of operations in order to tap into the knowledge and skillsets of various professionals in order to be more competitive on the market. Strategic control of the company remains in the employer’s hands, while the outsourcing partner takes care of the outsourced operations.
Outsourcing Provides Growth Opportunities
The outsourcing processes help organizations recognize international markets as opportunities for business growth. We don't want to argue that outsourcing helps companies generate more wealth, but we want to point out that, in this process, outsourcing becomes the engine for job creation. This process also gives power to the emerging middle class, and it has the power to transform local economies.
Both past, and the more recent changes in global policies prove that outsourcing is inevitable. Outsourcing and remote working give the middle class power and new job opportunities.
The report on 2017 telecommuting in the U.S. workforce provides insights on:
- Understanding outbound workforce migrations, talent shortages and labor force mismatches
- Making broadband investments
- Reducing the offshoring of jobs
- Encouraging populations to work where they live
- Establishing laws encouraging home-based work
- Factoring in telecommuting's role in reducing traffic congestion
Back Office Pro offers services to clients in the U.S., Canada and Europe. In addition to providing a variety of office-related outsourcing services, the company also compiles data on the outsourcing industry, such as a report on the top 10 outsourcing destinations in India.