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Not necessarily. Some companies have established telecommuting
programs for their regular employees.
However, I believe we all could learn some things from the outsourcing
industry (whether offshore or not). At present, many companies have
lost much of their depth of experience internally--they have cut
muscle and not only the fat--and are more frequently turning to
outsourcing even for some of the most basic development functions.
One very hard lesson we have all been learning is that few companies
today reward employee loyalty. This is obviously a bitter lesson to
learn, and companies over a period of years often learn too late that
their cost of doing business is increased because of it.
When it comes to contracting, there are mail lists and some specialty
job shops that provide assignments that are done off-premises for the
In addition to networking, I believe that the most successful
contractors are very good at marketing themselves. For example, you
may in your introductory materials make a positive statement that you
are "fully equipped to work offsite, if this is more convenient to the
client. Many find that this is preferable, and it is an optional
service." That way, you bring it up without making it a prerequisite
of being hired.
This is at least somewhat similar to the outsourcing companies' sales
pitch--that they absorb much of the overhead of internal employees and
reduce the long-term costs for the client companies.
Meanwhile, we are daily seeing the erosion--sometimes, the
elimination--of pension benefits throughout industry. Therefore, there
is increasingly less difference between "permanent" employees and
Frankly, I believe a large portion of the future of our profession
will entail entrepreneurial tech comm people who put together groups
of contractors and sell their services as an outsourcing docs shop.
Properly designed and funded, this should be a very winning
proposition--especially given that such an operation can offer
benefits that a single contractor can usually not get, and given that
the outsourcing shop can employ individuals to work from their homes
invisibly to the client companies.
Several firms have tried this, and no doubt there are a few around
today. However, I believe we are only now entering a time when this
would be fully acceptable to the majority of clients.
On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 10:07:51 -0700 (PDT), John Posada
<jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> Then does it follow that if someone wants to be successful in
> telecommuting, they should learn from the offshoreing industry?
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