Transition of One's Office to a Home

 By: Brian Nicholas
The Internet has brought about an undreamt revolution in the information technology. Anyone can get in touch with anybody, living in any corner of the world, in a few seconds. Now, the distance between countries is no longer a problem. As a result, the world has shrunk into a single global village.

The communication revolution, ushered in by the internet, has radically changed the concept of office and the work done therein. The traditional view was that employees should work in an office within the bounds of strict disciplinary control, and that too under close supervision of a superior.

The removal of international geographical boundaries between countries, in this way, has resulted in far-reaching economic consequences which have affected, specially the job market to a very large extent. On-shore and off-shore outsourcing of work has assumed an important method of recruiting employees to do work from home that is normally done in an office.

More and more companies in developed countries now outsource work, such as call centre services, sending e-mails and preparation of salary payment vouchers, business development, Internet Research, Data Entry, web design work, graphics work, article writing, software development, accounting, book keeping, secretarial work, virtual Assistants and many more.

Even developing countries have been caught up by this trend. “Myhome-Myoffice.com” is the caption of an article that appeared, not long ago, in a prestigious newspaper published in Sri Lanka.

This has become the bible citation of several countries in the region to which India has given the lead. Even in Sri Lanka there are a couple of companies and individuals that provide outsourced services for the U.S.A., Canada, France and the United Kingdom. They also have some virtual workers in their employ.

Outsourcing can be harnessed to blunt the acuteness of joblessness in the region which is considered to be a developing zone. This social problem needs solution if political stability is to be established and terrorist infection eradicated. So the current tendency in this part of the sphere is to “maximize the benefits of outsourcing.”

In this connection, it has to be mentioned that outsourcing is of special benefit to certain sectors. They are mothers with kids to look after at home, physically disabled persons deprived of movement from place to place and retired and over age individuals who find it difficult to get work.

Another invisible advantage flowing from outsourcing is that it curbs indirectly, at least to some extent, noise pollution and air pollution at a time when environmental degradation is threatening the survival of life on earth. Since the number of people driving decreases as a result of their staying to work from home, the proportionate decline in the volume of smoke and noise emitted by their vehicles is quite considerable. It could be said that, in a way, internet is environmental- friendly, for the information technology has transformed what once identified as white collar jobs to green collar jobs.

Why do companies or firms resort to this method? It is solely because outsourcing is financially advantageous to employers in more ways than one. At the same time, people who are thus employed too gain many benefits. Let’s see how outsourcing is beneficial to the employer as well as the employee.

How the employer is benefitted

• An employer could enlist employees from a wider area, either locally or from abroad, to perform the work outsourced.

• As the work done is home-based, there is no need to provide office space or accommodation, office equipment and no involvement of recurrent expenses connected with stationary, furniture, lighting, heating etc.

• Absence of travelling and late attendance results in increased productivity.

• In the event of the expansion of the organization, it could be done without additional cost.

• When there is the feeling in the employee that he himself is the master, it leads to self confidence and job satisfaction which, in turn, result in more productivity.

• Risk of strike action and go-slows is completely absent.

• When there are no strikes, customers will have a greater reliance in the organization, which, in turn, will earn increased profits.

• As it is more or less a privilege to work from home, employees will discipline themselves and adhere to stipulated targets and other specific requirement voluntarily.

• There is no necessity to exercise supervision as the employee himself or herself will not behave in a way to jeopardize his or her livelihood.

• No need to pay fringe benefits such as annual bonuses, retirement pensions, compensations for accidents incurred during work hours, incentive allowances etc.

• No risk of strikes or go-slows.

• If the work is not up to the required standard or the output is low, he can be laid aside, at any time, without assigning any reason.

How the employee is benefited

• Home-based work is a blessing on parents, especially for professionally qualified non-working mothers who have child care responsibilities to attend to. Mothers in developing countries too are vacating their fixed work and gradually taking to outsourcing.

• Outsourcing gives the opportunity for gainful employment to born disabled persons and soldiers who are deprived of movement.

• Retired persons who spend the evening of their life at home unprofitably will not be a burden on the society if they could do some outsourcing work.

• People who come under the over-age group too are highly benefited as age is no barrier for this type of assignments.

• Absence of disturbances or interruption at home and absence of travelling to an office are factors that will result in greater output.

• Home-based work results in a monetary saving in the following items:
- Absence of travelling
- No need to buy clothes for office wear
- Can take home-made food.

• Flexibility of work hours is a big advantage as outsourcing does not require a strictly specified time schedule. It can be adjusted in accordance with the personal needs of the individual concerned.
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