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Old 06-13-2007, 10:04 AM
 
Location: WA
5,398 posts, read 21,420,026 times
Reputation: 5908

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I've worked with a lot of those contractors in far-away places. I've never yet seen them deliver the same level of service as the people they replaced. I don't think they were ever intended to do so. It's just part of the game. The companies who offshore the work don't really care if the quality goes down or the work takes twice as long. All they look at is the bottom line.

I am lucky we can't communicate with them by phone. They don't speak enough English or repeat a learned script. They read English well so it's all by email. I stumbled over a huge mistake made by some of these folks. I knew immediately it would be a problem. I emailed my boss and my bosses boss outlining what I knew about the error and what the consequences of a database release would be. I was told to more or less shut up. I can follow a direct order just fine! They did their release and a disaster ensued. I was darn lucky I had copies of those emails and the responses.

Yeah, I have enough first-hand knowledge of that world wide market!
It does sound like you experienced a typical poor outsourcing result and many of us have been frustrated talking with someone across the globe that is reading a script, but all are not like that.

On the other hand I have seen excellent results from overseas workers that are given good direction and are properly managed. There are thousands of jobs doing detail work (in medicine, banking, information processing, etc.) that take trained expertise but do not require extensive communications in English that are performed effectively overseas. In one job I saw ongoing back-office accounting tasks performed overnight for one quarter the cost and with better accuracy. Have seen numerous program maintenance tasks performed at a fraction of the cost here with good results, again with good management.

My point was just that the global economy is changing things and we can continue to do well if we show we offer superior results, and/or leverage the skills we get overseas to our benefit.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:56 AM
 
Location: United States
688 posts, read 2,603,717 times
Reputation: 482
What about having a friend join you in your telecommute career? Say for instance, a couple of moms who are friends, share the same space with two computers and mulitple phone lines. In the very next room a nicely set and safe room for the tots to play and nap while the moms are getting their work done, taking calls, entering data, etc. The mom's could take turns taking care of the babies needs and playing with them, doing the laundry, etc. Having a co-worker on board would break up the monotony, get the work done more efficiently/promptly and the little ones wouldn't feel neglected. Many moms love being a mom, but feel they've sacrificed their family income contribution to stay at home. I know, I'm one of them. To many of us moms, it's still a desire to make money and be a great mother!
For me personally, I do not like day care for my child. I also know how difficult it is to find a nanny that you fully trust and not to mention you just feel like you've not been there for your child when you come home and you have to make dinner, and feed the baby, bathe the baby and then they fall asleep! It's like 3-4 hrs. tops! Anyway, I'm running off the topic a little.....
It just seems like a good idea to have a buddy system. It would work for guys too I believe. If you need to meet with clientele, a good idea is finding a nice cafe or bistro that doesn't have a lot of noise going on and conduct your business there instead of at your home.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,637 posts, read 4,231,097 times
Reputation: 4591
I work from home about once a month out of necessity. I couldn't do it full time until my kids were all in school and then probably not during the summer. They are a constant distraction.

It is nice to be able to do it on the odd occassion though and would have to deplete my sick/vacation time if I were not able to...
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:10 AM
HDL
 
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,141 posts, read 6,025,740 times
Reputation: 8244
Thumbs up I agree yellowsnow

As a Buyer from the manufacturing sector, I've watched department after department get outsourced and with terrible results. First it was manufacturing, then back office (IT, Acctg, AP/AR, Purchasing & Planning, and so on). Like you stated, management does not seem to care, it's all about the bottom line .

Here's the funny part though. Every single company I worked for ended up outsourcing their manufacturing to a Contract Manufacturer (CM). CM's don't design or sell their own products (unless they're an ODM), but make their money by building products for lots of customers.

The CM gets the contract initially by bidding the lowest (most of the time ).Then that CM screws up for years, not building the product in the quoted amount of time, over buying material, quality issues, etc., until my company finally decides it's time to go out for another quote and then a new CM bids lower only to go through that same cycle over again .

Don't get me started on outsourcing - Arrrrhhhhhhh!!!

Okay, but I digress. I believe in telecommuting or shortening the work week to 4 days. Unfortunately I have seen loads of people 'abuse' telecommuting and ruin it for everyone else (IMHO). It is my dream to telecommute in my next position as least 1/2 time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I've worked with a lot of those contractors in far-away places. I've never yet seen them deliver the same level of service as the people they replaced. I don't think they were ever intended to do so. It's just part of the game. The companies who offshore the work don't really care if the quality goes down or the work takes twice as long. All they look at is the bottom line.

I am lucky we can't communicate with them by phone. They don't speak enough English or repeat a learned script. They read English well so it's all by email. I stumbled over a huge mistake made by some of these folks. I knew immediately it would be a problem. I emailed my boss and my bosses boss outlining what I knew about the error and what the consequences of a database release would be. I was told to more or less shut up. I can follow a direct order just fine! They did their release and a disaster ensued. I was darn lucky I had copies of those emails and the responses.

Yeah, I have enough first-hand knowledge of that world wide market!
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,254,824 times
Reputation: 7364
I telecommute, although I'm referred to as a "remote" employee and love it. I also know tons of people who do it and lots of companies that offer it. But they don't just throw an ad in the paper looking for people to work at home. You've gotta be qualified for the job before you get the benefit of working at home for that position. In other words, I've always applied for positions for which I could see the potential to have flex time/telecommute and networked like crazy.

I've done it for the past 7 years for various companies as an employee (vs independent contractor) and have always negotiated for it as part of the hiring process. Also, in all of my experience with remote staff, we've always been more productive than in-office. In fact, as crazy as it sounds, we struggle with NOT working all the time. Its really easy to just answer one more email or make one more call. Anyway, I think its a good thing for everybody all around.

Re outsourcing: we have remote staff all over the country and it works fine. But my company tried outsourcing internationally once and it bombed big time.
we were on overtime for months cleaning up their mess
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,354,865 times
Reputation: 3185
My husband is in a position that allows him to telecommute. I don't know how often he does it but he loves being able to do it. Liz
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