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(Fortune)   While you work from home now, the chickens may soon be coming home to roost, overseas   (fortune.com) divider line
    More: Scary, MIT Sloan School of Management, Employment, remote work discussion, Anna Stansbury, higher education, high-paying white collar jobs, National Bureau of Economic Research, assistant professor of work  
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1593 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Sep 2022 at 5:56 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-09-30 3:26:09 PM  
Not being allowed to deduct as an operating cost any jobs offshored for tax purposes and being barred from doing any business or contracts with government agencies is a simple solution.
 
2022-09-30 3:26:52 PM  
This article rings true to me.

Once you prove that physical presence is not required why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

About half my software team is in Poland. The other half in the US. Both halves of the team are very skilled and do great work. The team in Poland is about 60% cheaper than the Americans.

It's coming.
 
2022-09-30 3:28:27 PM  

SpectroBoy: This article rings true to me.

Once you prove that physical presence is not required why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

About half my software team is in Poland. The other half in the US. Both halves of the team are very skilled and do great work. The team in Poland is about 60% cheaper than the Americans.

It's coming.


The team in Poland are suckers and should demand level pay.
 
2022-09-30 3:31:45 PM  

I am Tom Joad's Complete Lack of Surprise: SpectroBoy: This article rings true to me.

Once you prove that physical presence is not required why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

About half my software team is in Poland. The other half in the US. Both halves of the team are very skilled and do great work. The team in Poland is about 60% cheaper than the Americans.

It's coming.

The team in Poland are suckers and should demand level pay.


We are paying fair market value for that market.
In fact, we pay very well for that market.
That's how we got the good ones.
 
2022-09-30 3:44:15 PM  

SpectroBoy: We are paying fair market value for that market.
In fact, we pay very well for that market.


You said "for that market" twice.

What happens when they ask for salaries close to or the same as those in the US?

And I feel like I've seen this story time and time again over the years.

Companies rejoice that technology allows them to hire foreign workers on the cheap. Then they realize that the cheap work is crap work. (I don't want to stereotype by bringing up the specific countries that people always seem to bring up.) Then the hire Americans or westerners again.

It's the cycle of life. Work life.
 
2022-09-30 3:59:47 PM  
There is expense in managing a team in a foreign country (legal, hr, accounting, taxes, etc)

If their cost approached that of US workers the Polish office would be closed.

They can also buy a house for about 1/3 of a house here. It's not as abusive as you are trying to paint it. We pay as much or more than Polish companies in the same city.
 
2022-09-30 4:00:35 PM  

eurotrader: Not being allowed to deduct as an operating cost any jobs offshored for tax purposes and being barred from doing any business or contracts with government agencies is a simple solution.


Woah, that is a really good idea.  Are you sure you belong on Fark?
 
2022-09-30 4:16:13 PM  
This is the 'Off-Shore' problem, not a 'Staffing' problem. It will continue until someone FINALLY farkING NOTICES a robust middle class is required to BUY YOUR PRODUCTS. Yeeesh.
 
2022-09-30 5:20:19 PM  
YOUR NOT MY REAL DAD!
 
2022-09-30 5:58:58 PM  
It is always, somehow, the worker's fault, isn't it?
 
2022-09-30 6:13:31 PM  
I work for a big four firm and we have been doing this for years. I've even spent time in India doing some of the training. The line we were fed id that a lot of this is mundane work that allows the US counterparts to do more serious work. That was about 10 years ago. Then the creep starts. A little here and there more and more work is sent offshore to increase profits. OTOH we are short of all kinds of people here. If it requires a lot of face time with clients your job here is ok. Mine sort of does. And their are licensing issues when it comes to signing off on work. I'll be done in ten years so I'm hopeful I'll make it out. But ya never know.
 
2022-09-30 6:15:50 PM  
The third question that wasnt asked was "does the offshore team need to work in tandem with US based teams?" It works well if the remote workers are working shifts 8-to-12 hours offset from local based teams. I've got a couple projects where the timing works better for the offshore teams to do a job, because it needs to be done in the middle of the night in the US, but it's a normal day shift offshore. However, there's also a couple projects where I absolutely have to have someone on the same time zone as east coast US, and a very solid communication skills. Sometimes it goes both ways...
 
2022-09-30 6:16:41 PM  

SpectroBoy: There is expense in managing a team in a foreign country (legal, hr, accounting, taxes, etc)

If their cost approached that of US workers the Polish office would be closed.

They can also buy a house for about 1/3 of a house here. It's not as abusive as you are trying to paint it. We pay as much or more than Polish companies in the same city.


Poland, aka Gilead East.
 
2022-09-30 6:16:50 PM  

roddikinsathome: This is the 'Off-Shore' problem, not a 'Staffing' problem. It will continue until someone FINALLY farkING NOTICES a robust middle class is required to BUY YOUR PRODUCTS. Yeeesh.


But then 99 44/100% of the companies will say it is the responsibility of the other companies to make it better. Not them.
 
2022-09-30 6:22:46 PM  

FarkingChas: roddikinsathome: This is the 'Off-Shore' problem, not a 'Staffing' problem. It will continue until someone FINALLY farkING NOTICES a robust middle class is required to BUY YOUR PRODUCTS. Yeeesh.

But then 99 44/100% of the companies will say it is the responsibility of the other companies to make it better. Not them.


Everyone wants to be the guy who benefits by undercutting the prices offered by companies that foolishly pay living wages to locals. All the sales, none of the pesky paying solid middle class wages.
 
2022-09-30 6:46:17 PM  
SpectroBoy: why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

Because you can pick one of those things. Skilled people don't work for cheap, they're hotly demanded. Cheaper workers from cheaper countries have "degrees" and "certifications" that amount to jack all. You get what you pay for

If they actually knew the job they would've moved on from peanuts operations
 
2022-09-30 6:58:10 PM  
"Be afraid, be very afraid." FARK YOU. Three words: SPEED. OF. LIGHT.
 
2022-09-30 6:58:19 PM  

rideaurocks: SpectroBoy: why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

Because you can pick one of those things. Skilled people don't work for cheap, they're hotly demanded. Cheaper workers from cheaper countries have "degrees" and "certifications" that amount to jack all. You get what you pay for

If they actually knew the job they would've moved on from peanuts operations


They can just move to a better country? Just like that? No.
 
2022-09-30 7:30:04 PM  
It's a dickens race to the bottom. VP manages to get rid a division right before retirement, getting big bonuses for shipping jobs worked by people who lived in apartments owned by some faceless pension fund that turned out to be his, which defaults on payments as too few people are living in the property to cover the taxes.
 
2022-09-30 8:15:30 PM  

I am Tom Joad's Complete Lack of Surprise: SpectroBoy: There is expense in managing a team in a foreign country (legal, hr, accounting, taxes, etc)

If their cost approached that of US workers the Polish office would be closed.

They can also buy a house for about 1/3 of a house here. It's not as abusive as you are trying to paint it. We pay as much or more than Polish companies in the same city.

Poland, aka Gilead East.


Wat?
 
2022-09-30 8:27:16 PM  
Good luck with that. A good chunk of my job is fixing the data generated by our experts in India before doing analysis on it.

I dare you to port their masterpiece into high level derivative modeling and actuarial risk projects. Do it, and I'll be shorting the company in an hour.
 
2022-09-30 9:03:30 PM  
Please proceed, it will cost companies more in the long run and will be short sighted b/c of the low savings on labor.  I work in QA for for a company that did this in the mid 2008 when the recession hit.   What and efn that was.  All the outsourced work came back due to the fact that none of the overseas due to the fact that none of the overseas teams understood "user" testing, even though it was automated.  Regression testing was a mess.  PM was like why is QA holding up the release ?  yeah good luck with that.
 
2022-09-30 9:10:59 PM  
I am more pro human than pro american so this is fine.  Benefits outweigh the harm by a massive amount I think.
 
2022-09-30 9:27:20 PM  
Sounds like a good time to start up a 're-shoring' consulting firm.
 
2022-09-30 9:36:50 PM  
On the other hand usa has some of the worst worker protections in the world, so what you lose on wages you gain on being able to lay off people at a moment's notice without any kind of notice period.
 
2022-09-30 9:39:00 PM  
Threatening workers with off-shoring or with replacing them with HB-1 Visa workers has been going on for decades. It has jack all to do with the pandemic, quiet resigning, or remote work. It's a time honored method of striking fear in enough workers that they can't come together in a group and protect one another's interests.
 
2022-09-30 9:41:33 PM  

Shaggy_C: On the other hand usa has some of the worst worker protections in the world, so what you lose on wages you gain on being able to lay off people at a moment's notice without any kind of notice period.


How would any of those rules apply to foreign workers? Neither of you are subject to all of the other country's worker protections.
 
2022-09-30 9:46:26 PM  

Russ1642: How would any of those rules apply to foreign workers? Neither of you are subject to all of the other country's worker protections.


Eh?

As a multinational, you hire someone in France and you have to abide by French employment law. That means 35 days vacation and 3+ months notice period. You hire an american, you abide by American law, which says you are providing "At will" employment.

It's about the choice between the two based on the relative cost of cash compensation vs flexibility.
 
2022-09-30 9:56:37 PM  
Valuable resources, but there is an overwhelming attitude in the Subcontinent of "if you squint at the results it might be what you asked for, except we ignored all the documents you gave us."

That results in the IT clones who can't bend their brains to include the djinn level logic to get what they want. They end doing everything they can to cobble together something to explain $10,000 in wasted expense. Mostly that grade of IT staff burnout before they become adept enough to learn how to properly communicate specs. Their fresh faced colleagues with the wrong degree will take their place.

Nowadays I work with my offshore support through automated emails that give them the location of the output and provide the process id to execute. Without fail "Do X now" works flawlessly. Great crew.

Why I'm not allowed to write directly to the staging tables is a "Harrison Bergeron" thing  created by the IT idiots scrambling to explain why their budget only produces unusable results. Since they can't imagine a direct write they won't allow anyone else.

Including those pf us who can scroll a.dataset to find problems. (They literally scream.)

That's my... ugh 15 years working with offshore take on the thing.
 
2022-09-30 10:09:04 PM  

Shaggy_C: Russ1642: How would any of those rules apply to foreign workers? Neither of you are subject to all of the other country's worker protections.

Eh?

As a multinational, you hire someone in France and you have to abide by French employment law. That means 35 days vacation and 3+ months notice period. You hire an american, you abide by American law, which says you are providing "At will" employment.

It's about the choice between the two based on the relative cost of cash compensation vs flexibility.


They're talking about the massive number of qualified technical staff in South Asia and Eastern Europe.

Neither have progressive labor laws and they're staff or contractors of a contracted company.

$275-$300+ an hour "employees."

I mostly blame the imposter laden candidate market in the US. I've yet to work with offshore staff that are some kind of magical to warrant the rate they collect.

For example, one of the "7 or 8" level SQL skill Analysts where I work was blubbering to me today he had an ad hoc report he didn't know where to start with.

I wasted my lunch bailing him out.

We have more than adequate published examples how to assemble. Sadly he looked at my canned query and said, "what does this sub select do?"

Americans can't code, too lazy.
 
2022-09-30 10:18:31 PM  
It's not like this wasn't likely to happen anyway. Most employers don't give a crap about contributing to the well-being of the community and the country.

If it was possible to run Amazon with two people and a million robots, they would, and the CEO would spend all his time figuring out how to fire the other guy.
 
2022-09-30 10:47:28 PM  
Why is fark posting links to 20 yr old articles? This is old news. Off-shoring and outsourcing are already here.

Why the "booga booga" about work from home? If the problem is the American worker is more expensive than the foreign worker, how is adding the cost of office space making me more competitive?

Heck, it's been 10 years since a previous employer flew me to India to train my replacements. Wonderful trip that I'd never be able to afford on my own. Seriously, TFA is as timely as an article on how the cotton gin is going to put people out of work.
 
2022-09-30 10:52:22 PM  

SpectroBoy: I am Tom Joad's Complete Lack of Surprise: SpectroBoy: This article rings true to me.

Once you prove that physical presence is not required why NOT hire a highly skilled person from a cheaper country?

About half my software team is in Poland. The other half in the US. Both halves of the team are very skilled and do great work. The team in Poland is about 60% cheaper than the Americans.

It's coming.

The team in Poland are suckers and should demand level pay.

We are paying fair market value for that market.
In fact, we pay very well for that market.
That's how we got the good ones.


The problem being for people with global skills sets they can easily get a job that will pay what their skills are worth. Eventually the teams with cheap labor get filled people with garbage skills as the good people get better paying jobs.
 
2022-09-30 11:37:27 PM  

NathanAllen: Valuable resources, but there is an overwhelming attitude in the Subcontinent of "if you squint at the results it might be what you asked for, except we ignored all the documents you gave us."


Us: "The standard requires this"
Them: "Can we ignore that requirement?"
Us: "Obviously not"
Them: "So let's just ignore that requirement"
Us: *facepalm*
 
2022-10-01 12:09:31 AM  

8 inches: eurotrader: Not being allowed to deduct as an operating cost any jobs offshored for tax purposes and being barred from doing any business or contracts with government agencies is a simple solution.

Woah, that is a really good idea.  Are you sure you belong on Fark?


Agreed, except...then they turn to American companies who themselves outsource the load-bearing talent.
 
2022-10-01 12:11:15 AM  

roddikinsathome: This is the 'Off-Shore' problem, not a 'Staffing' problem. It will continue until someone FINALLY farkING NOTICES a robust middle class is required to BUY YOUR PRODUCTS. Yeeesh.


Sure, but the middle class doesn't need to be American.
 
2022-10-01 12:19:34 AM  

SomeAmerican: I am more pro human than pro american so this is fine.  Benefits outweigh the harm by a massive amount I think.


Not going to try to talk you out of altruism, but the US government does have some responsibility to do what they can to make out for the American masses. They do look out for Americans, but really for the executives and shareholders...typically at the expense of American workers.
 
2022-10-01 12:47:43 AM  
Not *all* outsourcing yields lower quality work.  Companies that outsource usually don't anticipate the immense administrative, management, and oversight costs essential to offshoring, and fail because of it.  This leads to US-based staff experiencing the consequences of mismanagement and poor communication, blaming it on the folks they deal with half-a-world away instead of the actual cause of failure: their US-based upper management.

In any case, some of y'all should be ashamed.  This thread won't age well if the consensus is: "foreigners can't do good work."  (Do you think they don't have roads, power plants, childhood schooling, medicine, technology, etc.?  There's 10 billion people out there!)  I'd prefer: "Upper management wants to benefit from economic arbitrage, and fails to anticipate the differences between running a multi-national company and a single location, causing strife among offices rather than directed at management."

/It'll always be "us-vs-them"... but some of y'all need to correct who "they" are in this scenario.
//Hint: it's not the foreigners...
///...It's the capitalists.
 
2022-10-01 12:48:47 AM  

eurotrader: Not being allowed to deduct as an operating cost any jobs offshored for tax purposes and being barred from doing any business or contracts with government agencies is a simple solution.


The simple solution is time zone spread but we can't even fill positions for what would be normal working hours for people overseas. Mostly because their domestic tech marker needs are growing.
 
2022-10-01 1:47:01 AM  

BlazeTrailer: roddikinsathome: This is the 'Off-Shore' problem, not a 'Staffing' problem. It will continue until someone FINALLY farkING NOTICES a robust middle class is required to BUY YOUR PRODUCTS. Yeeesh.

Sure, but the middle class doesn't need to be American.


Exactly.

There are approximately 400m people in China and about 100m in India that could be considered middle class.  Africa is growing as well.

Even if 1% of these are le crème de la crème, you are talking about 5m super high performing individuals.  These are not the farmers of old.  They are going to elite universities, have high discipline, and are generally focused on STEM fields.  Add in the growth of AI, decrease if US middle class and incessant biatching about education debt relief, the writing is on the wall.

Some here have a current egotistical view of their performance, but I in upper management am not focused on what you are doing now.  That is mid level BS.  I am focused on 10-20 year plan.
 
2022-10-01 2:51:00 AM  
Definitely see this already happening for a decade. There are no longer manual testers in Electronic Arts USA. They all work in Romania for 1/10th our salary. Half of the dev team was in India and Russia (wonder how that's working out now). Almost all art is now outsourced overseas in games. Those used to be well paying USA jobs.

It was hiat or miss with the quality. Two of the Indian dev teams was great. The other three got fired for producing zero quality over several months. The Romanian test team was great. The overseas art is generally high quality. None of the teams really understood western culture, so doing design work was difficult for them.

I'm out in 4 years so I don't give a fark what happens to the tech space once I'm gone.

/good luck college graduates.
 
2022-10-01 4:15:41 AM  
Soon, market parity will happen, then what?
 
2022-10-01 8:35:55 AM  
Many of the white collar jobs can't be done by people overseas precisely because the US is the cheapest place to hire people that communicate in precise intelligible English. Companies that outsource know they are paying bottom barrel rates to have people who can halfass their English but have no concept of nuance, or sarcasm, and can barely read at the same level as a middle schooler.

Though, to be fair, only half of high school graduates in the US can read at a middle school level.
 
kab
2022-10-01 8:40:22 AM  

SpectroBoy: It's not as abusive as you are trying to paint it.


You're right.  It's probably worse.
 
kab
2022-10-01 8:47:06 AM  

mcmnky: Why the "booga booga" about work from home?


Because of office space cost.  For decades, IT has had absolutely no problem with people that weren't physically present doing work.

Suddenly, supposed lack of team communication is the gravest of issues.  It is all complete and utter bullshiat.
 
2022-10-01 8:56:34 AM  
You don't even have to go beyond a country's borders to find vastly different cost of living variables.  Same-skill-set wise someone living in a popular west coast city will probably want more money then someone living in a modest mid-western city so that they have the same effective spending power compared to living expenses like a mortgage and local tax rates.  It will be interesting to see how that balances out.
 
2022-10-01 9:01:26 AM  
Remember the last time they pulled this stuff they ended up having to hire people to fix the work the overseas workers did. You get what you pay for.
 
2022-10-01 9:26:37 AM  
I work from home and have for over 10 years.  All of my coworkers live in India so if I was going to get laid off I already would have.  Don't discount the value of being in the same time zone as your clients.
 
2022-10-01 9:39:30 AM  
No one's job anywhere is safe anymore, but these threads are amusing for the simpletons who think they have a "safe" job and come in here to brag about it.
Some of them literally make me LoL.

"Hurr! Caint move a turnip twaddler's job, can ya, libruls? Hurrr!"
F**k off, Cletus.
 
2022-10-01 9:39:36 AM  
I now have a remote component to my job, which is nice to take a break from the office grind.  Currently we can do one day a week remote, and I'm hoping for summer to do two.  But the job requires on site support and maintenance, so it's not going anywhere.
 
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