Wednesday, May 11, 2005


In Tom Friedman's book The World is Flat, he talks about all sorts of "sourcings": outsourcing, insourcing, open-sourcing, and homesourcing. Homesourcing is talking a job and allowing people to do it at their home. Friedman takes the example of Jet Blue where their reservation agents are Mormon housewives living in Salt Lake City.

I like this trend. As Americans spend more and more time working, now more can spend those hours at home. For working parents I think this is much better for families. Also from an environmental perspective this is a big win as offices are horrible. First you have to build them. Then you have to use all sorts of energy to run them. Then you have people commuting to and from them each day. The more people that work at home, the better it will be for families and the environment. And any job that can be "digitized" can be homesourced. So tons of jobs are available for this type of transition.

The Seattle PI did a nice write up on the trend.

More than 100,000 U.S. workers now field customer service calls from home, according to a recent report by consulting firm IDC. During the next two years, one of every 10 U.S. call centers is likely to shift at least partly to home-based agents, according to another report by consultant Gartner Inc.

Some dub it "homeshoring."

It's not as cheap as offshoring, the shift of operations to countries with pools of low-paid but well-educated workers. But companies bent on cutting costs also see home agents as a way to avoid some of the consumer complaints common to overseas call centers.

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