Skip to main content

Offshoring Due To Lack of Trained Workers? Talk To the Hand

I've only had one cup of coffee this morning and I'm still in slightly-grumpy "talk to the hand" mode, but a new study isn't sitting very well with me.

The Duke Fuqua School Of Business and The Conference Board have released a new survey that asked U.S. companies about their reasons for offshoring jobs, about the job functions they're sending abroad, and so forth. In other words, offshoring trends.

Essentially, companies told the researchers the main reason they're offshoring jobs is not for the cost savings, but because U.S. workers lack the skills needed to do the work.

Sorry, but I'm not buying what this study is selling. There are millions of U.S. workers with great skills and a lot of newly-discovered free time to put to good use on the job. Their skills might be a bit rusty because they're not using them at the moment, but they're smart, innovative and they can learn quickly if a bit of training is required. Let's be honest here: U.S. companies are offshoring mainly for the perceived cost savings. Offshoring is a money issue that's being framed as a skills issue. Maybe it's not surprising the study finds U.S. employees in the software sector -- who traditionally have made pretty good money -- are the most likely to be affected by offshoring.

Companies are finding, however, that offshoring knowledge jobs is leading to lower efficiencies because they have to train new workers, comply with a foreign country's regulations and so on, which only goes to show that there's always going to be a hidden cost somewhere.

It's time for our country to have an intellectually honest conversation about offshoring. Studies like this one don't help move us in that direction. In the meantime, I need another cup of coffee.

Click here for more about the study.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…