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Remote Support

I just had an interesting interview and wanted perspective.  Everything seemed to be going fine until remote support came up.  I am in a state other than the one the company is and they wanted me to come there. 

No problem.  I told them I would spend three to six months getting everything worked out, from an earlier discussion, I thought this was fine.  No way... Cannot be remote and work for us.  You have to be at the IT building as they do not believe support can be effective from a remote site.
- They use an off-shore vendor for project/heads down coding
- The IT building is in a different state than the corporate headquarters
- The IT building is in a state where they have customers, along with 49 other states and 11 countries.

Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Yes, trust. Some managers simply cannot bring themselves to trust employees out of their sight. And control. Some managers feel they must have people working under them under constant control which becomes difficult if you are off site. It's really that simple. That's his/her way of managing and you can't change it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Probably not.  I have had similar discussions with clients.  In some areas its cross pollination.  In many however it is just the people are unable to effectively manage people they cannot see, touch, etc...

I had this discussion at one point: "How will I know they are working, if I cannot see them."  Since part of the  on-site staff spent a good portion of the day surfing the web, it appeared the problem was not one of proximity.

Mike Gamerland
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Can't they see you on IM?

Old School Mentality Creeping out of the Abyss Again!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

If they thought off-site was feasible, wouldn't they just use more off-shore personnel for the position you're interviewing for?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I think you've come across the first of many such examples of a very interesting development.

Big companies cannot make offshoring work without local expertise to fix the problems. This is absolutely vital for them.

Theoretically they should thus pay higher rates because that expertise is now more important to them, but of course corporates are addicted to low pay rates for technical personnel, and also to treating technical personnel as disposable commodities.

I have seen a few cases where a company desperately needed some expertise, and yet thought they could screw that person's wage down because they had sacked everyone. In one case the guy called their bluff, and the company realised they did actually need him and acceded to his requests.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Agreed that its insecurity in knowing you are working rather than realising that what they need is for you to work when required and that if you are at home you're actually far more likely to be available than in the same building.

There's really no way to convince a manager of the rightness of this, as an external consultant on the other hand its likely to be seen as a positive advantage (we have him/her on a retainer we can yank their chain when we need). 

A creative response might be to offer to work on the basis of demand.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

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