Is Outsourcing the future?

Outsourcing has been a popular business strategy for many years, and is only set to increase in the future. So what does that mean for businesses? And what are the benefits of outsourcing to both the outsourcer and the individual/company being outsourced to?

I lived in Australia for a couple of years, and one thing that stuck out the most while I was working there was that their attitude towards work was completely different to that in the UK. I felt as though Australians worked to live. There was a heavy focus on making sure you enjoy your time outside of work, something I’d never experienced before in the UK.

 

When I moved back home, I then felt as though a dark cloud was hanging over me, being back in the ‘live to work’ environment. 

 

However, over the past few years there has been a huge shift in priorities. Well-being, balance, flexibility and fulfilment are gaining importance, and people are no longer willing to put themselves in unhappy situations. They are starting to take matters into their own hands, whether that be finding a role at a company with benefits that match their values, exploring freelance opportunities or setting up their own business altogether.

Outsourcing
So what does this mean for the future?

 

Many things have changed about the working landscape over the past few years. Remote work is continuing to rise, companies have trialled the 4-day work week, and more employees than ever have been leaving their jobs to pursue new career paths (AKA The Great Resignation).

 

Businesses are going to have to adapt to this. It will be a season of change, with companies not only needing to prioritise business growth but also having their employees well-being as a genuine core focus (which let’s be honest, should have been standard anyway but in reality was more of a tick-box exercise). After all, a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

 

So I want to explore the role Outsourcing will play in the future of the working world, looking at it from two perspectives: businesses and individuals.

 
Business benefits:

 

Cost benefit

Let’s start with a biggie! Outsourcing can be much less expensive than hiring full-time employees. Employing staff has a cost attached to it, from providing equipment & infrastructure (such as a laptop, phone, office space and all of the furniture that goes with it), to the cost of maintaining them (training, payroll, tax, National Insurance, holiday pay, sick pay etc). When outsourcing, all of these are typically handled by the business or individual you’re working with, so will end up saving you money overall. It also means having team members who are working the hours needed to complete the tasks set, as opposed to being salaried for 9-5 hours but only working for 3 of those hours per day.

 

Flexibility

Outsourcing can provide businesses with the flexibility to quickly scale up or down as needed. Businesses often work in phases, so you may find yourself needing more support through a busy launch period, or needing a new skillset while working on a sprint to boost visibility. Outsourcing allows you to build your team around your current priorities, knowing that you have the best people in place to support you. This also means you are able to onboard new team members without having to worry about notice periods, or perhaps changing the team if priorities and direction change. 

 

Varied skillset

Outsourcing can allow businesses to work with individuals or teams with specific expertise. For example, outsourcing to a Digital Marketing agency would comprise of a TikTok specialist, Instagram specialist, Pinterest Specialist, Blog Writer, Video Editor, Podcast Editor… Outsourcing can be a great way to get a variety of skills, without having to hire multiple people whom you may not need full-time, or one person who is okay at multiple tasks.

 

→ Entrepreneurial spirit

In my opinion, the entrepreneurial spirit is seriously underrated. It embodies ambition, resourcefulness, critical-thinking, responsibility, leadership, action-taking, resilience and people who aren’t afraid to try and learn along the way. Who wouldn’t want that on their team?

 

Reduced risk

All of these factors lead to a reduced risk. Knowing that you have a team of specialists, all with expertise in their chosen fields, focusing on tasks that they are great at, who you are able to onboard as soon as you need them, and adapt as your business changes over time, with lower costs and greater flexibility will all lead to you having a greater competitive advantage.

 
 
Individual benefits:

 

Choosing who you work with

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve had my fair share of nightmare bosses in my time. Being able to work with people who share similar values and whose vision you’re passionate about working towards makes such a huge difference. Feeling motivated to get up and work towards that, alongside a team that lights you up, instead of going to bed dreading yet another day has a massive impact on all areas of your life.

 

Working on tasks you enjoy

By working as a freelancer or setting up your own business, you have the option of only offering tasks you enjoy doing, or bringing in your own team members to take over the tasks you don’t enjoy. Being able to focus in on tasks and areas that you’re passionate about and that excite you will ensure you continue enjoying what you’re doing.

 

Freedom & Flexibility

You are able to manage your schedule to factor in things that you truly value in life. Want to take a Tuesday morning off to treat your mum to brunch? Or a Friday to look after your nieces/nephews? No need to check if you have enough holiday days or get approval from your manager as you are in control of your own schedule and can make it work. And it doesn’t just affect your personal life. If you have a new interest that you want to explore and spend time on, you can. You’re no longer restricted to a fixed job description and have the freedom to see where your interests take you.

 

→ Access to new opportunities

A whole new world of opportunities opens up to you when embarking on that self-employed life. You’ll find yourself meeting ambitious, driven people with huge goals who empower you to dream big too. What may start as a single offer in your product suite will often expand, sometimes in a direction you never thought was possible, as you push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things. 

 

→ Professional development

Starting a business or working on a freelance basis can be one hell of a learning curve. Not only are you the decision maker in your own business, learning about things such as tax and data protection, but you also have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from other visionary leaders. You’ll find yourself learning at a much faster rate, and growing immensely through putting yourself in new, and sometimes nerve-wracking, situations. 

 

 

Overall, outsourcing can be a win-win situation for both the business doing the outsourcing and the individual or company being outsourced to, and is likely to continue to be an important strategy for businesses in the future.

 

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