Effect of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) on the Workforce

The previous articles have discussed the impact that the BPO phenomenon has had on the economies of the home and the target countries. This was essentially a macro level perspective about how the BPO sector has impacted these countries. In this article, we drill down and look at the effect that the BPO sector has had on the lifestyles of the workforce and the effect that working in such an industry has had on their professional lives.

First, with the advent of the BPO sector in countries in Asia, numerous young men and women were exposed to the high life with fat paychecks and humungous perks that included the best of what was available. Naturally, this has led to the creation of a large section of the workforce which is addicted to the western way of living and hence incongruous with the lifestyles of the average worker in these countries.

This has led to resentment among those who are left out of the global economy and in countries like India; this resentment clearly shows overtly many times.

As much as the industry captains have advised the BPO employees not to indulge in conspicuous consumption, the very fact that they work in swanky offices and live like the westerners do has evoked lot of ill will between this sector and the rest of the populace who either because they lack the skills or because they were not adroit to take advantage of the opportunities feel left out.

The other aspect that has to be mentioned here is the fact that typically the BPO sector works during the night in countries like India and Philippines because of the time zone differential between these countries and the US. This has led to health issues and problems arising out of disorderly sleeping and eating habits. Indeed, one of the many concerns that have been expressed by the BPO workforce is that they must be rotated between the nighttime working hours and the daytime working hours if they are to remain fit and healthy. In fact, many BPO’s take the help of qualified medical personnel to assist their employees in striking a healthy work life balance and to see that they do not burn out quickly.

Turning to the impact that the BPO sector has had professionally, the workforce in these countries is very much professional and tuned into the working style of the west. Compared to the disadvantages that we have discussed above, this is one major plus that working in the BPO sector has bestowed on the workforce. The point here is that the skill addition and the value adding work has made these employees confident and innovative and ready to take up challenges of world class work.

In conclusion, the BPO sector has had a positive and negative impact on the workforce and it is the job of the industry leaders to ensure that the positives outnumber the negatives and see it to that there is a healthy balance between work and personal lives for the employees.


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