Monday, June 04, 2007

Outsourcing Your Life

Offshore outsourcing has transformed the way U.S. companies do business. Now, some early adopters are figuring out how to tap overseas workers for personal tasks. They're turning to a vast talent pool in India, China, Bangladesh and elsewhere for jobs ranging from landscape architecture to kitchen remodeling and math tutoring. They're also outsourcing some surprisingly small jobs, including getting a dress designed, creating address labels for wedding invitations or finding a good deal on a hotel room, for example.

Such "personal offshoring" is still new and represents a tiny fraction of the more than $20 billion overseas outsourcing industry. But management consultants and economists say it's likely to evolve into a larger niche as offshore workers identify the opportunities. Thanks to instant messaging, computer scanners and email attachments, any work that doesn't require meeting in person has the potential to be done overseas.

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