Some will go about it independently. Others will group
together around consultancy community sites. In the United
States, many sites present the services of self-employed
people (accountants, technicians, salespeople ...). Some
are simply shop windows, while others offer more advanced
functions such as time management.
If you still need to be convinced of the share that the
teleworkers will have in the market place, suffice to
say that in England there are already more than a million
teleworkers (or homeworkers). And by the beginning of
the new millennium, there will be tens of millions worldwide
able to sell their services in any country, once the small
problem of language and social legislation is overcome.
This scenario should be qualified slightly : many office
managers have the dream of leaving the city behind for
ever and going to live on a tropical island, or in the
depths of Provence. We can only talk of such fantasies
on condition that the telecommunication networks essential
for homeworking are of high quality (preferably high bandwidth)
which is only the case in big cities ! For this reason
homeworking may concern more city dwellers initially.
In addition, regular physical meetings, depending on the
work in hand, are still necessary to avoid the sensation
of isolation and to check on the work's progress as well
as the reliability of the homeworkers.
But the different forms of sub-contracting will also
change, because thanks to information technology a company's
network will start to interconnect more closely with that
of its suppliers. This will have the effect of bringing
companies' organisation closer, resulting in less of a
customer/supplier relationship and more of a partnership.
An employee's closest colleagues are more and more frequently
outside the company where he works rather than inside
As in the case of software agents, depending on sub-contractors
needs to be carefully examined. It would seem to be relevant
1. When it allows costs to be reduced without compromising
the quality demanded by customers : market transparency
will force companies to achieve new production targets.
Until now, sub-contracting in developing countries has
been mostly limited to industry. Now, thanks to computer
networks (notably Internet) and the meeting of cultures,
it is becoming more common to see French companies sub-contracting
services, which sometimes require a high level of qualification,
in developing countries.
2. When skills which are not available in the short term
within a company are required : specialists are expensive,
experts even more so. Competent experts are even more
expensive and rare. All good reasons for sub-contracting
specific jobs to external consultants or technicians.
3. When there is a sudden and temporary increase in the
level of activity : the fast reactions required by today's
economy means that it is essential to manage human resources
in the short term. Recruitment is becoming faster, and
it is sometimes more practical to sub-contract a job for
which a full-time post should be created, if there are