South-Western - Management  
Flat World Fatigue
Topic Internal Environment and Culture
Key Words globalization, offshoring, technology, telecommuting, work creep
News Story

Many technology companies are offshoring jobs to international locations such as India, China and Russia. Hiring workers in other countries can increase profits with round-the-clock productivity. However, U.S. workers are feeling pressure to be available 24 hours a day to coincide with global business hours.

Telecommuting makes business interaction more immediate than ever, but when it interferes with the balance between work and home, "work creep" can set in. Work creep occurs outside traditional business hours, when employees find themselves conducting evening meetings from their laptops at home, or emailing contacts on the weekend. Employees are seeing less reward for their increased hours since companies are not likely to provide bonuses or stock incentives for putting in extra time. Some employers offer flexibility, such as free dinners for working late or alternating weekly meetings with global offices, but other employers contend it's just part of the job.

Demanding hours can lead to fatigue and high-impact turnover. However, managers will need to deal with this issue, since it's estimated that 3.4 million jobs will be offshored in the next decade.

Questions
1.

According to this article, how does the globalization of business affect worker satisfaction?

2.

What steps can a company take to reduce worker fatigue caused by global business hours?

3.

How can a manager convince company executives of the merits of balancing work and home?

Source "Flat World Fatigue," Information Week, May 16, 2005.
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