We can probably thank Tim Harris and his book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
. It's a faintly poisonous variation on the "other people's money" and "how to succeed without really trying" school of thought.
Most of it is the traditional "approach your employer with this idea" and "get rich starting your own corporation" stuff you've seen or read about before.
But the real "new idea" he has is the recommendation you outsource
as much of your work life as possible to offshore 'boiler-room' business service and manufacturing firms. He recommends India very highly. Nothing really new here. Major corporations have been doing this for the last two decades. But Tim's 'contribution' to making the world a slightly darker place is how he shows where it's possible (although not as easy as he makes it sound) for individuals
living in wealthier, well-connected countries to do the same.
Guess Tim's "big idea" is slowly making it's way into the mainstream corporate world, huh?
The only problem is I can see a scenario where the larger corporate world just might come to embrace this practice.
Consider - why go through the hassle of having the mother ship qualify and manage subcontractors on a project basis? Hire somebody (under the usual employment contract) and allow him/her get the job done any way they can. If they need additional help or resources, don't come begging to daddy for additional money or help. Go hire or get whatever you need. "Out of your paycheck, mate! That's what you're getting paid for. You said you could do it - so you'd better deliver! Remember, you signed an employment agreement with us...unless of course you just want to pack up...and also pay back what we've paid you to date...."
Maybe a little far fetched today.
But they said the same thing about people working from home, pumping their own gas, ringing up their own groceries, home-schooling, and finding and paying for their own medical insurance plan not too long ago.
Yup...I can see it coming. No more managerial employees or traditional white collar jobs. Everybody either a contractor or subcontractor.
The securities analysts and corporate attorneys will positively salivate at the "opportunities for increased flexibility" this would make possible.
Please... Don't anybody suggest it to them.