The difference between delegating and outsourcing – Outsourcing 2.0, Part 1

These days, you can delegate and outsource just about any job – stopping short of getting someone to actually live your life for you. Although, at the rate that technology is evolving, here at MyHelpster, we think it could be just a matter of time before you’ll be able to let some sort of robotic cloned version of yourself take over the humdrum steps that make up the bulk of your daily existence and do it on your behalf.


Seriously though, what do you think is the one skill that all people who have made it to the top tiers of management and power have in common with each other? No, not a habit of wearing winning smiles or well-tailored suits. In fact, we’re sure that, true to the saying, the late Steve Jobs still won’t be caught in one…


The common bond most successful people share is that they have (or have acquired, because luckily it can be learned) the ability to get things done. And they do this by delegating tasks to other people. No matter what field you are in – business, Information Technology, entertainment, politics, art, agriculture – if you want to accomplish a great deal? At some point, you will need to stop being an utter control freak about everything and learn to ask other people to help you accomplish your goals by handing out to-do lists – or, more formally, outsourcing entire jobs to them. Why? For numerous reasons, not least of which is that it will free you up to do more important things with your time, such as coming up with even more ways to be innovative and brilliant and rule the world.


It is therefore unsurprising that the art of delegating has been the inspiration behind and subject of countless management books and blog posts setting out to explain what it is and how you too can master it.


However, what most of these book authors and bloggers frequently neglect to mention is that the nature of work and the corporate workplace around us is drastically and rapidly changing. For one, the 9 – 5 workday in offices might soon be a relic of the past. In the near future, our colleagues, teams, secretaries and employees won’t be in the cubicle next to us, or even a few desks over. They’re already vanishing from those office chairs they used to occupy. According to reports, approximately one third of Americans (which amounts to around 42 million people) have already forsaken the office in favour of freelancing. And they’re not coming back. A forecast by software company Intuit, which is based on the results of a study they had done, claims that 40% of the U.S. workforce – or a staggering 60 million people – will consist of freelancers by 2020.


So the delegating of yesterday, in which a task that you did not want to do yourself was traditionally assigned to someone else inside your company (typically a co-worker or colleague with a lower level position than you) is becoming obsolete, along with the conventional work environment. Instead, the trend is shifting towards outsourcing – which is when you hire individuals or teams working outside your own company to assist you with particular tasks or skill sets which you yourself or your employees are not necessarily capable of.


In our next blog post, we will tell you which steps you can follow when choosing between delegating or outsourcing; and tell you about some useful services that will make outsourcing in the 21st Century as easy as clicking a few buttons on a website.


Written by Ragel Nel