No corner of the world has been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Software development outsourcing has been affected by shortages in the workforce as a result. To continue to stay competitive, companies will need to pivot their attention to other sources for their outsourcing needs.

Traditional Outsourcing

Outsourcing has been shipped to places where the cost is lower. Places like Eastern Europe, with a large population willing to work in IT outsourcing, are excellent sources of employees. Eastern European countries are a top choice for large enterprises largely due to their cost-effective service. With development costs 30-35% lower than those in the U.S., they have been on track to be the fastest-growing outsourcing market.

How Has COVID-19 Affected Software Development Outsourcing?

In countries such as India and Philipinnes where labor costs less, employers may not have the financial means to support changes in work conditions caused by the pandemic. Providing adequate social distancing, plexiglass barriers, and masks or gloves is not financially possible for many of these companies. This means that if employees do return to work in these locations, the rate of infection is much higher than at companies that can provide full protection.

This low cost has a price though; lower quality of work conditions. In Europe or the U.S., there is a bare minimum standard of workplace quality. This doesn’t exist in all countries, and these poor conditions worsen the infection rate of COVID-19.

All this is happening as COVID-19 numbers in countries like India skyrocket to the highest they’ve been during the pandemic. Some teams are seeing drops of 25% in their attendance because more people are getting sick and can’t come in. This means a drop-in service, and it is no longer as cost-effective to outsource to these countries anymore.

How to Cope With Changes in Software Development Outsourcing Due to COVID-19

As COVID-19 changes our approach across industries, it’s time to re-evaluate our approach to outsourcing. Hiring a different company has long been a way of shifting the responsibility for worker rights to someone else. If the workers aren’t employed by a European or American company there’s no need for work standards from those countries. However, the lack of standards leads to dangerous work environments, as evidenced by this pandemic.

It’s time for companies to treat outsourced workers with the same considerations they would their own employees. Standards of financial, social, and safety well-being need to be considered when outsourcing.

Companies that expect to continue to grow and innovate need to ask themselves:

  • What are the environments these workers will work in?
  • Are they working safely?
  • Are there programs in place to make sure they are treated as well as they would be in the company’s home country?

Coping With Changes in Software Development Outsourcing

By adhering to responsible business practices and encouraging them in outsourcing companies, we can easily improve working conditions. This not only has social ramifications but will also give these companies an edge against competition not forward-thinking enough to see the benefit of a happy healthy workforce.