Why Secretly Outsourcing Job Tasks Isn’t A Good Idea

SUMMARY POINTS

> Outsourcing your job tasks on the DL seems like it would make your life easier
> There are more negatives than positives on secretly outsourcing work
> Fix the root causes and problems with your job and you’ll be much happier

Do you ever have one of those days at work where you wish you could just dump all your work to someone else?

Especially when your boss is dumping more and more work on you by the hour.
The dream would be to get an intern so you could just delegate everything to them and put your feet up, recline back and relax.

Ahh, the dream.

But in today’s modern world, things have changed a lot in regards to temp work support.

Thanks to the internet, you can outsource pretty much anything these days, and countries like India and China have tons of workers who’ll charge peanuts.

Setting up a cross-tabulating, macro-filled, excel database that would take you a week to build for only $5?

Hell effin’ yeah!

Totally worth the personal expense.

Imagine this, you start your day by checking emails and then briefing your secret team of faraway worker bees, then spend the rest of your workday watching cat and dog videos on YouTube and scroll-binging on social media.

At the end of the day or week, you review their work, submit it as if it were your own and enjoy the praise, salary and benefits like the superstar you are.

It’s a nice dream and definitely a realistic one, but is secretly outsourcing your own job tasks really the way to go?

Why Outsourcing Seems Like The Answer

When your back is up against the wall and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all your tasks, outsourcing can seem like a really good idea.

With the ease of using platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, it’s a pretty easy thing to implement too. And, if you’re careful, nobody would even know.

It definitely has some tempting benefits and you could come up with some pretty convincing justifications for doing it.

1. Companies Do It All The Time

Outsourcing is big business. There are whole corporations dedicated to it. So, obviously, outsourcing itself isn’t wrong.

It’s been proven to save costs and up output. That’s why companies do this stuff all the time. They even outsource whole friggin’ departments.

So what difference does it make if an employee decides to adopt the same method?

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

2. You Could Get Rid Of Shallow Work

We spend a huge amount of our time in the office on meaningless shallow work.

This is stuff like checking and responding to emails, organizing files, arranging meetings and writing up notes. It’s the annoying time-consuming things we need to do in order to do our jobs - but they’re not really part of our core jobs.

This isn’t the stuff we’re hired for. It doesn’t move the needle on our objectives and doesn’t significantly add to the company’s bottom line.

Essentially, it can feel like a real waste of time.

But what if you were to outsource all of this shallow work?

Then you could spend your time at work actually being productive on real work rather than just being busy doing other bullshit tasks.

Ultimately, your company would get more out of you - it’d be a win-win!

3. Reduce Stress

A lot of us are overworked and underpaid. We have huge workloads and not enough support to get everything done.

As a result, we end up working overtime and feeling pressured to meet deadlines.

This causes untold amounts of stress, and makes it really hard for us to disconnect from work, even on the weekends or when we’re on vacation.

This chronic stress isn’t good news at all - and can lead to all kinds of physical conditions.

If you can lighten your workload, reducing the amount of pressure on you and lowering your stress levels, then why the hell wouldn’t you?!

At first glance, outsourcing seems like an innovative solution to a lot of common workplace problems. But what about the downside?

Why Outsourcing Definitely Isn’t The Answer

More time to do the work that matters (or do nothing at all) and less stress - undoubtedly these are good things. This outsourcing business can seem like a no-brainer.

And of course, if it really is all it’s cracked up to be, then it won’t be long before it catches on. The Onion takes it to the extreme. The last guy doing all the work could use a vacation at some point.

VIDEO: More American Workers Outsourcing Own Jobs Overseas
YOUTUBE: The Onion
LENGTH: 2:26

Summary points:
> Jahanara is pretty much the world’s cheapest master CPA
> Outsourcing outsourced work is taking it to a whole new level
> Nobody really likes doing work at the office

But outsourcing has been around for a while now, and this trend is yet to sweep the working world. A sure sign that the cons most definitely outweigh the pros.

Here’s the real-deal on why secretly outsourcing isn’t a good move. 

1. It’s Dishonest

Before you even think about the practicalities of outsourcing, there’s one glaring truth that can’t be ignored.

It’s simply dishonest.

Yes, companies outsource all the time but they don’t lie about it! They just lay everyone off.

If you decide to outsource parts of your job, you’ll be deceiving your boss and your company as a whole.

It’s also dishonest to whoever you outsource the work to, as you’ll be presenting their hard work as your own - and probably getting paid 10 times what you paid them to do it.

Remember, we’ve all had those moments when someone else took credit for your work that you busted your ass on all week. How did you feel?

2. It Compromises Security

In every company there are certain things that shouldn’t be shared externally.

Whether it’s financial data, staff personal data or top-secret strategies, this stuff shouldn’t be leaving the trust circle of employees.

As soon as you start outsourcing work, you’ll inevitably have to share confidential information with an outsider. You may even need to share things like passwords, which is a big no-no.

This kind of breach in security is at best is a breach of your employment contract and at worst could lead to some kind of fraud or public leaking of your company secrets.

3. You Lose Your Skills

If you’re outsourcing a particular part of your job that you hate doing - let’s say, financial analysis - then you’re denying yourself the opportunity to develop that skill for yourself, which over the long run could turn out to be something you’re good at.

In fact, if you outsource it for long enough, you could even lose your skills in that area. It’s just like when you haven’t played your fav sport in a long time, your skills degrade over time.

Not only is that a bad thing for your own personal development, but it will also become a problem when you’re ready for a promotion or find a job elsewhere.

You’ll find that you’ve become worse instead of better at your job over time.

4. It Ups Your Stress & Paranoia Levels

Even though you might be outsourcing your work to reduce your stress, you’ll probably just be replacing it with a different type of stress.

As well as having to manage whoever is doing the work, which brings its own challenges, you’ll also have to deal with the constant paranoia of getting caught.

Most of today’s companies track everything you do on your work computer. Don’t think for a second that your company can’t track your web browsing, emails, phone calls, etc.

They can. And they do.

If it’s something that is owned by the company and you’re using it, you pretty much have zero privacy rights.

And even if the company doesn’t bust you, lying and covering up your tracks takes its toll on you, and having to keep up the act will no doubt have a negative effect on your anxiety levels or even more simply, your behavior.

5. You’ll Probably Get Busted

Even after reading this, if your moral compass is still pointing straight towards a YES for outsourcing, think of the consequences if you get caught.

This kind of lie is bound to unravel at some point, whether it takes 3 weeks or 3 years. Even the most sly techie will mess up somewhere along the line and get busted.

At the point of getting caught, your career at your current company will, of course, be over but it could go waaay beyond that.

First, you may find a criminal case being brought against you.

Second, depending on your industry, word may get out and your reputation is nothing but shit, preventing you from finding another job easily.

You think your former employer would give you a reference?

Somehow we don’t see that happening.

This is a huge amount of risk to take on. Especially when there may be a better solution.

Better Ideas For Managing & Getting Your Work Done

If sending your work off to a random person in India rather than doing it yourself has crossed your mind, then it’s safe to say that something about your job isn’t going well.

The first thing to do is to figure out why you’ve gotten to the point where outsourcing seems like the best or only option.

Take some time to ask yourself some questions.

Am I enjoying my work?

Do I feel I have all the tools necessary to get the job done?

Am I taking on too much work by saying yes to everything?

What specific work do I want to outsource and what would I spend that free time on?


Once you answer these questions, you will probably notice that the true reason you want to outsource your work is either because you’re overwhelmed with the workload or because you aren’t enjoying the work.

The good news is that there are plenty of less risky, more productive ways to address these challenges.

This is about fixing the root cause of your pain, not putting a band-aid on it.

If You’re Overworked & Overwhelmed

We’ve all been stressed-out to the max at some point. It’s in these situations when it feels like all hell is breaking loose and piles of work are just being dropped on you.

This is when the idea of secretly outsourcing work is most appealing. It’s the quick fix.

But feeling overwhelmed by work is a common challenge, and one that can almost always be rectified the right way.

A) Ask For Help

If you’re considering outsourcing your work in order to manage your workload, maybe this is a sign that it’s time to get more hands on deck - the official way.

Have a conversation with your manager about getting more support. Oftentimes, they don’t realize that you’re overworked unless you tell them.

If you’re spending late nights and weekends working but all they see is you submitting work on time and never complaining, how will they know that anything is wrong?!

An honest chat with your boss could lead to work being redistributed across the team, more realistic deadlines or even hiring some temporary help just for you. Problem solved!

B) Get Better At Prioritizing

Perhaps you’ve already spoken with your boss and getting extra help isn’t an option - or maybe you’re very aware that the workload isn’t the problem, it’s your productivity or even procrastination.

If this is the case, it’s time to get real with yourself about better workload management.

To curb the crushing effects of procrastination, you can try anything from the pomodoro technique to learning how to get in the zone at work.

If you’re able to stay focused but just get frazzled with how many different things you have going on, then the Eisenhower matrix is your friend! Learn how to manage your workload effectively to reduce your stress and up your productivity.

C) Learn To Say “No” More Often

Do you ever have one of those days or weeks where you have so much going on that you don’t even know where to begin - but when you look at your list you realize that half the shit on there isn’t even part of your fucking job?!

You run through the list and pick out at least 5 things you could have - and should have - said no to.

We all like to be helpful and look good to our boss and colleagues, but sometimes, you just have to push your hand out and say no.

To protect your mental health and to make sure your work is at its highest level, you’ve got to be selective about what extra work you agree to take on.

If you’re too scared or nervous about saying “no” to your boss or other senior management, then read this article to learn how to set boundaries by saying “no” the right way.

If You’re Out Of Love

There are times when, even though you could do the work - and probably with your eyes closed - you just don’t want to.

You can’t find the motivation to even start, let alone work to the best of your ability.

Just the mere act of opening a new blank Powerpoint gets you depressed.

You’re officially out of love with your job.

Hey, it happens to every single one of us.

Sometimes, all that’s needed is an injection of fun and excitement but other times, you feel like the relationship is coming to an end.

And if that’s the case, then it’s time to...

A) Find More Fulfillment

If passion is what you need, there are a number of ways to find it without calling it quits - or sending your work halfway across the world.

First of all, figure out what your purpose is - what would make you jump out of bed each day?

From there, you can figure out ways to fulfill this purpose at work, whether through engaging in extracurricular activities like a local charity or social committee, or through mentoring new up and coming team members.

With a few simple changes, you can make your time at work less sucky and way more awesomer.

B) Stir Up Some Joy & Happiness

Laughter is one of the best ways to bring yourself out of the office doldrums. It doesn’t matter how drab and boring your job may be. When there’s comic relief, it makes work far more bearable.

The key thing is that you really can’t force happiness to happen at work. It’s like falling in love - you can’t force it, but you can give it a little nudge and even create an environment for it to blossom.

One of the best ways to trigger happiness at work is to simply be grateful for the little and big things in life.

Think about this for a minute - the fact that you even have a job that pays you is something to be grateful for. Yes, there are times that you really hate your fucking job. But you’re not homeless and eating out of trash cans, right?

Next, you can turn your office into your own little joy factory by letting happiness happen more often through work BFFs, cubicle greenery decor, gamification, etc.

C) Find A New Job

If you’ve tried to rekindle the love and still feel like quitting your job, then it’s definitely possible that it’s time to move on.

Dust off the old resume, update your LinkedIn profile, reach out to some recruiters and start setting aside an hour every evening for job hunting efforts.

If you’re not quite sure what your new job should look like, then dedicate a weekend morning or afternoon for some focused career planning before you jump into the job hunt.

This way, not only will you save yourself from ruining your career by becoming “that guy who tried to outsource his job and got caught” but you’ll also find yourself on a more rewarding career path that will improve your happiness and wellbeing.

Remember, You’re In Control & You Can Do This

Outsourcing your work on the down-low while your boss is none the wiser may seem like sticking it to the man - but really, it’s an act of desperation.

It’s the kind of action that comes from unhappiness, overwhelm and despondency - none of which we want you to be feeling!

It’s natural that these kinds of feelings happen when you’re overworked, overstressed or simply stuck and bored. But once you’re aware of them, you have the power to do something about it.

You’re in control of your working life - even though it can often feel like you’re at the mercy of your boss and your company.

Take back control by thinking through why you’re feeling this way, deciding what can be done about it, and start taking action.

By taking a more honest approach - both with others and yourself - you’ll ultimately create more joy and fulfillment in your working life, which of course will spill over to your personal life too.

Then, the only outsourcing you’ll be thinking about is getting the kids to do the chores or your partner to do the cooking 😉

Feel Better,
[Cubicle|Therapy]