Someone told me today that something like 40% of Moncton’s call centres are now using home agents to augment their workforce. I have heard about a number of other companies that are now using workers from around the province. Lexitech uses freelance translators from around the world.
We need to get a real handle on this. Someone should hire a consultant (ahem) to try and get some formal numbers to see if this is a small trend or a big one. I remember discussions back in the mid 1990s about using telecommunications to create an innovative model for urban/rural development. New Brunswick is still one of the most rural provinces in Canada and there was some talk back then about instead of forcing urbanization we might be able to have a new model with urban hubs and distributed work to homes or pods in small communities.
Maybe it was a pipedream. I see that as of the 2006 Census, we had less people (as a percentage of the workforce) working at home than the national average.
But something might now be brewing and it would be interesting to get some data on it.