Specific challenges to hiring remote employees in India

A few interesting points that have come up in recent conversations:

  • Remote work has significant cultural stigma. It isn't yet a mainstream activity in India, so it's looked upon with negativity. For instance, the maid will come over and ask "why aren't you at the office? are you sick?"
  • Infrastructure isn't yet eventually distributed. Moderately reliable internet at the office costs 100x what most pay for internet at home. Even the most expensive home internet (5x baseline) can still be inconsistent.
  • Working from home has a space constraint. An entire family of five to six people could be living in 400 square feet.
  • Labor laws favor full-time employment over contracting. For instance, Indian law requires six months paid leave for mothers. Contractors aren't afforded similar benefits.

Remote work in India works best among the "intellectual elite", but this is still a small percentage of the total engineering talent.

One Reply to “Specific challenges to hiring remote employees in India”

  1. Interesting. I’ve wondered why it’s seems most of the contractors who work from home (at least in the WordPress space) are mostly from North America, Europe or Australia…
    Well actually, I do see quite a few outside of that category, but they’re rarely involved in WordPress core. Usually they’re doing premium plugins or themes on a site that specializes in that (like theme forest) or client work.
    Have you found that too? I’ve wondered why that is… (this post gives some ideas)

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