BPO stands for “business processing outsourcing,” which is when a company contracts an outside provider for services or back office processes. Firms that provide these services are commonly called "BPOs." These companies offer the same services that a company may be hiring employees in-house (or possibly contracting freelancers) to do, but the BPO can usually do it for less.
Very often U.S. companies contract a BPO firm to outsource jobs to another part of the world where labor is cheaper, like India or the Philippines.
However, BPOs also may hire workers in the United States or Canada, when the client company prefers to have North American workers but doesn’t want to hire and employ them itself.
These BPO jobs are often—but not always—home-based positions because a work-at-home workforce can be much cheaper for the BPO firm to maintain. These jobs may be for independent contractors or employees. This is sometimes called homeshoring or homesourcing.
The types of services BPOs offer vary widely. These firms might employ call center agents, data entry operators, transcriptionists, translators or accountants.
Types of BPO Jobs From Home
One of the most common business processes to be outsourced in the United States is call center work. And while most call center jobs are actually in brick-and-mortar call centers, a growing number of BPOs use home-based call center agents. These can be either employment positions or independent contracting.
Below are some call center BPOs that hire home-based workers in the United States:
- Alpine Access
- ARO Contact Center
- Aspire Lifestyles
- Working Solutions
Data Entry and Transcription
Data entry is another common type of work that BPOs offer their clients, and many of the jobs in this field are home based.
Typically the work at home jobs in data entry are for independent contractors. Often they pay per piece, which can mean less than minimum wage. Many data entry companies make use of crowdsourcing to spread the available work out to a large, remote workforce. Transcription requires more skill and usually pays better than data entry.
Hospitals, medical practices and insurance companies commonly contract with BPOs specializing in medical-related business processes, such as medical coding, billing and transcription.
Accounting and bookkeeping are functions very often contracted out to BPOs. However, relatively few BPOs use home-based workers for this type of work. But, you will find a few in this list of work-at-home accounting jobs.
Other BPO Jobs
Many BPOs need bilingual workers for a variety of jobs such as translation, globalization, and search evaluation.