Where did the practice of mass relocation of qualified personnel come from?

    Now relocation surprise no one, especially specialists in the field of IT. Thousands of companies around the world are inviting employees from other regions to work to satisfy their own personnel shortages. If this hunger is too strong, then organizations help even with visas and cover the costs of relocation, give out lifts for settling in a new place and are looking for housing for a new valuable employee.

    But where did we get the practice of mass professional relocation from? After all, a hundred years ago, relocations were subjected to diametrically opposed categories of workers: they were either low-skilled uneducated workers, or "stars", scientists and inventors, who can be counted on the fingers of two hands. Let's look back and consider several historical events that have made mass relocation a new professional norm, and not only in IT.

    Eisenhower convoy, the Great Depression, and the construction of Roosevelt

    34 President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower during his service in the armored corps, 1919

    It is difficult to argue with the fact that the culture of professional relocation came to us from the United States. At the beginning of the 20th century, an event occurred that changed not only the history of the United States and, ultimately, made them a great power, but influenced the professional life of the whole world. We are talking about Eisenhower's car convoy, which started in 1919 from the walls of the White House in order to cross the entire country from Washington to San Francisco. He bears this name, since young Eisenhower, who will be destined to become the 34th president of the United States, also took part in it. The purpose of the convoy was simple: 80 trucks, 258 soldiers and 24 officers would travel across the country not only to show the heroes of the First World War to ordinary Americans, but also to prove the importance of building a transcontinental highway. And the convoy coped with the last task perfectly.

    Beginning was a cheerful rally on the territory of the United States with the deepening of the country turned for its participants from an easy walk into a uniform nightmare. If on the Atlantic coast at the beginning of the century, the United States had a sufficiently developed transport infrastructure, then as it approached its destination, the roads became worse and worse, turning, as a result, into “directions” so familiar to us.

    The convoy was so stuck in the dirt of off-road that the rally "from edge to edge" with a length of just under 5000 kilometers took the military two months. That is, you can imagine: the trained, unpretentious soldiers on the road on special equipment of that time spent 62 days for a distance, which now takes a maximum of a week and a half.

    Part of the route of the convoy coincided with the modern highway 66 - the road connecting the east and west of the United States. But until 1936, only 800 of the 4000 kilometers of highway were asphalted. The rest was either gravel stone, or brickwork, or simply a “direction” on which it was easy to get bogged down:

    Photo taken in the 1930s

    All these adventures left a lasting impression on the future US President and showed the importance of the regions’s automobile connectivity. Obviously, the railroad, so popular at that time in the USA, was not enough in both military and civilian terms.

    With the collapse of the stock exchanges and the onset of the Great Depression inside the country, migration began, which formed the basis of the modern lifestyle of many Americans. Hundreds of thousands of people left their homes in search of work in order to survive. Dust storms of 1930-1936 added fuel to the fire and went down in history as the " dust pot ". As a result of this weather anomaly, almost 2.5 million residents of the states located on the prairies fled from their homes to other, more prosperous regions of the country.

    Sandstorm Technique, South Dakota, 1936

    The combination of these natural and economic factors showed the country's leadership the importance of ensuring free movement of people over long distances and from 1936 to 1938, under the patronage of then President Roosevelt as part of measures to combat the Great Depression, Highway 66 was completely asphalted, which marked the beginning of the era of US roads in particular, the beginning of the free movement of broad layers of workers in general.

    Eisenhower Presidency

    The project, started by Roosevelt in the form of creating the asphalt “Route 66”, is undoubtedly important, but the complete “expensiveness” of the whole country, which changed the economic preferences of the USA and showed the world what the flexibility of the personnel question, was Eisenhower.

    During his presidential terms from 1953 to 1961, Eugenehower, already experienced in the past and past three wars (both world plus Korean), said that America has an extensive network of high-quality and affordable roads for the population. This is especially surprising given that Eisenhower was a Republican.that is, he was of the opinion that the federal budget should bear the minimum costs of social security. In 1956, with the submission of Eisenhower, the United States began one of the largest construction projects in history, on a scale with which at that time only Soviet projects of Transsib and mass electrification were comparable .

    The Eisenhower team drafted, and in 1956, Congress passed a bill called the Federal Aid Highway Act, also known as the “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act”, according to which the country began construction of an interstate highway system USA. In terms of modern prices for the construction of 77,500 kilometers of roads in the United States from 1956 to 1992, $ 500 billion was spent. As a result, the United States received a network of federal free roads, which, in the opinion of many economists, provided the United States not only with the connectivity of the regions, but also with a considerable economic growth due to the mobility of goods and personnel.

    How did the Republican president decide on such a colossal waste of federal money? Eisenhower himself said that he came to the top of the "from the outside" policy, which was true. Also 34, the President of the United States declared that “he knows nothing about the economy.” But Eisenhower's persistence in spending federal money had several reasons. The first is the rally that we mentioned earlier, which Dwight recalled to his death, including in his memoirs. The second was Eisenhower's experience during World War II in Europe, where he saw the reichs and was quite impressed with the Nazi concept of quickly moving forces inside the country along good roads. And third, the Korean command experience, which showed Eisenhower the importance of troop mobility. It is thanks to the above events that Eisenhower was deeply convinced of the benefits of the highway network project for the economy and the army,

    US Highway Network

    The project turned out to be so cumbersome that its construction was delayed until 1992, while part of the highways were not fully completed and merged into a single network due to local residents' resistance to construction. However, an extensive network of roads has opened up new opportunities for residents in terms of relocation and labor migration, although it almost killed the country's railway system. This happened primarily because almost all railways in the United States were privately owned and could not compete with free federal roads, and the mass character of cars in the United States only prompted the population to abandon long-distance rail transport.

    Experience of the People’s Republic of China

    It is known for certain that China gladly adopts other people's successful projects and adapts them to fit its needs. To fulfill the doctrine of the establishment of Chinese economic superiority, the authorities of the heavenly king had to deal closely with infrastructure issues.

    Until the late 1980s, there were no high-speed lines in China at all. In order to achieve "road superiority", the experience of the United States was adopted and in 1989 the authorities of the PRC launched the largest transport project in the history of mankindwhich continues to this day. According to statistics in 1988 in China there were 0 kilometers of high-speed highways. In 1989, only 147 kilometers of roads were built, by 2000 the total length of high-speed highways in China had grown to just over an impressive 11,600 kilometers. But that was only the beginning. Over the next 17 years, that is, by 2017, the highway network has grown to 136,000 kilometers.

    Highway network of the People’s Republic of China

    The construction of roads in China stimulated the urbanization of the country and the migration of personnel, which gave another impetus to the PRC economy. At the same time, the construction of high-speed highways in the Celestial Empire continues to this day, and judging by the attitude of Chairman Xi Jinping in terms of the development of the country and improving the quality of life of the Chinese, it is not intended to stop. The goal of China is to begin to unite all the relatively large settlements (from 100-200 thousand people) with one network of highways.

    Remote work as the reverse side of the relocation medal

    With all the dictates of the economy in terms of labor migration and personnel mobility, the history of the construction of an extensive network of roads has a reverse side of the coin - the format of distant work, the appearance of which we have already told . According to various sources, from year to year the number of remote and partially remote employees, as well as freelancers, is steadily increasing. Most of all remote workers are observed in the field of science and IT, that is, we have a paradoxical situation: our own industry rushes into both extremes, both in terms of relocation, and in terms of its opposite work.

    In any case, it is foolish to deny the fact that remote work will eliminate the need for relocation of employees: too many projects require physical presence and constant interaction with other team members. This is especially evident in the segment of enterprise development, which in 99% percent of cases requires a physical presence in the company's office. At the same time, building a full-fledged remote interaction system for a large development team is a non-trivial task, which we at least spoke about using the example of the working day of Maxim Vinnikov, Product Director.

    In any case, the practice of mass relocation of qualified personnel for the sake of work, we are obliged, first of all, to high-speed roads and other infrastructure projects of the 20th century, without which humanity could not have reached the current level of development.

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