好英語網 - www.676827.live


What if you never saw your colleagues in person again?

Throughout my career I’ve worked with people that I’ve never met in person. In theory, I could spend an entire day without meeting another human face-to-face.


But could this kind of self-imposed isolation become standard working practice in the future?


Studies show that in the US, the number of telecommuters rose 115% between 2005 and 2017. And in early 2015, around 500,000 people used Slack, the real-time chat room programme, daily. By last September, that number soared to over 6 million.


In 2017 a Gallup poll revealed that 43% of 15,000 Americans say they spend at least some of their time working remotely, a 4% rise from 2012. And a 2015 YouGov study found that 30% of UK office workers say they feel more productive when they work outside their workplace.


How would we feel if we never had to work with another person face-to-face again? Would we care? Have things gone so far that we might not even notice?


Our drift towards working alone could have a significant impact on our physical and mental health, the way our companies run and even shape our cities. We spoke to a group of experts to find out what they think.



What could a human-free workplace look like?


In 2018 it seems we’re in the middle of a work-from-home era of pyjamas and Slack. But futurists envisage something a lot more science-fiction in decades to come. The working day could start, for instance, by uploading our schedules and daily goals into virtual reality doppelgangers - representations of ourselves that we then dispatch to online meetings in our stead.

在2018年,我們似乎正處于穿著睡衣、用著Slack "在家工作"的時代。但根據未來學家的設想,今后幾十年可能會出現更多類似科幻小說里的東西。例如,在開始一天的工作時,可以把每天的日程和目標上傳給虛擬現實化身——這是我們的代表,之后讓它們代替我們去參加在線會議。

“My digitally-engineered persona might be interacting with clients and employees and customers around the world simultaneously,” says James Canton, CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, and who has advised three White House administrations on future workplace trends. “I can direct it and it can have a certain degree of autonomous decisions.”

"我的數字化角色或許可以同時與全球各地的客戶、員工和顧客進行互動。"全球未來機構(Institute for Global Futures)首席執行官詹姆斯·坎頓(James Canton)說,他曾為三屆白宮政府就未來辦公場所的趨勢提供過建議,"我可以指揮它,它也可以獲得一定程度的自主決策權。"

He’s working with scientists to develop these online bots: “On the back end, there will be massive supercomputer capabilities and The Cloud.” But they’ll look like whatever we want them to look like: “Kids may want to choose a dinosaur, guys might want to choose Emma Stone,” says Canton.

他正在與科學家合作開發這些在線機器人:"后端會有巨大的超級計算能力和云。"但是它們會按照我們的意愿隨意變換樣子:"孩子們可能想要恐龍,而男人可能會選擇艾瑪·斯通(Emma Stone)。"坎頓說。

Office workers are already happily abandoning their face-to-face interactions in droves, in favour of what’s widely referred to as flexible working, or telecommuting. But if human beings “are such social creatures” then won't sitting hunched over glowing screens all day risk damaging our mental health, or even impair our emotional intelligence?


What does working alone do to your mind?


Some believe the increase in telecommuting will inevitably lead to employee ennui at best, and a rise in depression at worst.


Faith Popcorn, a futurist who has advised giants like AT&T, IBM and Coca-Cola on the future of the workforce says, “you’re going to have to go somewhere. Find some amusement.” And that diversion could involve companies sanctioning staff down time to watch YouTube videos or listen to music or even going on trips, she says. Still, Popcorn believes a human-free, remote-only workplace will inevitably prompt some employees to go on “fantasy adventures”: that could meaning anything from extra holidays to retreats to immersive VR worlds to even pornography addiction.

菲斯·帕帕考恩(Faith Popcorn)是一名未來學家,還曾就未來的勞動力問題為AT&T、IBM和可口可樂公司提供過建議。他們說:"你必須到某個地方娛樂了一下。"她表示,這種變化可能會導致公司批準員工停下手中的工作去看看YouTube視頻,聽聽音樂,甚至出門旅行。不過,帕帕考恩還是認為,一個沒有人的遠程工作場所將不可避免地促使一些員工進行"奇幻冒險":這可能意味著各種各樣的活動,例如享受額外的假期、沉浸在虛擬現實世界里,甚至對色情內容成癮。

“For some people, (telecommuting) is not a good fit – the lack of informal interactions with co-workers throughout the day wears on them,” says David Ballard, a doctor at the American Psychological Association who oversees its Center for Organizational Excellence. “Or the lack of structure, when they’re left to their own devices at home or in a remote setting. It’s harder to stay organised.”

"對有些人來說,(遠程辦公)不太合適——白天與同事之間缺乏非正式的交流,會讓他們感到厭煩。" 作為美國心理學協會組織卓越中心負責人的大衛·巴拉德(David Ballard)醫生說,"或者,當他們在家里或者其他地方使用自己的設備遠程工作的時候,也有可能缺乏條理。這就更難保持井井有條。"

And while sending holographic likenesses of ourselves along to board meetings sounds pretty fun, going through the cycles of the workweek entirely alone might not. It will likely make it harder for workers and their managers to build any sort of sense of collaborative team.


“It certainly makes it more challenging to build that camaraderie when you’re not physically there sharing meals at a lunch room – that does change the dynamic,” Ballard adds.

"如果你沒有親身到餐廳與大家共進午餐,想要建立同志之間的友情就會面臨更多挑戰——這確實會改變你的動態。" 巴拉德補充道。

There’s nothing that can really replace face-to-face interaction and connection. The things you pick up from meeting someone in person – such as body language, intonation, or the intuition that senses when someone’s upset or something’s off in a conversation – are the advantages that humans use at work that technology cannot.


Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, a firm that specialises in analysing emerging workplace strategies, says emotional intelligence is declining. “In part because people are on their computers instead of out on the playground.”

Global Workplace Analytics是一家專門分析職場新興策略的公司,其總裁凱特·李斯特(Kate Lister)表示,人們的情商正在下降。"部分原因是人們沉迷于電腦,而脫離了現實。"

A steady drop in emotional intelligence (EQ) has been tracked by researchers over several years: back in 2010, a University of Michigan study found that university students show 40% less empathy than students a couple decades ago, less frequently agreeing with statements like “I sometimes try to understand my friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective" and "I often have tender, concerned feelings for people less fortunate than me."


But it's developing this type of emotional intelligence that will be key to navigating jobs of the future, especially if those jobs will require being surrounded by fewer humans and more technology.


The argument against working from home


At first glance it looks like firms will save millions and stand only to gain from granting more employees flexible working. They can potentially save massive amounts of money: according to Global Workplace Analytics, each company could stand to save $11,000 per employee per year, from cost savings in areas like property, turnover and electricity bills.

乍一看,允許更多員工靈活工作,似乎可以幫助企業節省數百萬美元,對他們非常有利。他們可以節省大量的資金:根據Global Workplace Analytics的數據,每家公司每名員工每年可以因此節省1.1萬美元,在物業、營業額和電費等領域節省費用。

But the reality of managing an entire workforce that are out-of-office could have some significant unforeseen costs. Last year, IBM reversed its position on flexible working when it called employees back to offices in-person, after stating in 2007 that 40% of its 400,000 employees no longer reported to a traditional office. Yahoo did something similar in 2013; a leaked memo to Yahoo staff was reported to suggest that some of the best decisions and insights at the firm came from "hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings in the office."


Though there isn’t yet much hard data that suggests firms will lose any money by letting a majority of its workers telecommute, the persistent fear is that these workers might end up being less efficient or loyal. After all, “you don’t want employees running their own start-ups on company time,” Ballard says.


Still, the rise of the “gig economy”  has created a surge of skilled freelancers and remote workers. Walk into any trendy, Fairtrade café in any major city and no doubt you’ll find waves of hip, tattooed professionals hunched over Macbooks and drip coffees. But monitoring this out of office workforce and keeping tabs on their productivity is tricky. Although companies like Humanyze, a start-up in Boston, have developed employee ID badges that track biometric data from human employees, like physical movements, voice tone and length of conversation which could help.


Preparing managers for the transition


More people working from home is an inevitability, if recent statistics are to believed. And the onus will be on managers to adapt to the new environment.


“Part of the problem is that we still manage people the way we did in the Industrial Revolution, like when people were working on an assembly line – if they see you, they think you’re being productive,” says Ballard of the American Psychological Association. “We need to train managers and supervisors how to better manage a remote workforce.”

"問題的部分原因在于,我們仍然像在工業革命那樣管理人們,就好像人們在流水線上工作一樣——如果他們能看到你,就會認為你很有生產力。" 美國心理學協會的巴拉德說,"我們需要培訓管理人員和主管,讓他們知道如何更好地管理遠程工作的員工。"

How do they do that? Well, in 2015, Harvard Business Review wrote that many companies that allow telecommuting “focus too much on technology and not enough on process. This is akin to trying to fix a sports team’s performance by buying better equipment.” There needs to be emphasis on basics like communication and coordination, HBR argues.

究竟應該怎么做?《哈佛商業評論》(Harvard Business Review)在2015年發表文章稱,很多允許遠程辦公的公司都"過于關注技術,但卻對流程關注不足。這就好比通過購買更好的設備來提高運動隊的表現一樣。"《哈佛商業評論》認為,應該重視溝通和協調等基本要素。

That means that managers must still able to explain complex ideas to employees, even in a virtual setting. HBR mentions one exercise in which subject A describes an image to subject B over the phone. Then subject B must attempt to describe the description via email to subject C – and sure enough, subject C’s interpretation often ends up wonky.


It is also suggested that managers also be readily available to all employees in all time zones to build trust and efficiency.


And that's the real challenge that could develop, one that's more probable (or at least more pressing) than working alone and being surrounded by talking holograms.


An already blurred line separating work and not work is becoming increasingly blurred as working remotely becomes more popular. We might end up with the freedom to work where we want, but those technologies that grant us mobility will simultaneously chain us more to our jobs, as we become instantly and freely accessible, regardless of time or place.

上一篇: 挪威新創企業家:“我在衣柜里睡了三個月”
下一篇: 隔絕社交生活有什么好處?


陕西快乐10分任4统计 麻将游戏4人打在线玩 北京麻将小游戏单机版北京麻将下载 四肖八码期期准正版 幸运飞艇猜前三玩法 多乐彩大赢家下载 兴业证券股票交易软 大地棋牌官方唯一指定 三肖必中特马官方在线 小投资项目 安徽11选五开奖走势图 一定牛