As the pandemic forces many employees to work from home, how your organizations stay productive?
Why does remote work and remote education fail to play its due role in this coronavirus outbreak?
In fact, remote work is very popular today. Forecast reporting that 34 million Americans work from home by 2016. And Intuit reports the number is expected to reach a staggering 60 million (40% of the American workforce) by 2020.
The United States has the world's best remote work infrastructure including mobile, networking, social media, computers, security, software and law. On December 9, 2010, the U.S. Federal Government passed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. Facebook, Apple, Amazon AWS, Google G Suite, and Microsoft 365, they provide a first-class platform for remote work.
But the United States announced that economic output collapsed 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year as COVID-19 hit, the steepest decline since the Great Recession of 2008. "These data capture only the squall before the second quarter hurricane," Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics’ said, warning that far worse could be ahead.
Why does remote work and remote education fail to play its due role in this coronavirus outbreak? One view is that it's because only part of economy’s work (physical and mental effort) can be done remotely, especially only mental work can be done remotely. But this view clearly does not explain why schools are unable to provide remote education. Education is almost all of mental effort.
We think the main reason is that people consider too much "remote" and too few "works" in remote work. Remote work is work remotely. Its essence is work, not remote. Therefore, in order to do remote work well, we must study what work is carefully.
The explanation of "Work" in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English is as follows: to do a job that you are paid for. Therefore, "Work" includes the following four processes (P-D-C-A):
1, Customer requirement (Plan);
2, Worker do to meet the customer requirement (Do);
3, Customer check to verify if the done meets customer requirement (Check);
4, Repeat act step 2 and 3 until customer satisfaction (Act).
We find that worker only does step 2 in the above "Work" process. And no requirement (step 1) work can't start, no pass check (step 3) work can't end.
Here, customer, workers are general name. The same person may be both a customer and a worker due to different roles. For example, a software engineer is a worker when he is performing tasks assigned by his manager and he is a customer when assigning subtasks to others. As for remote education, it is actually a subset of remote work. Among them, customer is teacher, worker is student, and customer requirement is homework.
OK, now we can look back, has the United States remote work and remote education done the work P-D-C-A four step process control? The answer is: No. Face book, Apple, Amazon AWS, Google G Suite, and Microsoft 365, none of them can really do the process control. They provide entertainment, email and tool services. Worker can use them to do D process at home while worker has to return to company to do P, C and A process.
This leads to fatal defects in the existing remote working system. The typical performance is that it is unable to work remotely continuously. Generally, the full-time remote work is not more than one week. So, once lockdown, a week later, all remote work stops.
iOffice system and iSchool system can make up for the fatal defect of existing remote working system. If the existing remote working system is combined with it, the continuous full-time remote working time can be greatly increased. So as to realize the new normal of telecommuting.
We started to develop iOffice remote work and iSchool remote education system 10 years ago. And published iOffice system and iSchool system to the software market six years ago. Now, the stability of the system is greatly improved. This system can make up for the fatal defect of existing remote working system in remote work and remote education that we mentioned earlier.