It has been almost one year when we noticed the virus. As a result, it eventually changed our life and society drastically. We can see Amara’s law: “we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
In fact, we can apply this law to our situation now. For example, in February 2020, the number of patients was increasing especially in Asian countries. Thus, most of population in western countries seemed that they were less interested in the incidents at that time. We might say that we underestimated the effect of the virus in the beginning of 2020. This is because few people forecasted that we are still struggling to contain it in the beginning of 2021.
Opportunities and Risks
Of course, the crisis gives us both opportunities and risks. On the negative side, due to the surge of share price of technology companies, inequality between the rich and the poor is widening. The data shows that the number of extreme poverty, which mainly refers to an income below the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, is increasing after the pandemic. On the positive side, digitization, digitalization and digital transformation have been accelerated. Furthermore, not only experts across the globe but also lots of people can accept this reality. In fact, Verizon’s CEO, Hans Vestberg talked about this reality in CES 2021.
“Our world has experienced significant change since we last took the keynote stage at CES in 2019. There’s been an extreme acceleration in the digital revolution, and at the heart of that transformation is 5G technology. The future of work, learning, telehealth, retail and streaming are very much our current realities. And we are just getting started. 5G isn’t just another tech innovation, it’s the platform that makes other innovations possible.” — Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon.
More than a buzzword
Remote working is one of buzzwords in 2020 since a lot of people experienced it whether we desired it or not. However it is true that white-collar job suits for remote working. However, essential workers and factory operators should go their working place for designated working period. In addition to this, even people experiencing remote working mention that they feel both advantages and disadvantages of it.
When employees have to go the office from suburb area, commuting time takes from 2 to 3 hours in a day. If we do remote working, we can use this amount of time for other things. For example, they are online training, hobbies and time with our family.
On the other hand, some people say that it is difficult for them to separate between their working hours and non-working hours. In fact, some managers are worrying about the fact that they cannot see how their subordinates work in front of them. As a result, they apply micro-management like frequent calls and e-mails to their subordinates. Possibly, the way of management not increases their productivity but decreases it. In Europe, workers have the right to disconnect during non-working hours, and public policies are important as well.
We feel that the trend is not changed but accelerated in the beginning of 2021 so that we will see both good and bad points in remote working more. We will follow how remote working is evolving in 2021.