Business philosophy – Remote Working

Original by Dr. Steve Wong

April 25, 2023

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, remote work or work from home has become a trend, with many people considering it as one of the positive “byproducts” of the pandemic. During the early 80s, when visiting suppliers in Europe and the USA, they occasionally mentioned working from home, now known as “Home Office”.

I seldom work in a traditional office setting, opting to work from home or while travelling. Many of my colleagues have never met me in person, as my last visit to Hong Kong was four years ago, and I haven’t seen my colleagues in my Los Angeles office for months. Although some companies emphasize the need to return to the office for work, employees who have the option would prefer not to go to the office daily. My son and daughter-in-law work from home, and they have mentioned that they would consider changing jobs if required to go to the office daily.

Remote work may also apply to many types of jobs in the future. Workers can work remotely, like office employees in factories, car factories, and container terminals. With the advancement of technology, artificial intelligence and robotic automation will replace many types of work, just as self-service is becoming more popular in the catering industry. With the development of automated cars, remote work may no longer be confined to an office environment. If more people work from home or even attend classes, there will be fewer cars on the road, which will be helpful for environmental protection. As a result, offices worldwide have to face rent reduction and depreciation due to oversupply.

Technology advances have undoubtedly changed how people live, and we cannot ignore the overall trend of remote working. However, remote work also requires self-discipline from employees, as lack of supervision can sometimes lead to laziness or inefficiency. The irony is that we used to require employees to clock in, and they would receive warnings once they were 5 minutes late, which is a big contrast compared to remote work requirements.

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