立即打开
今后十年我们最缺什么?不是钱

今后十年我们最缺什么?不是钱

Kirsten Allegri Williams 2021年05月17日
如果数字工具可以提升效率,那为什么对它的更多使用却似乎导致时间变少?

疫情时代,时间匮乏现象可能是数字化工作环境产生的新副作用。就像Zoom倦怠一样,之前没有人能够预料到,怎么能怨天尤人?当一年前封锁开始时,人们都以为在没有通勤和办公室的干扰之后,居家远程办公时间会更多。

然而在居家办公一年之后,大家都感到时间变少了。根据《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)在今年2月的研究,开会时间增加了13%;56%的远程办公者认为工作需求增加;62%的受访者表示,过去三个月一直在努力管理工作量。现在工作日平均工作时间比疫情前延长了48分钟。

如果数字工具可以提升效率,那为什么对它的更多使用却似乎导致时间变少?

根本原因不是疫情危机暂时的影响,而是人们与工具关系产生的副产品。

自从20世纪90年代黑莓(BlackBerry)等便携式收发电子邮件的设备问世,工作日工作时长平均增加了两小时。伴随着一种财富实际增长,人们在任何地方都能够跟同事交流,不过这也要面临另一种财富损失,就是时间。

在数字时代来临之前,社会学家先驱就观察到了该趋势。1972年,丹尼尔•贝尔就写道:“生产率较低时,时间相对便宜;生产率很高时,时间就变得相对昂贵。简而言之,经济增长意味着时间稀缺性普遍增加。”

贝尔所说的生产力是指大规模生产获得的物质产品更加丰富。有几十种牙膏可供选择时,普通人即便愿意也没有时间一一尝试。不管多么草率,选择某个品牌都要付出时间和精力。将该效应乘以生活中每个大规模生产的物品,最终会得到总时间和注意力的总和。简而言之,对于享受经济增长的人来说,经济的每一点增长都会产生增量成本。

时间贫困与服务经济

尽管时间匮乏是工业产品增加的副作用,但它也可能变成服务领域增长的制约因素。

批量生产剪刀和梳子几乎不需要人投入什么关注,然而理发仍然需要熟练工人持续付出,也需要顾客不间断地参与。不管美发师多么熟练,每天也只可以工作24小时,消费者接受理发的时间同样只有24小时。

而从服务业获得更多增长的唯一方法是自动化,或者找到更有效分配技术劳动力的方法。全自动化发廊和餐厅只存在于科幻小说中,所以现代科技将大部分注意力放在后一类,即劳动力更有效分配方面。

一直有人嘲笑服务应用程序的爆炸式增长是将“妈妈再也不帮你做的事互联网化”,但这仍然释放了巨大的财富。谷歌(Google)让信息分发更容易也从中获利,专为协调零工经济开发的应用程序也一样。

由应用程序支持的零工经济只是服务业发展的最新阶段,自19世纪以来,美国的服务业一直稳步增长,目前世界其他地区也在增长。从前只有富人有仆人,现在拥有智能手机的人都可以进入市场获得同样的服务。妈妈再也不用为你所有的事而操心了?一些经济学家表示,这可能正是本个十年里最大的经济增长点。

标志性例子就是网约车应用程序Uber。该应用程序通过减少协调服务的工作量,消除劳动者和消费者在时间匮乏方面的一些限制。开车去机场可能还是需要一小时,但你和司机跳过事先准备步骤省下的时间可以释放真正的经济价值。截至4月下旬,Uber的市值在1100亿美元左右。

财富的关键不仅仅是效率,也取决于技术本身使用体验的根本改变。

正如奥美(Ogilvy)的副主席罗里•萨瑟兰指出的那样,Uber结合了效率与心理学观察。因为人们可以在智能手机屏幕上看到车多久能够到达,等待的焦虑感就会减少。乘客和司机的评分,还有Uber用户体验中其他令人愉悦的心理因素,都是公司不断扩张的动力。

寻找“理发界的Uber”

未来十年里,服务业其他领域应用类似流程将出现增加。Uber对出租车行业的改造,将应用在卫生、健康、美容、教育、食品、长途旅行、托儿,甚至一些专业服务领域。

即使在21世纪第三个十年,很多广泛使用的服务仍然受到过时信息技术造成时间成本限制。在网上搜索“Uber理发”,就会看到诸多对某家公司或另一家公司将扩张的预测。然而即便经历了数字家庭服务生态系统需求比以往都高的一年之后,也没有哪家公司真正实现。

家庭保健助理、护士和医生工作的速度永远无法超越现有水平。人与人深度接触的服务仍然具有价值,因为几乎不可能实现自动化。然而即使经过一年的快速数字化,巨大的收益并非来源于自动化,而是来自医院IT转移到云基础设施,或者利用虚拟医疗代替面对面就诊之类很简单的进步。

虽然难以置信,但每个天天泡在Zoom上远程工作的人,都对应着一位需要亲自到现场工作的一线员工,而且得在办公室的排班表上安排下个班次。

对数字化的抵制并不只包括需要现场工作的一线服务。举例来说,为什么类似Uber这类能够省时又改善心情的应用程序并未在金融服务领域里流行起来?可用步骤繁杂的人寿保险办理举个例子:其流程当中包括安排个人健康检查、个性化财务建议和文书工作等,即便对有能力购买的人来说仍然是很耗费时间的过程。不管对消费者还是供应商,解决时间匮乏问题可以产生多大价值?

而释放剩余增长的关键是什么?是Uber创新能实现的关键点,即改进用户体验的速度。

如果没有自动工具的帮助,根据用户海量行为和个人行为分析和完善应用程序,Uber就无法快速发展。科技产品的升级速度对经济增长至关重要,有迹象显示,改进速度正在加快。

在美国,个人电脑进入75%的家庭花了25年,是电话和汽车普及时间的一半。手机普及的速度更快,短短15年就有90%的人使用。但Uber只用了不到三年就从想法变成在35个城市实际运作的现实。而且该公司表示,最早期的员工包括一位神经科学家。

从用户行为中学习并快速改进体验,正是Uber从交通运输这一传统服务中释放出的新价值。未来十年里,我们将惊喜地发现,即便没有那么传统的服务也能够挖掘出新价值。(财富中文网)

柯尔斯滕•阿莱格里•威廉姆斯是Optimizely公司的首席营销官。

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

疫情时代,时间匮乏现象可能是数字化工作环境产生的新副作用。就像Zoom倦怠一样,之前没有人能够预料到,怎么能怨天尤人?当一年前封锁开始时,人们都以为在没有通勤和办公室的干扰之后,居家远程办公时间会更多。

然而在居家办公一年之后,大家都感到时间变少了。根据《哈佛商业评论》(Harvard Business Review)在今年2月的研究,开会时间增加了13%;56%的远程办公者认为工作需求增加;62%的受访者表示,过去三个月一直在努力管理工作量。现在工作日平均工作时间比疫情前延长了48分钟。

如果数字工具可以提升效率,那为什么对它的更多使用却似乎导致时间变少?

根本原因不是疫情危机暂时的影响,而是人们与工具关系产生的副产品。

自从20世纪90年代黑莓(BlackBerry)等便携式收发电子邮件的设备问世,工作日工作时长平均增加了两小时。伴随着一种财富实际增长,人们在任何地方都能够跟同事交流,不过这也要面临另一种财富损失,就是时间。

在数字时代来临之前,社会学家先驱就观察到了该趋势。1972年,丹尼尔•贝尔就写道:“生产率较低时,时间相对便宜;生产率很高时,时间就变得相对昂贵。简而言之,经济增长意味着时间稀缺性普遍增加。”

贝尔所说的生产力是指大规模生产获得的物质产品更加丰富。有几十种牙膏可供选择时,普通人即便愿意也没有时间一一尝试。不管多么草率,选择某个品牌都要付出时间和精力。将该效应乘以生活中每个大规模生产的物品,最终会得到总时间和注意力的总和。简而言之,对于享受经济增长的人来说,经济的每一点增长都会产生增量成本。

时间贫困与服务经济

尽管时间匮乏是工业产品增加的副作用,但它也可能变成服务领域增长的制约因素。

批量生产剪刀和梳子几乎不需要人投入什么关注,然而理发仍然需要熟练工人持续付出,也需要顾客不间断地参与。不管美发师多么熟练,每天也只可以工作24小时,消费者接受理发的时间同样只有24小时。

而从服务业获得更多增长的唯一方法是自动化,或者找到更有效分配技术劳动力的方法。全自动化发廊和餐厅只存在于科幻小说中,所以现代科技将大部分注意力放在后一类,即劳动力更有效分配方面。

一直有人嘲笑服务应用程序的爆炸式增长是将“妈妈再也不帮你做的事互联网化”,但这仍然释放了巨大的财富。谷歌(Google)让信息分发更容易也从中获利,专为协调零工经济开发的应用程序也一样。

由应用程序支持的零工经济只是服务业发展的最新阶段,自19世纪以来,美国的服务业一直稳步增长,目前世界其他地区也在增长。从前只有富人有仆人,现在拥有智能手机的人都可以进入市场获得同样的服务。妈妈再也不用为你所有的事而操心了?一些经济学家表示,这可能正是本个十年里最大的经济增长点。

标志性例子就是网约车应用程序Uber。该应用程序通过减少协调服务的工作量,消除劳动者和消费者在时间匮乏方面的一些限制。开车去机场可能还是需要一小时,但你和司机跳过事先准备步骤省下的时间可以释放真正的经济价值。截至4月下旬,Uber的市值在1100亿美元左右。

财富的关键不仅仅是效率,也取决于技术本身使用体验的根本改变。

正如奥美(Ogilvy)的副主席罗里•萨瑟兰指出的那样,Uber结合了效率与心理学观察。因为人们可以在智能手机屏幕上看到车多久能够到达,等待的焦虑感就会减少。乘客和司机的评分,还有Uber用户体验中其他令人愉悦的心理因素,都是公司不断扩张的动力。

寻找“理发界的Uber”

未来十年里,服务业其他领域应用类似流程将出现增加。Uber对出租车行业的改造,将应用在卫生、健康、美容、教育、食品、长途旅行、托儿,甚至一些专业服务领域。

即使在21世纪第三个十年,很多广泛使用的服务仍然受到过时信息技术造成时间成本限制。在网上搜索“Uber理发”,就会看到诸多对某家公司或另一家公司将扩张的预测。然而即便经历了数字家庭服务生态系统需求比以往都高的一年之后,也没有哪家公司真正实现。

家庭保健助理、护士和医生工作的速度永远无法超越现有水平。人与人深度接触的服务仍然具有价值,因为几乎不可能实现自动化。然而即使经过一年的快速数字化,巨大的收益并非来源于自动化,而是来自医院IT转移到云基础设施,或者利用虚拟医疗代替面对面就诊之类很简单的进步。

虽然难以置信,但每个天天泡在Zoom上远程工作的人,都对应着一位需要亲自到现场工作的一线员工,而且得在办公室的排班表上安排下个班次。

对数字化的抵制并不只包括需要现场工作的一线服务。举例来说,为什么类似Uber这类能够省时又改善心情的应用程序并未在金融服务领域里流行起来?可用步骤繁杂的人寿保险办理举个例子:其流程当中包括安排个人健康检查、个性化财务建议和文书工作等,即便对有能力购买的人来说仍然是很耗费时间的过程。不管对消费者还是供应商,解决时间匮乏问题可以产生多大价值?

而释放剩余增长的关键是什么?是Uber创新能实现的关键点,即改进用户体验的速度。

如果没有自动工具的帮助,根据用户海量行为和个人行为分析和完善应用程序,Uber就无法快速发展。科技产品的升级速度对经济增长至关重要,有迹象显示,改进速度正在加快。

在美国,个人电脑进入75%的家庭花了25年,是电话和汽车普及时间的一半。手机普及的速度更快,短短15年就有90%的人使用。但Uber只用了不到三年就从想法变成在35个城市实际运作的现实。而且该公司表示,最早期的员工包括一位神经科学家。

从用户行为中学习并快速改进体验,正是Uber从交通运输这一传统服务中释放出的新价值。未来十年里,我们将惊喜地发现,即便没有那么传统的服务也能够挖掘出新价值。(财富中文网)

柯尔斯滕•阿莱格里•威廉姆斯是Optimizely公司的首席营销官。

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

Call it another side effect of our COVID-era digital work environment: the phenomenon known as time poverty. Like Zoom fatigue, we didn’t see it coming, and how could you blame us? A year ago, when lockdowns began, it was a safe assumption that a lack of commuting and in-office interruptions would free up time for remote workers.

Yet after a year of working from home there is a collective sense of lost time. According to a February study from the Harvard Business Review, the amount of time we spend in meetings is up by 13%; 56% of remote workers feel their job demands have increased; and 62% said they’ve been struggling to manage their workloads over the past three months. The average workday is now 48 minutes longer than it was pre-pandemic.

If digital tools make us more efficient, why does using them more seem to give us less time in return?

The root cause is not a temporary effect of the COVID-19 crisis, but a by-product of our relationship to digital tools.

After the introduction of portable email devices like the BlackBerry in the 1990s, the length of the average workday increased by two hours. What was an effective increase in one form of wealth—the ability to communicate with our coworkers from anywhere—was paid for by the loss of another kind of wealth, namely, our time.

This dynamic was observed even before the digital era, by the pioneering sociologist Daniel Bell, in 1972: “When productivity is low, time is relatively cheap; when productivity is high, time becomes relatively expensive. In short, economic growth entails a general increase in the scarcity of time.”

By productivity Bell meant the greater abundance of material goods derived from mass production. When there are several dozen varieties of toothpaste to choose from, the average person will not have the time to sample them all, even if they wanted to. It takes some time and attention to choose one brand over another, no matter how cursory the decision. Multiply this effect by every mass-produced object in your life, and you end up with a significant sum of your total time and attention. In short, every bit of economic growth has had an incremental cost in the available time of those who enjoy it.

Time poverty and the service economy

Whereas time poverty is a side effect of growth in the realm of manufactured goods, it might act as a constraint on growth in the realm of services.

A single pair of scissors and a comb require little individual attention to mass-produce, yet getting a haircut still requires the sustained attention of a single skilled laborer and the uninterrupted presence of their customer. No matter how skilled the hairdresser, he or she still has only 24 hours a day to ply their trade, and the consumer still has only 24 hours in which to receive a haircut.

The only way to extract more growth from the services industry is to automate the work or to find a way to distribute skilled labor more efficiently. With fully automated hair salons and restaurants still confined to science fiction, modern tech has devoted much of its attention to the latter category, the more efficient distribution of labor.

The explosion of service apps has been derided as “the Internet of stuff your mom won’t do for you anymore,” but it has nevertheless unlocked tremendous wealth. Google made information delivery easier and has reaped the rewards, but so too have apps that have evolved to coordinate the gig economy.

App-enabled gig work is merely the latest phase of growth in the services industry, which has been steadily increasing in the U.S. since the 19th century and is currently on the rise in the rest of the world. Where once only the wealthy had servants, now anybody with a smartphone has access to a marketplace for the same services. All that stuff your mom won’t do for you anymore? It just might be the biggest source of economic growth in this decade, according to some economists.

The iconic example of this is the ride-sharing app Uber. It eliminated some of the constraints of time poverty for both the laborer and the consumer, by reducing the effort it took to coordinate the service. It may still take an hour to be driven to the airport, but the time you and the driver saved by skipping all the steps beforehand unlocked real economic value. As of late April, Uber’s market value was hovering near $110 billion.

The key to this wealth transcends mere efficiency. It also depends on a radical change in the experience of using the technology itself.

As Ogilvy vice chair Rory Sutherland has pointed out, Uber combines efficiency with insights into psychology. Because we can see on our smartphone’s screen exactly how long it will take our car to arrive, the anxiety of waiting is reduced. Ratings for riders and drivers and other psychologically pleasing aspects of Uber’s user experience are what fueled its expansion.

The hunt for the “Uber for haircuts”

Deployed throughout the rest of the services sector, similar processes will enable growth in the coming decade. What Uber has done for taxis will be done for health, wellness, beauty, education, food, long-distance travel, childcare, and even some professional services.

Even in the third decade of the 21st century, many widely used services are still constrained by the time cost built into outdated information technology. Search online for “Uber for haircuts” and you’ll see repeated predictions that one company or another is about to scale. Yet none has, even after a year when the digitally enabled ecosystem of home services has been in higher demand than ever.

While on the job, home health aides, nurses, and doctors will never be able to work faster than they already do. High-touch person-to-person services are valuable for the same reasons they are virtually impossible to automate. Yet even after a year of rapid digitalization, there are still huge gains to be made not from automation but from low-hanging fruit like moving hospital IT to cloud infrastructure, or using virtual care as a replacement for some in-person visits.

Hard as it is to believe, for every remote worker who spends their day on Zoom, there are frontline workers who still have to be physically present just to schedule their next shift on a piece of paper in an office.

But the resistance to digitalization doesn’t stop with physical, frontline services. Why haven’t the time-saving and psychology-boosting benefits of an app like Uber exploded into the world of financial services, for example? Take the multistep process of getting life insurance. It encompasses the coordination of in-person health screenings, personalized financial advice, and paperwork and is, even for those with the means to purchase it, still a time-intensive process. How much value could come from tackling the time poverty problem there, both for consumers and providers?

What’s the key to unlocking all that remaining growth? It is the one additional element without which Uber’s innovation would not have been possible: the speed at which we can now refine the user experience.

Unassisted by automated tools which analyze and refine the app according to mass and individual user behavior, Uber would not have scaled as fast as it did. The rate of improvement for technology products is crucial to growth, and there are signs that it is speeding up.

It took the personal computer 25 years to be adopted by 75% of households in the United States, half as long as it took telephones and automobiles to reach the same level of adoption. Cell phones reached 90% of the population even quicker, in just 15 years. But it took Uber less than three years to go from an idea to an operational reality in 35 cities. And it is telling that a neuroscientist was among the company’s first hires.

The ability to learn from user behavior and quickly refine user experience was what unlocked new value from transportation, a service as old as the wheel. In the next decade, it will be a wonder to see what new value can be unlocked from services even half as old.

Kirsten Allegri Williams is the chief marketing officer of Optimizely.

最新:
  • 热读文章
  • 热门视频
活动
扫码打开财富Plus App