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The Next Big Disruption: 4 Ways Driverless Cars Are Going To Change The World

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The Next Big Disruption: 4 Ways Driverless Cars Are Going To Change The World

All of us living in this technological age have become quite accustomed to major disruptive technologies changing how we deal with different aspects of our lives. Whether it is the invention of different interactive social media tools or a commercial rocket company, we have seen it all and lived to tell the tale, all the while benefiting from what these great disruptions had on offer.

Another interesting major disruption is just around the corner, which can make an even bigger impact on our lives than all of its other ace predecessors. Driverless cars were once considered science fiction, only to be seen in movies, but they are fast becoming a reality as evident by the driverless car stats. Although it will be a while until we are engulfed by this amazing technology, it still is a major consideration on the changes it will beget on the current scenario. There will be some major shake ups down the road, let’s look at 5 ways how these amazing autonomous vehicles are going to have an impact on the world!

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Increased integrated driven productivity

Autonomous cars don’t need to follow state laws and are not required to take rest like human drivers which could highly increase productivity as these cars will be able to operate 24 hours without direct human intervention.

These cars “see” the road through GPS, which enables them to work even in low light and foggy conditions, making long haul payload transportation more efficient. Companies could earn highly from this increased efficiency and making this revolution in supply chain, would keep prices of different materials low for the common consumer without affecting profitability. Now that’s productivity!

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Lowering human effort

With a smartphone in almost every hand, there would be high convenience in them being given commands which they can line up on themselves, given an increase in robotic and AI technology, and make light of tasks which we humans consider cumbersome, like taking your mom for her routine checkup every week. This will free humans up to engage more in productive activities.

The same time period could now be utilized to achieve even more as we won’t be engaged in hour long commutes towards work or picking children up from their schools, we could instead be dozing up on our way to home from work or catch up on some latest music while the cars brings the children. What an amazing let off would that be!

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Changing Job Dynamics in the Transportation Industry

As cars would be driven autonomously, there would be increase in joblessness for people working in the transportation industry as drivers. This could both be used as a bane or a beneficial advantage as these now free workers could be put to other more useful tasks accomplishing more or they could become irrelevant.

It all depends on planning and charting out a course on how these people could be re-accommodated into the job market otherwise they could end up as disgruntled workers in the race for driverless cars. Policy makers round the world should keep an eye on this issue as there have been a lot of instances in history where a new disruption caused sudden high unemployment causing social unrest. These workers could be re-instigated into the same supply chain industry in different roles.

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Putting a lid on Environmental Damage

Carbon emissions from factories and automobiles have caused increasing damage to the fragile climatic conditions of this planet, with us now on the brink of a major calamity owing to the increase in greenhouse gases anytime soon.

These autonomous vehicles mostly employ solar power as compared to conventional modes of transportation, will cause a drastic reduction in carbon emissions worldwide, lowering our carbon footprint and putting a leash on the breakaway climate change we have instigated, even if not reversing the damage altogether. These autonomous cars will ensure that our over dependence on fossil fuels end and with that our monstrous impact on the world we currently inhibit.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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