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2024-06-02 00:44:04
本文摘要:What tools do you use at work that you didn’t a decade ago? That’s the question I posed to a group of friends recently, hoping for a host of interesting examples of how technology is transforming the workplace. 有哪些你正在用于的办公工具是10年前没的?

What tools do you use at work that you didn’t a decade ago? That’s the question I posed to a group of friends recently, hoping for a host of interesting examples of how technology is transforming the workplace. 有哪些你正在用于的办公工具是10年前没的?这是我最近向一群朋友明确提出的一个问题,期望需要进账一堆关于技术正在如何改变工作场所面貌的有意思例子。But the responses from a disparate group that included insurance brokers, speech therapists and entrepreneurs surprised me. All the new digital products they rated were, in effect, secretary substitutes. 但是,这个由保险经纪人、言语矫正师以及企业家等构成的差异相当大的人群得出的答案让我车祸。他们所列的所有新式数字产品实质上都是秘书替代品。


I heard paeans to the utility of Skyscanner for corporate travel, the benefits of Google Docs for holiday rotas and the value of EchoSign for electronic signature of documents. 我听见的赞扬是:航班搜寻网站Skyscanner决定商务差旅是多么简单,用谷歌文档(Google Docs)决定轮流请假是多么便捷,用EchoSign软件在文件上展开电子签名是多么有价值。Regardless of industry or seniority, document encryption services and tools designed to prevent endless email trails also cropped up with regularity. 不论是在哪个行业,也不论级别多低,人们还都会提及文档加密服务以及为避免没完没了的电子邮件往来而设计的工具。

This is self-service in action and a vivid example of why administrative jobs frequently top the list as those most at risk from automation. 这是自助式服务的生动实例,它也形象地说明了行政类职位为何屡屡“领衔”不受自动化威胁仅次于的工作榜单。Back in 2001, there were nearly 400,000 secretarial and personal assistant roles in the UK. Now there are fewer than 200,000. 2001年时,英国有将近40万个秘书及个人助理类职位,而现在仅有将近20万个。

The disappearance of that person who used to be the linchpin of office life has been driven by a combination of cost-cutting in the wake of the financial crisis — there was a 12 per cent drop in such roles between 2009 and 2010 alone — and the internet revolution. 曾在办公室生活中扮演着关键角色的人的消失,受到两个因素的牵头推展:一是金融危机过后的缩减成本(从2009年至2010年,秘书及个人助理类职位的数量就上升了12%),二是互联网革命。Administrators’ salaries proved a tempting target for businesses desperate to trim budgets, with the bonus that cuts could be billed as modernisation and as embracing new ways of working. 对于意图缩减支出的企业来说,行政类职位的薪酬被证明是一个诱人的靶子;砍此类职位还能带给额外益处:比如美其名曰“现代化”以及亲吻新的工作方式。

But has the efficiency drive gone too far? The days when companies needed someone to type letters and file correspondence physically are long gone, but the digital era has brought its own version of the administrative grind. The work has not gone away, it has just been dispersed across the workforce. 但对效率的执着否已回头得太远?企业必须某人来点字并将纸质信函副本的旧时光早就远去,但数字时代带给了自己版本的行政苦差。这些工作并没消失,而只是被普遍集中给了员工队伍。While phasing out jobs that just “turn the handle” is all part of the move to a higher skilled workforce, there are consequences. A recent survey from Qualtrics found UK workers estimate that less than 65 per cent of the time they spend at work is productive. The hours wasted spent trying to get a computerised approval system to understand an edge case are staples of many a pub rant. 虽然出局那种意味着“旋转夹住”的工作是向更高技能员工队伍转型进程的一部分,但这是有后果的。

调查公司Qualtrics近期的一项调查表明,英国的工薪阶层人士估算,他们在工作场所仅有将近65%的时间是有效益的。为了企图让计算机审核系统解读某个特例所浪费的大量时间,是人们在酒吧吐槽的少见内容。Vickie Sokol Evans, who trains Bill Gates’ executive assistants, and those in other organisations, in Microsoft technology, says there is great pressure in all organisations to “do more with less”. 为比尔盖茨(Bill Gates)和其他的组织培训行政助理、使她们掌控微软公司(Microsoft)技术的维基索科尔埃文斯(Vickie Sokol Evans)回应,各类的组织都面对着极大压力,拒绝它们“用较少的资源筹办更加多的事”。

But she argues that efficiency comes from using technology well, not just dropping it in front of the workforce and expecting them to get on with it. Is it really more efficient for 20 sales people to all do their own expenses and travel, or can one person who really understands both the software and the rules help remove some of the grit from the wheels of corporate life? 但她认为,效率来自于对技术的有效地利用,而不是意味着将技术扔给员工,然后期望他们自己搞定。让20名销售人员都自行处理他们个人的费用缺席以及差旅事务知道更加有效率吗,抑或一个既不懂软件又理解涉及规章制度的人有助让公司生活较少一点厌烦? That would also mean the sales team could be out there doing what they were hired to do: selling. 这还意味著,销售队伍需要留出时间遵守他们的本职工作:推销产品。Top executives, of course, have managed to hang on to their secretaries — nowadays more often than not termed executive assistants. But these roles are far broader than they used to be. 当然,顶级高管们设法挽回了他们的秘书——现在这类职位往往被称作“行政助理”。

但这些岗位如今的职责范围比过去普遍多了。Monitoring budgets, preparing reports, designing slidedecks and similar tasks are increasingly part of the required skillset. A recent survey by Hays for Executive Secretary — whose conference Ms Sokol Evans will address in London next week — reported that nearly 90 per cent of senior staff said they could not to do their jobs without their PA. 监控支出、编写报告、设计幻灯片,诸如此类的任务日益沦为行政助理的不可或缺技能。猎头公司Hays近期为《行政秘书》(Executive Secretary)杂志所做到的一项调查表明,大约90%的高级职员回应,没个人助理的话,他们做不了自己的工作。

(索科尔埃文斯女士将在该杂志于伦敦举行的会议上讲话。) Peggy Grande, who was executive assistant to US President Ronald Reagan for 10 years, says no amount of technology or progress towards virtual assistants can make up for the human factor. “It is about not just what needs to be accomplished now, but staying three steps ahead,” she adds. 佩吉格兰德(Peggy Grande)曾为美国前总统罗纳德里根(Ronald Reagan)当了10年的行政助理。她回应,没什么技术或是虚拟世界助手领域的突破需要替代人的因素。她补足称之为:“这不仅牵涉到目前必需已完成的任务,还要回头在前面,落后三步。


” Ms Sokol Evans says she knows of at least one multinational that is reviewing its career options for PAs and is looking to create a twin track structure: one path for those who want to push for more responsibility and widen the definition of their role and another for those who get job satisfaction from ensuring systems actually work. 索科尔埃文斯女士回应,据她熟知,最少有一家跨国公司正在评估其向个人助理获取的职业发展自由选择,并正在企图建构一种双轨结构:一条面向那些想分担更大责任、扩展自身角色定位的人,另一条面向那些从保证系统有效地运转取得工作成就感的人。The pace of the digital revolution shows no signs of slackening and few office jobs will be the same in a decade. But that means the need to help humans and systems gel is more pressing. Sometimes a calm, helping hand can deliver greater efficiency gains than a software upgrade. 数字革命的速度没表明出有任何上升的迹象,10年后完全会有哪项办公室工作还维持今天的面貌。但这也意味著,协助人类员工和数字系统有效地融合的任务显得越发急迫。