Go Lean Commentary
In case you missed it:
After advocating for the Caribbean Diaspora to repatriate back to their ancestral homelands, this writer returned back to the Bahamas in August 2019.
Psst…here’s the not-so-secret revelation:
“I kept my US-based job and simply Work from Home (WFH)”.
Welcome to the modern world …
… while WFH was a minority model operating in a majority world, something is happening in 2020: Coronavirus – COVID-19.
Now many-most White Collar workers have been working from home. It’s been part of the shelter-in-place/lockdown protocols. The majority of people in society have avoided gathering and all but essential contact for people – other than their immediate household – in order to “flatten the curve”.
It has worked!
Though infection rates has progressively risen, it has been far less dire than what was possible or feared. Consider the Bahamas for example, they only have 70 ventilators in the whole country to service 350,000 people; but their infection rates hasn’t exceeded more than 50 by April 2020. The same patterns have materialized in many countries that complied – early – with these protocols. (Italy on the other hand, overwhelmed their hospitals, ICU’s and ventilators at the peak of their crisis).
Public Health Lessons learned!
Change was mandated: many Blue Collar staffers were laid-off or furloughed from their jobs – other than the “essential” workers – during the shelter-in-place periods; unemployment rates soared. But for the White Collar staff, they were able to shift to the Work From Home model…and productivity and incomes were sustained.
Let’s summarize: schools were shuttered; day care facilities closed; e-Learning schemes deployed, and in-the-office jobs suspended, so home became the workplace, class room and college campus and yet many companies found that their White Collar staff still delivered. Think Accounting, Payroll-Human Resources, Information Technology, Collections, and Telephone-based Customer Service continued unabated; even governments and back-office banking (Commercial, Trust, Investment) continued unimpeded. See this portrayal in the follow news article – VIDEO:
Title: As coronavirus forces millions to work remotely, the US economy may have reached a ‘tipping point’ in favor of working from home
By: Lindsey Jacobson
- Companies are enabling remote work to keep business running while helping employees follow social distancing guidelines.
- A typical company saves about $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
- As companies adapt to their remote work structures, the coronavirus pandemic is having a lasting impact on how work is conducted.
With the U.S. government declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, companies are enabling work-from-home structures to keep business running and help employees follow social distancing guidelines. However, working remotely has been on the rise for a while.
“The coronavirus is going to be a tipping point. We plodded along at about 10% growth a year for the last 10 years, but I foresee that this is going to really accelerate the trend,” Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, told CNBC.
Gallup’s State of the American Workplace 2017 study found that 43% of employees work remotely with some frequency. Research indicates that in a five-day workweek, working remotely for two to three days is the most productive. That gives the employee two to three days of meetings, collaboration and interaction, with the opportunity to just focus on the work for the other half of the week.
Remote work seems like a logical precaution for many companies that employ people in the digital economy. However, not all Americans have access to the internet at home, and many work in industries that require in-person work.
According to the Pew Research Center, roughly three-quarters of American adults have broadband internet service at home. However, the study found that racial minorities, older adults, rural residents and people with lower levels of education and income are less likely to have broadband service at home. In addition, 1 in 5 American adults access the internet only through their smartphone and do not have traditional broadband access.
Full-time employees are four times more likely to have remote work options than part-time employees. A typical remote worker is college-educated, at least 45 years old and earns an annual salary of $58,000 while working for a company with more than 100 employees, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
New York, California and other states have enacted strict policies for people to remain at home during the coronavirus pandemic, which could change the future of work.
“I don’t think we’ll go back to the same way we used to operate,” Jennifer Christie, chief HR officer at Twitter, told CNBC. “I really don’t.”
Source: Posted March 23, 2020; retrieved April 23, 2020 from: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/23/what-coronavirus-means-for-the-future-of-work-from-home.html
VIDEO – With Coronavirus forcing millions to work from home, how productive can the US be while working remotely? – https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/03/23/what-coronavirus-means-for-the-future-of-work-from-home.html
Now for the corporate realizations and lessons-learned: perhaps businesses can accomplish Work from Home just as successfully as Work from the Office.
Keep the Change …
This is the theme of the April 2020 Teaching Series from the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean. This publication serves as a roadmap for the introduction of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). Every month, we presents a collection of blog-commentaries on a consistent subject germane to Caribbean life; this month we cannot ignore the actuality of this Coronavirus crisis. There have been changes to the workplace; some of which might be good; some benevolent consequences are emerging from this. This WFH discussion is entry 2-of-5 for this Keep the Change series. There are other benefits that are also submitted for consideration; the full month’s series are cataloged as follows:
- Keep the Change – Lower Carbon Consumption abating Climate Change
- Keep the Change – Working From Home & the Call Center Model
- Keep the Change – Schools – Primary to Tertiary – making e-Learning work
- Keep the Change – Basic Needs: Cannot just consume; we must produce as well
- Keep the Change – Mono-Industrial Economy: ‘All eggs in 1 basket’
Yes indeed, there are no Ands, Ifs or Buts …
… regarding COVID-19 – people are dying; patients are suffering; economies are faltering. Many jobs are essential and must persist in the workplace – public safety, food supply chain, etc. – but many jobs too can survive the WFH shift.
This is the business model for the Go Lean roadmap; while the rest of the world wrestle with the choices of which jobs to bring back to the workplace versus which jobs to allow to WFH, the Caribbean Union Trade Federation wants to present the proposals to bring those WFH jobs here. So maybe now, our Caribbean citizens can find new economic opportunities abroad without actually going abroad or abandoning the homeland.
Yes, we can … Keep the Change.
This is not a new discussion for the Go Lean movement. We had long contemplated jobs in the Caribbean homeland that could in-source for clients who are physically in other jurisdictions. In fact, the movement identified these prominent industries:
- Call Centers – Title Industrial Reboot – Call Centers 101
Industries that depended on phone calls … now have to reboot their industrial landscape and business model. This is bad! This is good! As it opens the opportunity for jobs in the Call Center industry.
With modern Internet Communications Technology (ICT) – think Voice-over-IP – a phone call can originate or terminate around the globe, but feel/sound like it is next door. The premise of this business model for the Caribbean is simple: Why not make those calls / answer the phone here in the Caribbean?
Jobs are at stake.
… there could be this many jobs:
Direct and indirect jobs at physical and virtual call centers: 12,000
- Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Contact Centers today do more than just phone calls, but rather business process outsourcing (BPO), including email, IM, web chat, social media and work flow processing on behalf of 3rd party clients.
Direct and indirect jobs at physical and virtual call centers: 12,000.
In addition to these industry jobs; there is also the reality of indirect jobs – unrelated service and attendant functions – at a 3.75 multiplier rate would add another 45,000 jobs.
- Offshore Banking
This refers to banks located outside the country of residence of the depositor, typically in a low tax jurisdiction (or tax haven) that provides financial and legal advantages – a mainstay in Antigua, Bahamas, Bermuda and Caymans. These advantages typically include: greater privacy, little or no taxation, easy access to deposits, and protection against local, political, or financial instability. … Legally, offshore activities do not prevent assets from being subject to personal income taxes on interest income, often times it is the privacy feature that skirts tax computation and collection.
- Graphic Design and Animation
A round of new jobs are to be found in the executions for this digital world; this is becoming a new playground. This is a glimpse of industrial growth for the 21st Century; this is the sphere of Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT). …
The Go Lean [book] … makes the claim that innovation and economic growth can result from a progressive community ethos. The book defines this “community ethos” as the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. The book thereafter recommends the ethos of Fostering Genius (Page 27), so as to not only consume this industry’s product offering, but facilitating development and production. The skills to participate in the art and science of this development may not apply to just everyone; it may be limited to a “gifted few”, a “talented tenth”.
This is why all the other attendant functions must also be facilitated to engage this activity, such as Helping Entrepreneurship (Page 28), Promoting Intellectual Property (Page 29), Impacting Research and Development or R&D (Page 30) and Bridging the Digital Divide (Page 31).
e-Government 1.0 refers to just the facilitation of government services via some electronic mode, the first attempt to embrace an online presence and processing; 2.0 refers to the quest for greater citizen participation in the governing/policy-making process, “putting government in the hands of citizens”. This 3.0 brand however, refers to the penultimate e-Delivery, processing and optimization of ICT (Internet & Communications Technologies) among all the different roles and responsibilities. …
… we must explore the viability and feasibility of e-Government schemes in the new Caribbean, as rebooting the governing engines is part-and-parcel of the Go Lean roadmap.
Go Lean Book (Page 51):
The CU’s delivery of ICT [(Internet & Communications Technologies)] systems, e-Government, contact center and in-source services (i.e. property tax systems [and www.myCaribbean.gov]) can put the burden on systems continuity at the federal level and not the member-states. (This is the model of Canada with the federal delivery of provincial systems and services – some Provincial / Territorial presence / governance is completely “virtual”).
The points of reforming and transforming the Caribbean eco-systems so that WFH could thrive have been further elaborated upon in many previous blog-commentaries; consider this sample:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=18749||Learning from Another ‘Great Place to Work’: Mercedes-Benz|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14954||Overseas Workers – Not the Panacea|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11184||JPMorganChase spent $10 billion in 1 year on ‘Fintech’ & Call Centers|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9839||Alibaba Cloud stretches global reach with four new facilities|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2126||Where the Jobs Are – Computers Reshaping Global Job Market|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1698||STEM Jobs – ideal for WFH – Are Filling Slowly|
So this writer “talked the talk and walked the walk”.
Don’t just do what I say; do what I do.
We have stood on the rooftops and on the steeples and told the Caribbean world that these islands and coastal states are the greatest address on the planet and all efforts should be made to Stay Home or Return Home.
We came home, by executing the strategies of Working From Home. While this was always our plan, we knew that it would be a “Hard Sell” to the Caribbean mentality; this was not the “community ethos”; see the prescription from Page 212 of the Go Lean book:
10 Ways to Promote Contact Centers # 8: Promote Work-at-Home Options
The CU needs to conduct a public relations campaign to promote the benefits of tele-commuting and minimize any negative stigma associated with head of households working from home. This reflects the realities of media portrayals affecting the choice of careers in prior decades. For example, the 1984 movie Revenge of the Nerds is credited for dissuading young girls from pursuing careers in Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). .
Now the whole world is considering – in response to the COVID-19 crisis – the merits and benefits of WFH. To this change, we say:
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste! Let’s Keep the Change …
… and encourage more people to pursue these strategies, tactics and implementation.
Economics in the homeland are inadequate? We hear you; we see you; we’ll bring more jobs back here!
We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. This is how we will make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.
The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.
Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!
Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 14):
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.
xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.
xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.
Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.