The impact of the digital world of work on the lives of workers and their families, socio-ethical considerations

On the topic "The impact of the digital world of work on the lives of workers and their families, socio-ethical considerations", a seminar was held in Velehrad, Czech Republic, from September 28th to the 30th of 2018, which organized the movement Christian and Work CZ (KAP - Hnutí " Křesťan a práce "), in cooperation with EZA and with the support of the European Union.

The aim of the seminar was to draw attention to the possible risks in the digitization process in a variety of human activities and to show the potential impact on families.

The articles highlighted on several occasions that not only the Czech Republic, but also many other countries, including those with well-developed economies, are not as prepared for the implementation of new technologies as one might widely believe.

The number of participants in the seminar was 98, made up of workers' organizations from the following countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Albania; Portugal, Czech Republic. According to the contributions, problems related to Industry 4.0 and digitization are basically very similar across Europe.

Important aspects of the seminar

The aim of the project was to discuss defence strategies against the negative impact of the digital environment in the workplace, workers and their families, and to raise awareness of changing social conditions in order to improve the avoidance of social tensions.

Dr. Paul Röttig from Vienna, the psychologist Prof. Smékal and Mgr. Jiří Vander from Brno pointed out that the parents' workaholism often means that the children are entertained with technology, which often leads to computer addiction, dependence on social networks and gambling addiction. Escape into a virtual reality, especially for young people, leads to severe perception disorders in the real world and, more generally, they are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying, extortion, persecution and cybercrime. The production values ​​are by no means to be subordinated to the social and above all to the family values.

In her contribution, Lara Salewski pointed out that digitization leads to a change in time structures and communication in families, because the changes in the timetable of workers often involve the time regime of entire families.

Roswitha Gottbehüt dealt with problems of young workers and their employers in the context of digitization.

Ing. Jan Hlaváček introduced the participants to the need to secure the communication facilities and not to neglect safe network behaviour.

Ing. Hana Lipovská from the Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University in Brno was able to understandably describe the danger of "technological totality" and ethical constraints by explaining the Czech reality of the abuse of the phenomenon of digitization by politicians.

The journalist Jiří Zajíc, who illustrated the manipulation of public opinion among the population and spoke of the mass media's massive influence on the people in favour of politicians and the consequent populism in Czech politics, also expressed similar views.

The very interesting written contribution of Prof. Mlčoch, which was prevented for family reasons, also dealt with moral aspects of digitization.

Prof. Milan Palát addressed demographic trends and their impact on households in the context of digitization. From the point of view of statistics, the research focuses on collecting and evaluating data from different types of households, but not from families.

A panel discussion was held to discuss the pros and cons and the risks of digitalisation in many areas of human activity in individual European countries.

Results of the seminar

The future of civil society is formed not only by the sphere of production, but also by all existing human activities. It is therefore necessary for all citizens, workers' organizations and all participants in the social dialogue to participate. The boundless liberalism of scientific research without ethical restrictions inevitably leads to self-destruction. Digitization is omnipresent!

For the future of the digital era, it is extremely important to guarantee the actual security of new technologies. In order to balance the negative phenomena of digitization mentioned, the implementation of the social doctrine of the church into daily life is necessary.

The digital era offers the opportunity to form a society in which everyone can live in full dignity. The seminar has accepted the challenge that everyone should actively influence the events in society through his personal example in his sphere of influence.

Also important were the informal discussions during breaks, the available information materials, CDs from previous seminars, books, magazines.