Digital world of work – technological developments and changes at the workplace
Digital technologies have been moving into our everyday life for several years. They make our lives easier in many respects, enable new things and accelerate many others.
We are experiencing and already feeling a digital economy with new business models, the networked use of robot technology, the Internet of Things and what various stakeholders call “artificial intelligence” – a disputed term as it assigns a human attribute to a technology.
Digitalisation has also become part of everyday life – and this concerns us at EZA in particular – in countless companies with differing intensity and speed. That changes work organisation, necessitates new ways and approaches in education, further and continuing training, results in all manner of labour relations, and influences the social security systems and labour markets in Europe.
This means multiple challenges for trade unions and other worker organisations. For EZA, this was reason enough to co-ordinate six projects in the 2017/2018 education year under the heading “Digital world of work – technological developments and changes at the workplace” which addressed different aspects of this issue.
The use of digital technology in the world of work – and the associated radical changes – has begun, is continuing and an end is not foreseeable. The changes being observed are profound and require political action in Europe. More than anything, though, they need a legal framework.
However, trade unions and other workers’ organisations must also scrutinise their own action so far, review their structures and consider how in a more digitalised world of work they can represent and protect workers’ interests in accordance with their mission and self-conception.
This publication shows very clearly how diversely and extensively digital technologies will shape the future world of work, and makes suggestions on where the critical points are for tackling the challenges in a rapidly changing world of work with a sustainable social dialogue.
The brochure has been published in English and Spanish. Its author is Jelena Soms.