Seven questions concerning digital Work 4.0
- Which jobs are being threatened by the use of digital technologies and infrastructures and which are being newly created?
- What will happen to those employees whose jobs will be shed?
- How will the work processes be structured - will there be only low-skilled jobs left for people or will they be able to acquire greater scope for action and assume responsibility with higher qualifications?
- How can employees always keep their qualifications up to date in line with current requirements?
- If working times and work locations can be ever more flexible - will this result in greater individual freedom of choice and opportunities to create a better work-life balance, or is there a danger of work becoming limitless, resulting in increasing pressure to perform and more physical and mental stress?
- Will workforces become a diffuse mix of permanent and external employees - all the way through to work tasks being outsourced to “digital day labourers” (“crowdworking”)?
- How must employees' co-determination and participation be further developed in order to make a positive contribution to the newly formed world of work?
Work undergoing change – the need to secure and expand employment!
A working environment that is increasingly characterised by the networking of intelligent devices, systems and installations holds both opportunities and risks.
In order to realize the opportunities of digitisation for better working conditions, a comprehensive design perspective is required. This means that when introducing digitisation business models, the design questions relating to the work organisation, advanced vocational training as well as technology and software must not be treated in isolation. Instead, they must be conceptualised and implemented together.
Digitisation stands for complex, flexible, adaptable processes - this calls for qualified, motivated and independent employees who are able to carry out their work in a self-organized and cooperative manner.
Work 4.0 calls for social and labour policy design of digital technologies, processes and procedures.