Research exposes digital threat to workers’ health and well-being

Europe

The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has published research covering all EU member states which warns of the impact of computerised systems on work. Potential negative effects include more unpredictable, hectic and intense work rhythms, the encroachment of paid work beyond its boundaries, longer working hours and a poorer work-life balance. The report also explores the differences in terms of job demands and resources between digitalised and non-digitalised work environments in similar jobs. The ETUI says that while the digital revolution tends to be associated with various positive processes, such as the upgrading of workers’ skills or freeing them from mundane, dangerous or unpleasant tasks, this new research shows the disruptive impact of digitalisation on many elements of work organisation, most importantly on working time and it challenges the idea that digitalisation generally leads to greater worker autonomy.