In English

• 18.05.2017

Technology and changing ways of working

The times they are a-changin’” sang Bob Dylan already over 50 years ago. This refrain is now more true than ever. Technological progress, digitalization and robotics are revolutionizing our personal lives as well as work life at a speed which doesn’t seem to slow down. Also work cultures are changing. Not many people work alone today – the work is done in groups and teams. We are in the midst of continuous change, as regards technology and the ways of working. Change is a permanent state.

Human beings have designed useful technical equipment and the ways in which they are utilized. The tools themselves don’t guarantee productivity or efficiency, unless they are used for the right purposes and in the right circumstances. For instance in a store, digitalization gives the salesperson more time to interact with customers. In a factory, robots carry out repetitive work stages, leaving tasks that require decision-making and analysis of complex situations to humans. The work of transportation enterprises is coordinated by mobile applications, so that the lorry driver can observe the condition of the load from a computer screen inside the cab. In schools, technological solutions are used to bring added value to teaching.

Work communities can even get help from so-called ‘digital workers’. These are computer programs or robots which mimic the ways in which human beings work. Such a digital worker is suitable for carrying out monotonous routine jobs in which people get bored. We also speak of artificial intelligence or extended intelligence. Super computers are able to handle data at an incredible speed and offer alternatives for solutions.

Enthusiasm is also a present-day feature. In many start-up enterprises people work in new ways and their motivation is high. They search for new ideas and innovations, as well as new types of financing models.

These are times that require more boundaries and control of large entities. Work and leisure time must be balanced so that there is flexibility both ways. A machine can be made to work for 24 hours on end, it won’t tire. Luckily, people are not machines, and machines are not people!

Rauno Hanhela

Editor-in-chief

rauno.hanhela@ttk.fi

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