Work 4.0 describes the change of today’s understanding of work in the course of the fourth industrial revolution. It mainly refers to the consequences of digitization and automation on working conditions and forms. It is assumed that the previous conditions will continue to digitize and change in terms of time, processes and availability of workplaces. However, it is important to pay attention to essential aspects of the current working environment that are worth protecting, such as workers’ rights.
How is work changing?
Due to the increasing number of digitally processed tasks, employees are less and less tied to a fixed local workplace. This means that more and more people are working from home or elsewhere, without necessarily working on the employer’s premises. It is important to note that to protect both sides, working hours are adhered to and that employees actually perform the agreed services during this time. This so-called trust work requires clear agreements, a transparent target achievement plan, a high degree of self-discipline and regular reporting.
The change of the work understanding concerns itself also with the increasing automation in the vocational sphere. This does not necessarily mean that jobs disappear. Above all, simple, manual activities (e.g. production work) are automated. Since many processes are regularly digitized further, the continuing education of employees must also be made possible. This will ensure that they remain competitive in the labour market. In order to keep all employees in the company, a successive change concept with open and transparent communication is required that addresses all the emotional states of the individual employees. Attention must also be paid to the physical and psychological consequences of digitization. Due to long, tiring office work, lack of movement and ever faster work processes, regular, relaxing breaks are required.