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Object-related tasks in times of digital change: work characteristics and technology deployment

(in German)

New technologies are changing work and may transform social attitudes towards work organisation and design. Against this background, the research focusses on human-centred approaches for work design in times of digitalisation. In order to work out practical design recommendations, however, it is initially necessary to analyse working conditions and requirements already apply to different tasks as well as the level of digitalisation. This report considers object-related tasks. Such tasks are distinguished by the processing or handling of physical objects. In particular, they include the activity groups production, transportation and cleaning.

Two representative data sets were taken as the basis for this research, the Employment Survey (Erwerbstätigenbefragung) conducted in 2018 by the Federal Institute for Vocational Training (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, BIBB) and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the "Digitalisation and Change in Employment" (Digitalisierung und Wandel der Beschäftigung, DiWaBe) survey. They were used to evaluate the sub-clusters of object-related tasks.

Overall, it is apparent that the heavy physical workloads employees bear and the ambient physico-chemical conditions found in workplaces have implications for object-related tasks. Furthermore, the results are indicative of tendencies towards monotonous work processes. With regard to the technologies deployed, object-related tasks exhibit a rather lower degree of digitalisation than other activities. However, the very same technologies are frequently used to deliver detailed instructions, in particular in production and transportation. Environmental influences of the work system must be considered as criteria for the choice of suitable technologies. In addition to this, the report briefly outlines the potential of modern technologies to manage heavy physical workloads and possibly reduce the monotony of jobs' work content.

Please download the complete baua: Preprint "xxx" (in German only).


Bibliographic information

J. Terhoeven:
Objekt­bezogene Tätigkeiten im digitalen Wandel: Arbeits­merkmale und Technologie­einsatz. 
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2021. pages 21, Project number: F 2501, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:preprint20210114, Version 1

Research Project

Project numberF 2501 StatusCompleted Project Object-related tasks

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