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Tasks in times of digital change

Is digitalisation rendering human beings dispensable at work? This seems unlikely; but the tasks performed by people will change.

Man with laptop working in a server room © iStock/anandaBGD

Extensive scientific research has been done on the human-centred design of work. However, new technologies are changing the world of work and leading to a change in the social attitudes surrounding the organisation and design of work. This raises the question of how can work be made human-centred in the digital age? In the programme component "Tasks in times of digital change", BAuA is therefore re-examining the existing knowledge and standards regarding the digital world of work in terms of their applicability. The focus lies on the following questions:

  • What does human-centred working mean in the digital world of work?
  • What new or changed requirements is digitalisation already imposing on differing tasks? How will these develop?
  • How can human-centred working practices be designed with artificial intelligence (AI) and/or algorithms?
  • How can new digital forms of work, such as agile or location-flexible working, be made human-centred?
  • How are digital technologies associated with work-related stress, strain and the consequences of strain?


The current state of knowledge on the impact of digitalisation on the world of work will firstly be analysed and then presented in the course of systematic reviews. To prevent this analysis from being restricted to certain occupational groups, the focus is not on occupations, but on the changing tasks. These can be part of a variety of occupations. A differentiation is made between four activity clusters:

  • object-related tasks (for example, production or packaging),
  • knowledge-based tasks (for example, research or analysis),
  • people-oriented tasks (for example, nursing or teaching), as well as
  • leadership and management.

The objective of the programme component "Tasks in times of digital change" is the provision of task-specific knowledge. On this basis, guiding principles for the digital world of work will be developed.


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Object-related tasks

Whether it is the assembly of a machine, the delivery of a package, or surveillance at a construction site: work on and using objects is the focus here. How are these tasks being changed by digitalisation?

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Knowledge-based tasks

Research, analysis, consultations: tasks in which knowledge makes a decisive contribution to the creation of value are playing an increasingly important role in the world of work. What impact is digitalisation having on this field of activity?

Find out more : Knowledge-based tasks …

People-oriented tasks

Nursing, teaching, therapy, counselling – the digitalisation of the world of work is also affecting people-oriented tasks. It remains to be seen which technologies can be of use here and how they will change the work processes.

Find out more : People-oriented tasks …

Leadership and management

Flexible, agile and networked work organisational forms are creating new challenges for the coordination, leadership and management of workforces, teams and processes. How will leadership and management tasks change?

Find out more : Leadership and management …

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