This report by ACAS (and IPA) highlights some of the more surprising and sometimes nuanced winners and losers in the way that new technology may affect the world of work e.g. shifting pressure from physical health to mental health through stress caused by work intensification and social isolation.
Speculating on what the world of work might look like in 2040, the economist Ian Brinkley said that new technologies “will help drive the rise and fall of industries, create and destroy business models, expand some jobs and eliminate others”. The debate about how to minimise the adverse impact of new technology and maximise the positive has, until now, focused rather too exclusively on job losses. It’s as if the Fourth Industrial Revolution was a hurricane and we were all trying to estimate how many trees will be uprooted and how many homes destroyed.
New technology is a double-edge sword. It creates modern work problems such as isolation and work intensification, at the same rate as it creates efficiency gains and labour-saving advances.