Influencing digital tech: a job for workers

Justin Nogarede, Digital Policy Analyst at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), describes the changes and challenges of digitization at worksplace and what has to be done to increase workers' influence in the process of digital transition.

With Covid-19, the digitisation of work has taken flight. Much of this is useful: during the government-imposed lockdowns many firms flocked to Zoom, Microsoft Teams and their equivalents, to allow employees to connect and continue working from home. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that digital technology at the workplace is undermining workers’ labour conditions, by enabling round-the-clock surveillance and fine-grained automatic management and control.

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This analysis is part of the “Future of Work” project launched by the think tank Re-Public and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Athens. The project aims to tackle burning issues like the crisis of Covid19, climate change and the 4th technological revolution and their impact on workers' rights. Challenges of the future of work in Greece are highlighted in a holistic approach, considering not only economic but also societal factors in Greece and the European Union. To achieve this, a broad range of experts comments on how to examine and manage the fourth technological revolution: Currently public discussion focuses on the perspective of automation, robotization and the gig economy. Challenges of digitization should rather be seen through the eyes of citizens, workers and consumers. The social democratic vision of the project "Future of Work" imagines a more just society and a green future with decent work for all and better work-life balance.

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