Progressive digital programme

Algorithms at the workplace

10:00 - 17:00
Oslo, Norway (Expert meeting)
Progressive digital programme

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This first expert meeting of the Progressive Digital Programme tackled the question of algorithms in the workplace. The objective was to bring together the leading researchers in the field to discuss the research questions, methods and approaches of the three different strands of the digital programme:

  1. Algorithmic management and governance (prevalence & consequences)
  2. Workers’ experience at the workplace – surveys and focus groups
  3. Online platforms and employment terms

We have seen a rapid introduction of digital technologies for gig work, remote work, surveillance, and algorithmic management of workers. Some of the consequences of this transition have become clear. For instance, digital technology has facilitated a split in the labour market, with jobs being increasingly ‘lousy or lovely’. But contrary to employment status and precariousness, what is less obvious are the effects of digital tech on the nature of work itself, across the labour market.

It has already been shown that ubiquitous surveillance causes stress and anxiety among workers and leads to a decrease in trust at the workplace. There are also emerging signs that the use of algorithmic decision-making systems is accompanied by profound shifts in workplace management, the exercise of power, and workers’ rights. This is especially visible in the platform economy, but is actually spread widely across the economy, including in more ‘traditional’ sectors.

With work being crucial to the well-being of millions of Europeans, as well as a pillar of the Nordic Model, the Digital Programme would do well to investigate these developments and their effects.    

If you would like to know more about the research, please contact Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Digital Policy Analyst

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