“Digitalization of work will touch upon all industries and occupations in one way or another”
Course leader presentation: Tuomo Alasoini
Transformation of Work in the Digital Era, 22nd – 24th of March 2022, online
Tuomo Alasoini, you are the course leader for our course on Transformation of Work in the Digital Era. Could you tell us a little bit about your backgound and current research projects?
I am a Research Professor at the Digitalization of Work Unit at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki. Before moving to FIOH, I worked for the Ministry of Labour and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes with various management and expert tasks. I have a PhD in sociology (1990) and industrial engineering and management (2016). Main themes of my current research projects include the future of expert work, occupational change and digital divides among employees, and fairness in platform work.
Why do you think that digitalization of work is an important and current issue to discuss in 2022?
It will touch upon all industries and occupations in one way or another and boost fundamental changes in the way work is organized and designed. However, such changes in work and employment will not be technologically determined, but usually include a lot of leeway for different solutions. Sound research-based knowledge and understanding of these dynamics will help to rethink work and develop workplace innovations and other new solutions that will augment human skills and capabilities and lead to a better quality of jobs.
What are the effects of digitalization on our future working environment?
Digitalization will help to remove many physically adverse work tasks and improve occupational health and safety if implemented in a participatory way. At the same time, it may lead to new kinds of psycho-social, ethical and security-related risks for employees and work organizations. It is possible to avoid in advance most of such risks with skillful design of work and work environment. This calls for new knowledge and close cooperation with work organizations, research institutes and authorities.