SOCIETY'S USE OF ICT

Changing Patterns of Employment

Changing Patterns of Employment

The way in which people are employed has altered dramatically over recent decades. Some of these shifts in employment include:

employment* A huge reduction in the number of typists and secretaries. Most employees are now responsible for their own typing as word processing software makes drafting a quick and efficient process.

* The number of workers on assembly lines has decreased as the production process has become largely automated.

* Large numbers of clerks were once required to keep track of company accounts. Now clerks are almost unheard of and accounts can be kept up-to-date using sophisticated software and a relatively small number of staff.

* Individuals who are not ‘computer literate’ find it far more difficult to find employment now that ICT plays an important role in the world.

* Less people are now employed in the heavy industries (like steel and coal) and more people work in office environments. This would suggest that the working classes are shrinking and the middle classes are growing, although a lot of middle class work can be quite low paid – call centre work, for example.

Working patters have also changed. Ever larger numbers of office workers work flexible hours, as well as from home or on the move. Communication between colleagues is far more likely to be of the electronic rather than the face-to-face kind. Office spaces need not be so large and may be located away from heavily populated, expensive city centres.

Given these new flexible working conditions, employers need to be more trustful of their employees and develop more inventive ways of monitoring them.