Technological change has transformed where people work, when and how. Digitisation of information has altered labour processes out of all recognition whilst telecommunications have enabled jobs to be relocated globally. But ICTs have also enabled the creation of entirely new types of ‘digital’ or ‘virtual’ labour, both paid and unpaid, shifting the borderline between ‘play’ and ‘work’ and creating new types of unpaid labour connected with the consumption and co-creation of goods and services. This affects private life as well as transforming the nature of work and people experience the impacts differently depending on their gender, their age, where they live and what work they do.
Aspects of these changes have been studied separately by many different academic experts including sociologists, economists, geographers, political scientists, psychologists, organisational theorists and people working in such diverse fields as gender studies, management, innovation, development studies and industrial relations. With funding from the European Science Foundation’s COST programme, this Action brings together researchers from all these fields to compare results, survey the evidence and develop an understanding of how these changes in work take place and what their impacts are.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is Europe’s longest-running intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology funding cooperative scientific projects called ‘COST Actions’. With a successful history of implementing scientific networking projects for over 40 years, COST offers scientists the opportunity to embark upon bottom-up, multidisciplinary and collaborative networks across all science and technology domains.