The role of technology in the world of work is only anticipated to intensify in the coming years. And while technology offers considerable promise, there are a number of risks associated with the onset of alternative forms of work, including remote work, gig work, and the sharing economy. In particular, there are concerns about the net benefits of these developments and whether the quality of work is deteriorating, notably among equity seeking groups who tend to be over-represented in alternative forms of work.
Digital adoption and automation can create opportunities for more meaningful work across the board. If managed well, automation can help workers concentrate on fulfilling and meaningful work rather than arduous or repetitive tasks. In some cases, this can also help workers feel more empowered and find meaning in their work.
This research investigated the intersection of employment and technology to better understand how advances in technology are impacting the quality of work. The literature review and key informant interviews identified that growing digital technology usage – accelerated by the pandemic – is altering the quality of work for Canadians in numerous ways and offers both opportunities and challenges for worker well-being.