Even as it has increased the time pressure on us, an accelerated world has also altered the nature of our daily work – potentially making it more creative and rewarding. Yes, automation and mechanisation have disrupted industries and destroyed jobs (as well as created new ones). But automation has also stripped out many tasks that were dull, routine or physically draining, BBC reports.
In the US, rates of work-related illness and injury have been in steep decline. Across the EU, the proportion of workers in “arduous” or “hazardous” jobs is now between 1% and 4%. Cargo is now unloaded by crane, for example, rather than by stevedores. Tax returns are filed – and scanned – by computer, rather than being pored over by armies of clerks.
And as the digital revolution rolls on, helping to speed many tasks up, the jobs that are left, or newly created, are those that involve applying ingenuity and creativity to problems.