May 10, 2022

Understanding the impacts of technology adoption on work

Deriving benefits from technology adoption, for businesses and workers, is in large part dependent on approaches to design and deployment. There is growing evidence that new technologies could have significant social and material impacts on work, job quality and ultimately wider society.

Technology is often assumed to de facto improve productivity, and remove ‘dirty, dull and dangerous’ work from our societies. But this is not necessarily the reality. Despite increasing digitalisation, productivity growth has sharply declined across OECD countries over the past decades. It is down to how businesses make decisions about the way they adopt technology that will determine wider impacts.

This report demonstrates that there is a business case for taking a responsible approach to the adoption of technology in the workplace. It also demonstrates that there are moral, social and economic imperatives to prioritising ‘good work’, which will see returns at the level of individual, firm and society.

This report therefore makes the case for ensuring that the design and deployment of technology in the workplace considers impacts on all principles of good work as set out in the Institute for the Future of Work’s Good Work Charter.  

This work has been produced in partnership with the CIPD, and funded by Carnegie UK. The CIPD has produced an accompanying guide to responsible investment in technology.

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Dr Abby Gilbert, Anna Thomas, Dr Bertha Rohenkohl, Dr Matthew Hall and Gwendolin Barnard

Publication type



Changing work

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