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The extent of introduction of electronic machinery in the office

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european foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions THE EXTENT OF INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC MACHINERY IN THE OFFICE ITALY THE EXTENT OF INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC MACHINERY IN THE OFFICE ITALY EF / 84 / 58 / EN Copyright of THE EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS, 1984. For rights of translation or reproduction, application should be made to the Director, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Loughlinstown House, Shankill, Co. Dublin, Ireland. -1-PREFACE The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, within the framework of its four-year rolling programme for 1981-84, is investigating, among other matters, the question of the effects of technological development on various areas of private and working life. This topic was examined from various perspectives and using various methodological approaches, the most essential of which are briefly described here in order to place the consolidated report on the project, "The Extent of Introduction of Electronic Machinery in the Office" within the overall context of the European Foundation's research programme. Firstly, an approach by Sector was undertaken, with four sectors serving as example of the extent to which, and the manner in which, electronic technology affects the lives and work of people using this technology, whether as customers or workers in the workplace.
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european foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions THE EXTENT OF INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC MACHINERY IN THE OFFICE ITALY THE EXTENT OF INTRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC MACHINERY IN THE OFFICE ITALY EF / 84 / 58 / EN Copyright of THE EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF LIVING AND WORKING CONDITIONS, 1984. For rights of translation or reproduction, application should be made to the Director, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Loughlinstown House, Shankill, Co. Dublin, Ireland. -1- PREFACE The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, within the framework of its four-year rolling programme for 1981-84, is investigating, among other matters, the question of the effects of technological development on various areas of private and working life. This topic was examined from various perspectives and using various methodological approaches, the most essential of which are briefly described here in order to place the consolidated report on the project, "The Extent of Introduction of Electronic Machinery in the Office" within the overall context of the European Foundation's research programme. Firstly, an approach by Sector was undertaken, with four sectors serving as example of the extent to which, and the manner in which, electronic technology affects the lives and work of people using this technology, whether as customers or workers in the workplace. The sectors chosen were: Banking and Insurance (1981), Supermarkets (1982), Public Service (1983), Machine construction and engineering (1984). Secondly, an inductive approach was adopted, whereby, using the example of various case studies on VDU stations, information could be derived on ergonomie, industrial medicine, opthalmological and work organisation patterns. These studies were carried out in the years 1981 - 82. Thirdly, the topic was investigated under the aspect of industrial relations between workers and employees, with a study of the development and content of "technology agreements". -2- Fourthly, the topic was investigated in terms of industrial and social psychology under the key word "Stress", whereby the question of an increase or reduction of stress in working and private life, arising from electronic technology, was investigated. Finally, a typological approach was adopted, whereby, using the example of the "office" as a workplace, the positive and negative effects of electronic technology for office workers and the users of office services were highlighted. The present report falls into this last category. It presents the results of the first phase of this two-phase project, and is intended to indicate the scale of the phenomenon "technological development in the office" at the present time. It is therefore concerned with the extent of the introduction of "hardware" and "software" and the qualitative result of such investment. The research was carried out in four countries - the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Holland and the United Kingdom. The survey of data relating to the introduction of new technology has been supplemented by the examination or updating of case studies where electronic technology is already in operation. In a second phase (1984/85), particular attention will be paid to the effects on work organisation. This report describes the situation in Italy. The interested reader is referred to the other national studies which are available, either in the original languages or in English, from the European Foundation. -3- The report also includes the comments of the social partners and the government representatives, made in the course of an evaluation seminar held on 23/24th June 1983. Read in combination, these comments define the social and economic context within which the research project is located and are therefore also relevant to an understanding of this national report.