Digital world is constantly changing and it seems to affect our lives and work in a dramatic and somehow unpredictable way. New skills and competencies are required and more than ever our learning efforts must be equally distributed between old, traditional and new knowledge, more abundant and diverse, far from what we’ve learned before and beyond any imagination a decade ago.
Performance at work is redefined in such a way that has no connection at all with what was expected from us at the beginning of our working life. We have been trained to use our knowledge to solve problems, now we need to be trained to use machine learning systems to deal with complex problems and to rely on artificial intelligence when it comes to understanding our digital world and its diverse connection with our real life.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about how digital technologies have changed our lives, our society and of course our experiences at work. These changes are visible in many countries and impact every company and are linked with a new workforce who is culturally diverse, narrow specialized in new IT technologies and more demanding in terms of mobility. Companies should have something really interesting to offer in the long term to retain this workforce enough to benefit from their outstanding productivity. For example, in Predictions for 2017: Everything is Becoming Digital, Bersin by Deloitte observes that the need to “be digital” is forcing organizations to completely rethink ways to manage, engage, lead and develop people.
The new digital world of work is transforming people, companies and the society through new tools that make us more efficient, constantly connected to others and strongly focused on results and deeply immersed into the virtual reality. The profile of the digital worker is constantly changing, for most of them learning is taking place in virtual spaces, mediated by computers, in parallel with solving current tasks; specialization becomes narrow and oriented to the future rather than to solving current tasks. In this work environment, performance is as important as “happiness at work”. Working life is understood differently, money is not enough motivator and people are responsive to a lot of other motivational drivers: prestige, recognition, self-esteem, work status. Sometimes good communication is vital, team cohesion and performance depend on the ability of workers to think, work and perform as a complex and efficient body.
Happiness at work becomes an increasingly appealing research topic among human resources specialists, firm managers or academics looking for new methods to support and foster performance at work. Over the years, scholars and executives alike have been obsessed with increasing their employees’ productivity. In particular, happiness as a way to boost productivity seems to have gained increased attraction lately.
Recent studies reveal that in order to be happy at work, we need three things: (1) to feel that we are making a difference; (2) to see the link between our work and our vision for the future; and (3) great relationships.
Closing in a positive manner, we believe that JEDEP authors make a difference through valuable content and interesting ideas shared with all our readers, we really think there is a tight link between our work to promote Open Access to knowledge and our vision about the future of knowledge sharing, and definitely believe that we are contributing to establishing great relationships and we are looking for solutions to create and maintain a JEDEP network of authors and readers.
Enjoy our content and we hope to bring you, dear reader, inspiration and willingness to contribute to our next issues.
Prof. Manuela Epure, PhD
 Annie McKee – Take this Quiz in order to figure out how to be happier at work, Harvard Business Review, 13 Oct.2017, retrieved at https://hbr.org/2017/10/take-this-quiz-to-figure-out-how-to-be-happier-at-work