Workers and Technology

Brain with Gears

Technological innovations are transforming what people do, how work is performed, and the subjective work experience.


In healthcare, the application of new information technologies is forging new patterns of teamwork and pacing.


Smartphones have expanded work across time and space, often eliminating traditional boundaries between work and non-work/family.


Manufacturing Plant
New robotic technologies are modifying the knowledge and skills attentional demands required for job performance.   
The Center highlights the need to understand how new tools and systems affect learning, social relations, decision-making, and job attitudes. Understanding the impact of new workplace technologies on people also has important implications for career development and worker well-being. Research topics of interest include, for example:
  1. How changes in technology, workspaces, and always-on demands affect work-nonwork conflicts, work attitudes, and job stress.
  2. How changes associated with human factors engineering affect decision-making, engagement, and innovation.
  3. The features of new work architectures that spur creativity, innovation, and health.

Relevant WSC Content

  • A Smartphone Lies Diagonally on a White Background
    Blog entry
    Network Research Highlight: Batch Your Smartphone Notifications

    Ever been working only to hear an enticing little “ping!” accompanied by a bright light? If so, you’re likely one of the 90% of people ages 18-49 who own a phone. Psychologists and organizations alike have wondered how these ever-present interruptions affect workers. 

  • Social Media Icons
    Blog entry
    How to Use LinkedIn for Hiring

    Social Media, specifically LinkedIn, has played an increasingly important role in connecting job seekers with employers and recruiters. A recent article presented data from two studies exploring how LinkedIn is, and can be, used as a selection tool. Overall, these studies suggest that LinkedIn may be a viable way to examine job seekers’ skills and abilities, particularly those that are more visible. Further, using an itemized approach to evaluating LinkedIn profiles, rather than a more holistic approach, can help ensure a reduced level of adverse impact, thereby increasing the diversity of candidates that are considered at the next step in the application process.

  • People on smartphones
    Blog entry
    WSC Network Research Highlight: The Social Price of Smartphones

    Smartphones have become pervasive. Work Science Center Network Member, Kostadin Kushlev, recently published a review on the social costs of smartphone usage. Smartphones are designed to capture our attention, and increased use has been shown to increase perceived distraction and negative mood while decreasing feelings of social connectedness, meaning, and enjoyment. Beyond the negative effects of being distracted by a smartphone during social situations, smartphones have begun to eliminate the need for many common social interactions, altogether.

  • Doctor and robot interacting
    Blog entry
    Mapping Signs of Trust in Robots

    A paper published on sensing human trust in machines explores the psychophysiological features that indicate how humans perceive intelligent system. A subsequent goal of the study was to build a trust sensor model to train machines to adjust their behavior according to the subject’s perception. The results of the study showed that the body tends to change in a specific pattern in response to increased trust in a machine in real-time. By using and improving these models in the future, it is possible that machines will be able to adjust their behaviors based on human psychophysiological response. This would increase the trust between humans and machines and allow for effortless interactions that increase the efficiency of work