MTM – Work design productive and safe

Work 4.0: Designing Mental Work Is a Central Issue in Digitalization

Prof. Winfried Hacker (Dresden University of Technology), Dr. Ernst A. Hartmann (Institute for Innovation + Technology in VDI/VDE-IT) and Dr. Thomas Mühlbradt (Institute of the Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e. V.) highlighted opportunities and challenges for work design in digital working worlds at the Occupational Psychology Symposium entitled “Work 4.0 – Designing Work in Digital Working Worlds as an Interdisciplinary Design Task.” The number of those interested – more than 50 experts and managers from the worlds of business and science attended – showed that the design of mental work is a central issue in digitalization.

Prof. Hacker outlined the latest state of research and the need to design mental work. His message was clear: The increase in mental work demands increases in the need for cognitively well-founded, but practical approaches. Dr. Hartmann presented current technological projects from the point of view of the Institute for Innovation + Technology and referred to needs and opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation between applied psychology and engineering. Dr. Mühlbradt reported on practical challenges for industrial engineering in the light of the increasingly cognitive work content and “cognitive” technology and highlighted R&D and qualification requirements in digitalization.

The symposium formed part of the 10th Conference of the Work, Organization and Business Psychology Specialist Group at the German Society for Psychology; it was held in Dresden on 13 – 15 September and was entitled “Human Performance in Socio-Technical Systems".

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