Confess it, the name surprised you. E-Nomad, an electronic nomad…
So, this is name for a new king of worker come out of a work environment full of new devices, apps, services, communication networks, machines. E-Nomad is the “b” side of the massive establishment of information and communication technologies in the world of work.
Properly used, technology makes things easier but, taken to an extreme, it may have counter-productive effects at both OSH and productive levels.
E-Nomad belongs to this second case, that in which his/her life and work were invaded by technology with a working time with no established end, workload and tasks complexity increase as the number of technologies used, the criteria for information selection is lost for the amount of available data, personal relations are substituted by virtual contacts and life-work balance is impossible to distinguish because both aspects are mixed. Day to day, like this.
Besides, E-Nomad suffers musculeskeletal disorders due to inadequate postures by the utilization of new devices in any place and time.
In this context, it is not strange that information and communication technologies, together with the so-called “green jobs” were considered one of the priorities for occupation safety and health research in Europe in further years or that one of its consequences, stress, was the main topic for the next 2014-2015 “healthy workplaces” campaign from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
The paradox is that, despite the changes in the world of work and the raising of new risk factors, traditional labour environment risks continue increasing as well, and that there is no signs of decreasing accident rates and physic risks in the next years.
Finally, a question: in this context, will be the traditional OSH methods enought? Or the new world of work and emerging risks will require also emerging OSH specialist?.