Digitalization for All
The digital transformation promotes work productivity and well-being, but it also threatens to deepen inequalities in work life by creating digital divides between employees. The digital divides increase the risk of exclusion from work life and society, make it more difficult to extend careers and raise the employment rate and undermine well-being at work and the atmosphere in workplaces.
There are three types of digital divides. The first divide exists between those who use and those who do not use digital technology in their work. Another divide exists between those with the ability and opportunity to use digital technology in a skilful and diverse way in their work and those who do not possess these. The third divide lies between those who are able to benefit from digitalization by strengthening their own position and potential and those whose position and potential are weakening. We call these divides the access divide, the usage divide and the utilization divide.
We also look for the reasons for falling into the divides and propose ways to bridge, overcome and prevent the divides.
Materials and techniques
In the first phase of the survey (1 January–30 June 2020), we used the data from Statistics Finland's 2018 Quality of Work Life Survey to form a statistically generalized picture of the digital divides among employees. Based on this, we conducted in-depth interviews during the second phase of the study (1 July 2020–31 March 2021) and analysed the organizations that have successfully prevented the emergence of such divides. In the third phase of the study (1 April 2021–31 October 2021), we organized workshops where we refined our research results into concrete development proposals to reduce, bridge and prevent digital divides.
The study is carried out in close co-operation with the labour market organizations, public authorities and work organizations participating in the project. In connection with this, we will produce reports on the results of statistical analysis and development proposals as well as a number of scientific articles, blog posts and other writings.