The Occupational Hazards of Knowledge Work
It’s clear to us what the occupational risks are of an industrial laborer. At first sight of the equipment we can tell such tools pose a risk to health, limb or life. Because of this, many industrial tools come with operational manuals, safety instructions and warnings on the tool itself. Similarly in the knowledge economy, many software programs come with how-to guides, online video tutorials and support portals. Now, of course in software the consequences of mistakenly using a relative cell reference in Excel when one should have used an absolute reference are not so dire. No one I know of has ever lost a limb while working in Excel! So perhaps my analogy is beginning to break down but I thought it worth asking; What are the occupational dangers posed to the knowledge worker? The following chapters are my responses to this question.