Working Life

What does it mean to be the children of Marx and Zoom?

This work is an attempt to broadly review the historical transformation of workplace control, in order to understand recent forms of control encapsulated by the “activity-based workplace” model in high commitment organizations. It uses two new office buildings in Johannesburg as suggestive (but not conclusive) illustrations to highlight how this new workplace set-up bolsters managerial control by blurring the distinction between work and life (while proclaiming to be more free and laidback). In the broader context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that is changing the world of work, we suggest that the shift to home-working (for mostly white-collar workers) represents the final colonization of work over life.

Page development: Paul Sika

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