New Information and Communication Technologies (NTICS) have changed our daily lives. Bringing together techniques used in computing, telecommunications and the Internet, NTICS make it possible to produce, transform or exchange information in large quantities in real time or within very short deadlines. Within the company, the NTICS are closely linked to information systems: they constitute the material part (computers and mobile phones, networks, etc.) and software (ERP, etc.). Integrated into the value chain, the NTICS facilitate, even make possible new organizations and new professional practices. It is most often a question of reinforcing flexibility, increasing productivity, improving the value produced, or even developing the capacity for innovation.
The rise of NTICS in recent years has contributed to a profound change in working conditions.
It is not so much the techniques as such as the uses 1 that are made of them that impact the work, its content and the way in which it is carried out. Uses can be considered as social constructs that the various actors (Management, DSI, management, employees, HRD, OS, etc.) have contributed to developing. We find there the influence of societal evolutions with the rise of NTICS in the private sphere, as well as elements specific to the company (objectives assigned to NTICS projects, attention paid to the analysis of needs, anticipation of uses , that which accompanies change…).
An in-depth analysis of these uses is becoming essential in current thinking about improving the Quality of Life and Health at Work (QVST) 2 . How and under what conditions can NTICS contribute to “deploying quality work, creating value and accomplishment factor 3 ”? This is a question to which the National Interprofessional Agreement on “improving the quality of life at work and professional equality” planned for 2013 will surely provide answers and to which the management, the HRD and the social partners of many companies.
1. The notion of use goes beyond the question of use in the technical sense to encompass practices and representations and take into account the work context.
2. The notion of quality of life at work was mentioned at the European summits in Lisbon in 2000 and Laeken in 2001, which formulated several objectives: worker satisfaction, lifelong education and training, equality between men and women, of the National Agency for Working Conditions (ANACT).
3. “The promises of quality of life at work”, Béatrice Sarazin, ANACT file, January-February 2013.