"White-collar factories"

High-tech workers face insecurity, long work hours and isolation from co-workers
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/02/2002

Are high-tech workplaces no better than “white-collar factories?” That’s what one researcher who studied the characteristics of workplaces in high-tech communities is suggesting.

The benefits of being an in-demand high-tech worker are well known: flexible hours, creativity and independence in the workplace. But with these benefits come problems of job insecurity, long work hours and isolation from co-workers, according to Sean O’Riain, a professor of sociology at the University of California. High-tech workers are living a precarious life at best, he said.

“When the economic crisis hit, they found themselves with few collective guarantees,” said O’Riain. “They were cast to their individual fates.”