Work can be described as a purposeful action of human being which involves using natural goods and adapting them to meet needs of people. Work usually is performed for a payment. It can be consider in two ways: qualitative and quantitative.
Also work is defined as a whole of actions and functions performed by specific employee or employees group on their job position.
Work is an intentional activity of a person. During working process employee uses various working tools (machines, equipment, devices) to transform work object in useful thing which allows to accomplish aims or offer certain material (transport, repair services) and immaterial (TV, theater) services.
Work functions can be divided into (J. Hausner 2008, s. 181):
- economical function – work is a creating factor of social product,
- income function – work is a method of acquiring income, it helps to promote the demand and influences on public income,
- social function – work is a method of achieving personal goals and social status.
According to W. Jastrzębowski, human labor connected with each profession and performed on each position is a/an (A. Biela 2001, s. 15):
- job (motion activity),
- entertainment (emotional sphere),
- thinking (mental activity),
- sacrifice (moral and spiritual aspect).
Each of those four work dimensions allows to enhance human being potential and motivation which is essential for work effectiveness.
If organization wants to encourage employees to efficient and well-organized work, some actions should be introduced (T. Pszczołowski 1982, s. 112-113):
- determine clear and certain action goal,
- make detailed and precise review of resources, tools and methods which may help to achieve established aim,
- arrange exact plan of actions and select the most suitable methods to fulfill the goal,
- accomplish conscientiously the plan in proper environment,
- evaluate achieved results by comparison with established aim, draw conclusions from each stage, introduce corrections concerning goal, conditions, resources, plan action, its realization and control.
Includes three elements:
- work itself
- items of work
Work is always to expend some energy to the muscles and brain. If the work is simple and requires physical effort we are talking mainly about the physical (simple) work. If the work requires little physical exertion and considerable mental effort then we say the work is complex. Between simple and complex work there are many degrees in between. The complexity of the work can be evaluated using analytical techniques.
The amount of work can be measured via two methods: duration of work and the productivity. The economic power in this sense is the productivity of workers. Note that in practice the work is done in time and salary depends on productivity that express not only the quantity but also the quality of work.
- Fombrun, C. J., Tichy, N. M., & Devanna, M. A. (1984). Strategic human resource management. Wiley.
- Romer, P. M. (1990). Capital, labor, and productivity. Brookings papers on economic activity. Microeconomics, 1990, 337-367.
Author: Justyna Michalik