Work dates back to the earliest existence of mankind. In those early days, work was the collective effort of all human beings purposely for human survival. All human beings were engaged equally in an effort to ensure that the human race survived.
This era can be further broken down into the following stages:
A. Stone Age
B. Horticultural Age
C. Agrarian Age
A. Stone Age.
This refers to the earliest form of human existence on record. During this era, human beings only relied on that which nature could provide. This made them be defined as hunters and gatherers. They were very careful in ensuring that they protected their nature as it would provide for them.
During this era, people would be engaged physical for a common goal for all and sundry. It was all about community and not for personal gain. In this era also, separation of duties began to emerge with the male gender been tasked with the duty of hunting and ladies gathering. They would then pull all that they had caught and gathered and propagate their survival.
This form of survival was been pushed to the limits by the growth in population and this necessitated the transformation into the Horticultural era. In this era, competition was non-existent and work was general, manual, and only for survival
B. Horticultural age.
This era came into being as a necessity. The human race quickly realized that they could not just survive on what nature was providing but that they had to engage the environment more in order to produce enough to ensure the survival of the growing race.
They embarked on tilling of land rather cultivation and taming and domestication of animals. There was a paradigm shift in how people viewed work. This era saw the first attributes of real job separation, specialization and gain form margins. The gains from margins attribute contributed largely in the growth of trade occupations. This in turn saw the rise of some people owning property for profits, conquest of areas deemed more productive and even conquest of people and turning them into forced labourers.
It was a predatory society where manual work was viewed as dirty and for the less-fortunate in the society. In this era, some vocations like business people (traders), warriors, political and religious leaders emerged. Work became structured but highly exploitative.
Production increased and with it came the increase in population, skill and mentality. This gave rise to the Agrarian era.
C. Agrarian age.
This era was characterized by immense technological advancement. Production increased in folds as mechanical cultivation and mass production became established. This advancement brought with it a paramount growth in skill set and great diversity of the same.
Unfortunately, this era also saw the rise of parasitic and exploitative rulers who ventured far and wide in an effort to accumulate riches. Manual labour was looked down upon and levels and classes were established in a very structured manner, with the top class enjoying the greatest rewards having done the least manual work.
Levels emerged in the structured workplaces e.g. Supervisors, Managers, and owners. This era also saw further exclusion of women in the occupations that were viewed as noble. The mass and mechanical production saw the rise and growth of urban centres and the population as well, his in turn fuelled the growth of trade activities which also realized specialization.
Traders began specializing in what they deemed to do best with the main focus in this era been mass production, which was done with little or no regard to the worker, mores the common worker.
2. INDUSTRIAL CAPITALIST ERA.
This era came into being as a result of profit based perspective by the owners of property. It has its foundation mounted on the Agrarian era to a large extent. This era saw individuals, families and groups of people venturing into different occupations with an aim of making profit and improve their own personal lifestyles.
The industrial era continues to this age and work is still evolving. This era can be classified into two:
A. Structured work era,
B. Knowledge work era
A. Structured work era.
This essentially talks of a very well structured and formal engagement of a productive individual, to give their best in a certain field, a given time and in a certain manner and be rewarded for the same. Structured work plans are in place to this day and have the following characteristics:
? The is a skilled labour,
? The skill may be either transferable or non-transferable,
? There is more or less of fair pay for work done,
? The main motive is personal living,
? The voices of the employed are respected,
? The formation of unions took place,
? The engagement stipulates the area/situation,
? The engagement stipulates the number of working hours,
? There are high levels of specialization.
This is the most common perception of work in the current world, but work does not mean the structured and formal place of occupation where one uses their skill and expertise to give an output in exchange for a reward, no; it means any activity and/or occupation that one may engage in in order to make profits. This notion had given rise to the Knowledge work era.
B. Knowledge work era.
This is the newest concept of work in this ever changing and uncertain world. It refers to an era in which time, place and area are not prohibitive concepts. This is the new age where the skills are dynamic in nature, transferable across the world and the output in most cases cannot be measured physically.
It talks of a ‘global worker’, a person who can fit in any part of the human world and manage to earn a profit by virtue of employing their specialized skill. Technology advances are unparalled and they allow human beings to work from any part of the world; lectures been done online, cyptocurrencies been traded online, e-commerce is the talk of town, robots carrying our surgeries and a very uncertain but exciting future.