An online tool to identify white-collar worker profiles in relation to their ICT skills and mental strain

Authors: Rodriguez, Roberto1; Pattini, Andrea2

Source: Cognition, Technology & Work, Volume 13, Number 2, June 2011 , pp. 81-91(11)

Publisher: Springer

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The introduction of Internet and Information and communication Technologies (ICT) in offices is a global phenomenon that transformed white-collar worker job demands. Although there are several studies of e-skills and mental workload for central countries, there is a lack of similar studies for the Latin American context. An online snowball sampled (n = 352) survey was developed and validated by the authors (internal consistency = 0.7). We characterized ICT worker profiles from e-skills and these dimensions: attitudes toward, resources usage and technology dependency. Mental Strain was assessed with raw task load index (RTLX) and correlated with the proposed profiles by means of paired T-tests and Mann–Whitney Tests. The sample was characterized by 7.2% of non visual display terminal users and 92.8% of visual display terminal, ICT skilled users. Of the latter, 30.7% were ICT practitioners, 30.4% were ICT Users and 27.2% were E-Business Users. Non VDT users’ mental strain was statistically meaningful smaller than VDT–ICT skilled users’ mental workload. No statistical differences were found in RTLX results when comparing ICT skilled user profiles. Non VDT users can be identified from ICT skilled Users by their lower ITC Dependency and minor use of ICT resources. There were no differences in those dimensions among ICT skilled Profiles. Attitude toward these technologies was a distinct factor for ICT Users in relation to ICT Practitioners and ITC Business Users. The application of this tool in peripheral and central countries would allow a complete ergonomical characterization of white-collar workers within the Information Society.

Keywords: ICT; Mental strain; Peripheral countries; White-collar work

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio de Ambiente Humano y Vivienda INCIHUSA/CONICET, Av. Ruiz Leal S-N. Parque San Martín, Mendoza, Argentina, Email: 2: Laboratorio de Ambiente Humano y Vivienda INCIHUSA/CONICET, Av. Ruiz Leal S-N. Parque San Martín, Mendoza, Argentina

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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