Contemporary Issues in Job Design

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  • 0:00 What's Important in…
  • 1:01 Traditional and…
  • 1:50 Important Contemporary Issues
  • 4:35 Leson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Many issues affect the way we do our jobs. In this lesson we will look at those issues known as contemporary issues. Specifically, we will explain how many of today's issues affect the way a job is designed and eventually completed.

What's Important in Job Design?

Not that long ago, when searching for a job, you simply grabbed a newspaper, circled the ads that best matched your qualifications and interests, and then sent a resume through the mail. But now things have changed! Nowadays, we typically jump on the computer and within seconds are connected to thousands of jobs. With just a click of a mouse, we are able to send resumes instantly. Just as the process of finding a job has changed, the methods of completing work and creating positions have also evolved.

Job design is the process of creating or outlining tasks and responsibilities for individuals and groups to complete. The duties of the job may fluctuate as the objectives and goals of the position and the company change. In other words, job design is a way of ensuring that goals and objectives can be met. However, jobs should be designed not just to meet objectives but also so that workers can perform at high levels and feel job satisfaction.

Traditional and Contemporary Issues

In job design, traditional issues are the ones that have been part of the equation since the beginning of jobs as we know them today. These issues include how well-defined tasks, roles, and positions are in the larger structure; the abilities of individuals to transfer to jobs of similar skill levels or the opportunities for promotion; and the scope of responsibility given to any particular employee.

Contemporary issues are those factors that are relevant to the design of a job in our current times that were not necessarily important before. These new issues influence how a job is designed in key ways such as the desire to create a balance between work and personal life, flexibility regarding when and where work is done, adaptations necessary to cope with changing technology and work tools, and rethinking the structure of positions and jobs themselves.

Important Contemporary Issues

Though not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the biggest issues in job design today:


One very popular and growing trend is that of telecommuting, also known as working from home. Many companies now allow employees to conduct their jobs partly or entirely at home using technology to communicate with other employees. Employees are able to use computers, telephones, and the Internet to stay connected with their company while in the comfort of their own homes.

Flex Hours

Sometimes traditional business hours do not work for an employee's schedule because they have other commitments, such as college, another job, or the need to run their kids to activities. In these types of situations, flex hours, or an open work timeline, can help. With flex hours, employees are able to choose a schedule that works best for them, such as working early mornings, late at night, or on and off throughout the day.

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