Humanizing work: surviving in the culture of technology

John Renesch (Businessman‐futurist based in San Francisco, California, USA.)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 1 November 2006



The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the trends toward work being more suitable for machines than people, which promotes more addictive lifecycles. This paper suggests ways people can reverse this trend to cut them off from their humanity and create ways of working that are more natural, uplifting, life‐affirming and healthier for people.


The approach is to cite evidence of growing dysfunction, including facts and studies that support the trends; to explain how this has occurred; to describe how systems behave and misbehave; and to call for transformation.


This paper finds that people are suffering more stress, experiencing a reduced quality of life, getting sick more often and are less happy. And most of them don't realize why they are less happy because they seem to have so much (material wealth) to be grateful for. The findings include a way to reverse these trends and return to a life more suitable to human beings.

Practical implications

The practical implications are that people will start working in ways that are consistent with these new values and consciousness, finding newfound excitement and enthusiasm for their work, and reawakening their passions for living and working. This will produce happier people, more effective organizations and a healthier society.


The value of this paper is to provide a “wake‐up call” to those who find themselves entranced by convention and numbed by pressures from the systems they live and work in, so they start thinking less obsessively, working less mechanically and demanding more people‐friendly work and ways of living.



Renesch, J. (2006), "Humanizing work: surviving in the culture of technology", Foresight, Vol. 8 No. 6, pp. 26-36.

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