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Computers, Work and the Workplace

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Computers in the Workplace (initiated by the CPSR/Palo Alto chapter) became a national level project in 1988. The Participatory Design conferences have explored workplace issues since the conference's inception in 1992.

Since then, changes in how work gets done, who does it, and where, have dramatically altered the landscape of work and working life. Trends such as outsourcing and the use of contract and temporary workers have become prevalent while the promise of telecommuting has so far proven to be more hype than substance. Increasingly, workers face the prospect of electronically-monitored workplaces, work which is rigidly automated, jobs which lack security or benefits--or no work at all.

The goal of this resource page is to build upon CPSR's Computers in the Workplace project and the Participatory Design movement.

CPSR Resources

  • Email and Voicemail Policy - Sample policy recommendations for businesses.
  • PDC - CPSR's biennial Participatory Design Conference brings people together from all over the world to talk about how involving workers directly in the design of workplace systems improves the eventual product.
  • CPU: Working in the Computer Industry - A periodic online newsletter that covers issues involved with working in the computer industry.
  • Work, Health & Safety - Computer & Information Technologies Platform - CPSR/Berkeley chapter, 1992 (includes 1996 updates).
  • Publ ications list - A list of CPSR publications.
CPSR Conference  - "Net Worth, Net Work Technology & Values for a Digital Age." - Berkeley CA/October 1997

Outside Resources

Privacy issues

(Also see CPSR's Privacy and Civil Liberties page.)

Labor and worker advocacy

  • "Day 2" organizing committee of customer service workers at
  • ACLU/Workplace Rights - American Civil Liberties Union.
  • LaborNet - LaborNet is a forum on the non-profit, progressive IGC network.
  • Working Today - An advocacy organization for self-employed, contract, temporary and freelance workers. Members are entitled to discounts for health benefits and other services.

Health issues

  • Computers & Health - An extensive web site devoted to health, saftey and ergonomic issues of computer use in the work environment. Features an illustrated primer on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • CTD NewsOnline (Workplace & Ergonomic Safety) - The online version of the CTDNews newsletter published by the Center for Workplace Health.


This page is currently maintained by Randy Trigg. Comments, suggestions and pointers to non-commercial resources are welcome.

Last updated on August 4, 2004

E-mail with questions or comments.

Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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Why did you join CPSR?

I support critical thinking--including ethical issues--when it comes to decisions about the use of technology. I want more people to have access to learn about technology. I would like to see resources go into finding and implementing technologies that provide the most public good.