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Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

The aim of this working document is therefore to analyse the digital economy and the transformation of work by considering whether specific developments in this respect can be better characterised as a continuation of previous trends or a departure from the past. Based on more than 25 years of research experience in the field, the authors firstly investigate which aspects of the digital economy model can be deemed genuine novelties and potential harbingers of major breaks with the past, and which are merely amplified versions of existing trends for industry and service-sector restructuring and workplace transformations. The second part of the document examines the major technological breakthroughs which are currently disrupting workplaces, as well as their transformative potential, while the third part looks at new forms of work – particularly virtual work – in the digital economy. The fourth and final part of the document deals with the relationship between geographical distance and social bonds and the regulatory challenges posed by unstructured working patterns, before concluding with a reappraisal of the meaning of work in professional environments where virtual worlds cross over into real life.