The Definition of Work


Work is energy transferred to or from an object by a force. It is the product of the force’s strength and the distance traveled. We can visualize the transfer of energy by performing simple physical calculations. Work is used in many industries, including manufacturing, engineering, and architecture. It is also a fundamental part of physics.

In simple terms, work is the force that causes an object to move. It is also the product of the force and the displacement of the object. The SI unit of work is the Joule (J). A block that is placed on a frictionless floor moves along a distance d along a straight line in the direction of the force.

To define work, consider what kind of force you need to exert on an object to make it move. It has to cause a displacement. An example of a force-driven object is a rock that is thrown into the air, or a pencil dropped off a table. Both are actions that produce work, but in different ways.

A person’s effort to move an object requires a force, and that force must be directed toward the work. To visualize the difference, consider the picture below. Without the force, the truck would not move. Thus, a person is not performing work if she does not make the object move. This is called negative work.

As we know, work is important to all societies. However, its nature varies widely from society to society. The tasks performed can range from gathering natural resources by hand to operating complicated technologies. In order to complete these tasks, people need to possess certain skills, tools, and resources. This diversity of tasks has led people throughout history to develop a wide variety of attitudes towards work.

The nature of work an employee does is often directly related to the position in the organization. For example, a human resources manager may perform complex work than an entry-level employee. The latter person is usually responsible for the organization. The job responsibilities and grading system are used to measure performance. In general, the higher the level of the position, the more complex the work.

The definition of work is similar to that of energy. A force acting on an object must result in a displacement. To calculate work, a person must know three quantities: the force acting on the object, the displacement, and the angle between the force and displacement. This information is required to calculate the force’s direction.

The magnitude of work is measured in joules. A joule is equal to 1 newton of force over a distance of one meter.