What Is Work?


In physics, work is the transfer of energy from one object to another. This energy can take the form of mechanical, potential, or thermal. The SI unit for work is the joule, which is the same as that of energy.

A force must displace an object for work to be done on it, and the relative direction of the force and displacement determine whether the work is positive, negative, or zero. For example, the work done by a hand throwing a ball over a distance is positive because it increases the kinetic energy of the ball. When the force is applied perpendicular to the displacement, as when an object is held by a person in a gravity well, the work is negative.

People often have different ideas about what counts as work, and the term can be applied to tasks ranging from writing an essay to lifting a heavy box off the floor. However, the scientific definition of work is more limiting. For something to be considered as work, it must involve a force that is greater than the mass of an object and a change in position (or displacement) of the object caused by that force. It must also be applied to an object over some distance, or at least a portion of the total displacement, such as when an ax swings over a log.

The force that is applied to an object over a given distance is called its power, and the integral of this power over the path of the point of application defines the work that is done by that force at an instant in time. This formula, which requires that the velocity of the force and the displacement of the object be known, is called the work–energy theorem.

Since work can change the amount of energy an object possesses, it is a fundamental concept in the field of thermodynamics. This is why the work–energy theorem has such a profound impact on our understanding of energy.

Working from home can offer a variety of benefits for employers and employees. For example, it can help reduce costs related to commuting and professional attire. It can also help employees who struggle with child care or household chores. It can even increase productivity by allowing workers to focus on tasks without distractions.

However, companies must consider the effects that their work from home policies may have on employee morale and engagement. A recent study found that when companies allow employees to work from home, they are more likely to feel happy, productive, and energized at work than those who don’t have this option. In addition, if employees are satisfied with their job, they will be less likely to quit and might be more willing to put in longer hours when needed. This could help boost the company’s bottom line. However, a company must be prepared to invest in training and support for employees who want to work from home.