Welfare professionals’ work practices are changing significantly, as public sectors across the world are undergoing extensive digital transformations. States roll out grand digitalization and automation projects with a promise of higher efficiency and better quality in the public sector. However, the extensive digital transformation also put welfare professionals’ sense of professionalism at stake. Based on 13 interviews with welfare professionals, we in this paper explore how they experience a sense of alienation in relation to the digitalization of their work. We identify two experiences of alienation: (1) meaninglessness: a lack of human connection and (2) powerlessness: a sense of forced ignorance. These experiences of alienation challenge the welfare professionals’ job satisfaction as well as how they assess the cases of the citizens.
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