What Are Common Characteristics of Factory Work?

Common characteristics of factory work include starting, stopping and operating machinery, pulling damaged or defective products off the production line, cleaning inside, outside and around production machines, recording machinery data, and spot-checking finished products as they move down the conveyor belt. Factory work was adopted after the Industrial Revolution.

Factories were built for mass production, which was first adopted in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s. The factory system replaced the putting-out system, which entailed outsourcing processes and handing off part-making to two or more subcontractors. The introduction of factories centralized production. Multiple machines were necessary to make the products people needed, such as shoes and tires, and because factory workers could not afford to buy the machines that made these parts, the factory became a central place where all parts could be made at once and assembled immediately.

Factories immediately became financially lucrative and therefore popular for businesses that made products. In factories, larger quantities of products could be made for much less money. Laborers did not have to be skilled or educated, so they weren't paid very much, which also saved money. Factory workers simply followed basic directions for how to operate machines.