In Physics, work involves applying force to move an object. Or changing the state of an object. You can see real work in the picture in a number of examples — the men carrying bags of grain to the mill, the waterwheel being moved by the flowing water, the women scooping up water to carry it back to the village.
When a person doesn’t change the state of anything, are they doing real work? A truck driver isn’t doing the real work; the truck is moving the load. Knowledge workers never do any real work.
So what? Most of us do no real work yet we change the state of things. Mind over matter. That is the direction that human work has been taking since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 300 years ago — and the trend is still continuing. Technology is taking over changing the state of things — automated share trading for example.
We need to rethink why humans must work. Without work are we even human?