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Workforce is an island-wide resource which is required by some buildings to perform their functions. Residences are the main source of workforce, the bigger the population, the more workforce is available. Workforce is separated into several tiers, each provided by a particular population tier. Every building which requires workforce requires a specific type and a specific amount of it. Insufficient workforce reduces the effectiveness of those buildings, it can be only lowered or in some cases it can even be reduced to zero, making those buildings nonfunctional. For example a fishery requires 25 units of farmers workforce, no other type of workforce can be utilised by a fishery and having less than 25 farmer workforce available will proportionally lower the productivity of the fishery. Unemployment, i.e. having excessive workforce, has no direct effects on the gameplay, it is generally better to have a surplus of workforce instead of a deficit.

Your island's workforce balance is displayed on the top part of the screen. After hovering over specific workforce type you can learn how many people of this tier provide workforce and how many people are currently employed.

Workforce UI.png

Sources of workforce

There are four sources of workforce in the game:

Residences are the first and main source of workforce. Each residence provides the same amount of workforce as the number of people living inside. Each residence provides workforce of its tier, for example worker residences provide worker workforce but not any other type of workforce. Since each workforce-based building requires a specific type of workforce, it is important to have enough residences of each tier to provide sufficient amount of workforce of each type. To gain more workforce from residences you can build more residences, fulfill their basic needs and use town hall items (to increase amount of inhabitants living in each residence, or workforce generated by it, or both at the same time).
The placement of residences does not matter, workforce is an island-wide resource - wherever your residences are located on the island, the workforce gained from them is added to the island's pool. The placement of buildings which utilise workforce also is insignificant, they have access to the island's workforce pool from any part of the island.
The residences cannot provide any workforce if they are affected by city incidents or if they have no road connection to the harbour.

If you settle enough islands, buy enough shares of your competitors' islands or have enough commuter piers, you can acquire an expansion influence bonus. It provides free workforce of each possible tier to all your islands in Old World, Cape Trelawney and New World. The bonus does not affect other regions. The amount of workforce provided (50, 100 or 200 of each type) depends on the strength of the bonus, i.e. the amount of influence invested into expansion.

Seat of Power DLC allows to utilise the passive effect of the Palace's Department of Administration to gain more workforce in Old World or Cape Trelawney. It adds more workforce to the island's pool for each town hall within the range of the palace or local department (if the Department of Administration is selected). The base effect provides +50 workforce for each type, gaining prestige levels for high attractiveness on the island with the Palace can greatly increase the amount of workforce obtained per each town hall.

One of the articles from anarchy propaganda, available if you have Dr. Hugo Mercier as one of your competitors, provides +125 workforce of each type on every one of your islands in Old World, Cape Trelawney, New World and Enbesa. As newspaper has no effect in The Arctic, using this propaganda article will not increase the workforce in that region. Be careful when using this propaganda article, it has a downside of increasing consumption of all goods by 25% for the entire population in all affected regions.

The purpose of workforce

In order to maintain or increase the population a constant supply of their needs is necessary. This includes, among other things, producing goods and constructing ships. Those tasks cannot be completed without workforce of different population tiers as its the workforce that is responsible for ensuring that many buildings are operational. Those buildings can be belong to several groups:

  • Production buildings - require workforce to produce goods for the population, insufficient workforce increases their production time thus decreasing production rate
  • Multifactories - function in the same way as production buildings with regards to workforce
  • Food & Drink Venues - require tourists (as customers) and to be within the bus network, no bus connection makes them nonfunctional, while insufficient amount of tourists lowers the fulfilment of appropriate tourists need and lowers the percentage of the consumption reduction bonus for other residences
  • Shopping Arcades - require artisan workforce, insufficient workforce lowers the fulfilment of appropriate needs of skyscrapers and lowers the percentage of the consumption reduction bonus for other residences
  • Monuments - they require workforce during their construction stages, insufficient workforce extends the duration of the construction, if lack of workforce is large enough the construction stops completely; some monuments also require workforce once they are finished, like World's Fair requiring investor workforce; they have an ability to mobilise workforce from other buildings
  • Sailing Shipyard and Steam Shipyard - require workforce to construct ships, insufficient workforce extends the construction time, they have an ability to mobilise workforce from other buildings

Almost every single building from those groups requires a particular amount of workforce from specific tier to operate at 100% of its possible efficiency. If there is a lack of workforce of a particular type then this deficit is shared between all buildings which require the same type of workforce - their efficiency is lower, for example production time is longer and producitivity is lower than 100%. In some cases to compensate the deficit you can adjust working conditions but it can have a negative impact on the happiness of your population and will increase riot chances at your production buildings.

Monuments (mostly during construction phases) and shipyards have an ability to mobilise workforce from other buildings. When this ability is toggled on, workforce of the same type focuses on working in that building instead of other buildings which utilise the same workforce tier. For example a sailing shipyard in Old World requires worker workforce, if the amount of this workforce on the island is too low and workforce is mobilised at the shipyard, the shipyard will reserve as many workers as necessary to ensure maximal possible efficiency. At the same time, however, other buildings which use worker workforce will operate with an efficiency that is reduced accordingly to the increased deficit caused by the shipyard.

Some items can change what type of workforce and how much of it is required by your buildings. It is possible to make some buildings require zero workforce, in such cases the buildings will be functional even when no workforce at all is available on the island.

Workforce transfer

Surplus of workforce can be shared between different islands. Islands which have Commuter Pier built, share their workforce pools - all workforce from connected islands can be used on each island without the need to build cities on every one of them.

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