Craig Lambert visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss his book "Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day". In the book, he describes the glut of self-serve tasks—like pumping our own gas, scanning and bagging our groceries, booking our travel, deleting spam, tracking passwords, assembling Ikea furniture—that businesses, governmental agencies, schools, and other institutions now offload onto uncompensated consumers. Is the result “middle-class serfdom”, as he calls it, or something else?
Craig Lambert, Ph.D. is the author of Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day (Counterpoint Press, 2015). He was a staff writer and editor at Harvard Magazine for more than two decades. Lambert’s work has appeared in publications ranging from Sports Illustrated to Town & Country to The New England Journal of Medicine.
With the exception of sleep, humans spend more of their lifetimes on work than any other activity. It is central to our economy, society, and the family. It underpins our finances and our sense of meaning in life. Given the overriding importance of work, we need to recognize a profound transformation in the nature of work that is significantly altering lives.Find out more