Media Coverage of Shadow Work


“Well, women have a lot more career options, and the good news is, they often are now the executives. The bad news is that today, executives do much of their own secretarial work.”

– 3 Ways You’re Doing the Jobs of 4 People (But Only Getting Paid for One) by Craig Lambert, May 12, 2015

““If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.” “

– Excerpt from Shadow Work published in, July 11, 2015

“There will be fewer chances to start a career without some kind of skill to offer employers, as “on-the-job training” becomes something done not by salaried staff, but by you—and other shadow-working customers.”

esquire-logo“When finished, you pick up the cup, napkin, and paper, sweep up the crumbs, and deposit everything into the receptacle. Did you notice how you just transformed from customer into a momentary busboy? At nearly all fast-food venues, it’s not a heavy lift, but it’s your (unpaid) job now.”, May 11, 2015

huffington-post-logo“Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day, published earlier this year, is part of a genre we might call American Busyness Studies; which is to say, it is another attempt to diagnose whatever societal morbidity derailed John Maynard Keynes’ 1928 prediction that by 2028 our wealth and technology would permit us all to work 15-hour weeks and dedicate our lives to leisure.”

fast-company-logo“Leadership now is less about superiority of raw information and more about creative pattern recognition; the leader views the same data as everyone else, but reaches a different conclusion.”

the week-logo“Companies are just assuming they can help themselves to our time,” says Lambert, author of Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day. “Americans tend to be cooperative people. And they will dish out that time without asking, ‘Is this what I want to be doing? Am I really getting anything for this?’”

boston-globe-logo“Leisure is a sitting duck, because it can be stolen so quietly that no one notices.”
The Boston Globe, Opinion, May 29, 2015

“…he sees his book as a field guide to an ever-expanding phenomenon: ‘I’m giving you a pair of binoculars that will help you spot shadow work in your life.'”
The Boston Globe, May 9, 2015
harvard-magazine-logo“…much of the transfer represents outsourcing that is financially advantageous for supplier and provider companies—and completely burdensome for the rest of us.”
Harvard Magazine, May 12, 2015

babble-logo“The exhausting ‘shadow work’ that women have always done — and currently perform — is something that most men simply don’t take on, even in our ‘modern’ age.”

babble-logo“Americans are very keen on saving time and money, as if we all aspire to become fast-moving tightwads. But ‘saving time’… avoids the question of what we are doing with that time.”

bloomberg-logo“The people who are doing these jobs are, in a sense, amateurs,’’ Lambert said. ‘’You’re getting people to do segments of work that they’re not trained to do.”

managemetn-today-logo“There’ll be resistance, innovation and new ways to keep self-service customers warm. In your local supermarket, just maybe, there’ll be a hologram who always remembers your name.”

pj-media-logo“I needed to contact my bank but no one answered the customer service line so I got online and waited three days until someone replied…I spend part of my days deleting spam emails from companies wanting sales and then the other part deleting voice mails from telemarketers. It is eating up a good part of my day.”

“As companies, the more we automate, the more faceless we become. Loyalty is something we accord to people, not gas pumps or web sites.”

head-butler-logo“I can assure you the book’s a winner because it’s reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Book Review by the estimable Barbara Ehrenreich.”
Head Butler, May 11, 2015

publishers-weekly-logo“My hope is that people will come away with a heightened awareness of the trade-offs they make in daily life. You’ll be making a choice on purpose, as opposed to sleepwalking.”
Publishers Weekly Q&A with Craig Lambert, April 10, 2015

darby-pop-logo“If you’ve been wondering why you seem busier now than at any other time in your life…and why all the additional leisure time the computer age was supposed to deliver has never materialized…Shadow Work has the answer(s).”
Jeff Kline of Darby Pop Publishing, October 23, 2015