Humane Workplace and Its Hidden Costs, Behind the Myth of the New Office
By: Andrew Ross
Posted May 27, 2003
Published by basicbooks.com
(Basic Books, ISBN: 0-465-07144-9). US $27.00 / $41.50 CAN
A new book about how the New Economy of the last decade changed our expectations
of the corporate work experience: No-Collar:
The Humane Workplace and Its Hidden Costs, Behind the Myth of the New Office
Utopia by Andrew Ross
Work is where we spend most of
our lives, so it's no wonder that creating a better workplace is a cherished
goal of many companies—and more than a few of their employees.
With the dawning of the "New Economy" in the 1990s, the
dot-com’s seemed to have accomplished what many earlier businesses had
failed to do: create a workplace where people set their own hours, made up
their own titles, and looked like they were having the times of their lives
while earning a considerable sum in their paychecks.
Ross, a well-known American
Studies scholar and iconoclast, spent over a year deep inside New York's
Silicon Alley observing the work habits and structures of prominent
companies (he also interviewed a wide range of industry employees
in other cities) to find out whether or not the promises of a better work
life were being kept. Ross discovered a paradox.
As the work itself became more humane and democratic, the new
structure created new worries for employees and bottomless 70-hour-plus
A brilliant inquiry into this
dilemma at a unique moment in American history, No-Collar
is the first book to shine a full light on the myths and realities of the
modern workplace of the 21st century, in the context of the history of ideas
about work and fulfillment.