Author(s): Daniel Lyons
“A few years ago, Dan Lyons, a former technology journalist with Newsweek, endured an unhappy stint with a software startup called HubSpot. Initially dazzled by the company’s youthful vibe – all ping-pong tables and beanbags – he quickly became disillusioned. “Beneath their bubbly exteriors,” he recalls, “many people were anxious, frightened, unhappy, and massively stressed out.” He wrote a bestselling book about that experience, Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Start-Up Bubble (2016). In Lab Rats, Lyons warns that the oppressive working culture he witnessed in the tech industry is being rolled out to other businesses, including some in the public sector, thanks to the efforts of a coterie of high-end management consultants. These are a truly strange breed, combining ludicrous pomposity with an almost psychopathic earnestness.
Lab Rats is a lively and spirited takedown of a human resources industry that is increasingly brazen in its unabashed parasitism. Its core argument – that “dignity, respect, stability and security still matter” – is surely irrefutable. The book is the latest addition to a growing body of literature taking issue with the normalisation of precarious and long-hours work.”
Emma Duncan – The Times (JC BookGrocer)