I thought it was about time to post something on the recently published Forrester book, Invisible Robots in the Quiet of the Night. As you might expect, it is full of data from Forrester and others. But it’s also rich with stories of people whom automation has affected both positively and negatively — the machinist, the ride-sharing gig worker, the insurance underwriter, the displaced coal miner in Appalachia, the factory worker, and the nurse practitioner. The book comes complete with a four-part model of the future workplace and the 12 work personas that will occupy it.

I am listed as the author of this work, but that is less than half the story. It is based on important research threads and contributions from many analysts at Forrester — most notably J. P. Gownder, who created the future of work model, Glenn O’Donnell on the forces of automation, and David Johnson on employee experience.

But here’s the main point: If you’re a business or individual with a traditional view of work, you risk being run over by the future. The old view of work belongs to a time of “while you were out” slips, pocket protectors, and voicemail. Businesses and workers clinging to the remnants of this now mythical workplace will find that grip getting weaker. Here is a short (two-minute video) that describes it.