While many desk jockeys have resumed their pre-pandemic commutes, some are still working at home and others are balancing a combination of the two. Covid-19 has irrevocably redefined the phrase “office space,” and new books assess what it means for the future of employment.

Competing in the New World of Work

Keith Ferrazzi, Kian Gohar, and Noel Weyrich. Harvard Business Review, Feb. 2022

Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone) and his coauthors draw from research conducted with thousands of executives and workers to define the factors that make a strong new-normal workplace—“digital, distributed, inclusive, resilient, empathic.” This framework, they say, can create a more successful, happier office, even when the pandemic is a distant memory.

The Everything Guide to Remote Work

Jill Duffy. Adams, Jan. 2022

While many have found remote work to be more productive, satisfying, and sustainable than the previous routine, there can still be pitfalls as staff adjust to life away from the water cooler. Journalist Duffy provides tips to help readers optimize their workplace’s culture, even when that “place” is purely virtual.

The New Roaring Twenties

Paul Zane Pilzer. BenBella/Holt, June 2022

In the 2020s, economist Pilzer sees a decade full of just as much upheaval as its last-century antecedent. New financial and societal opportunities will abound, he writes, based on 11 “pillars” that include an energy revolution, the gig economy, and an expansion of the sharing economy. Buckle up.

Out of Office

Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen. Knopf, Dec.

In what PW’s starred review called “a remarkable examination of the rapidly changing workplace,” journalists Peterson (Can’t Even) and Warzel illuminate how remote work “capitalizes on the total collapse of work-life balance.” The authors propose ways to make work more productive and inclusive for all workers, whether office- or home-office bound.

Suddenly Hybrid

Karin M. Reed and Joseph A. Allen. Wiley, Feb. 2022

Participants forgetting they are (or aren’t) on mute, people talking over each other, cats crossing in front of the camera: hybrid meetings can be a challenge. Speaker Dynamics CEO Reed and meeting scientist Allen provide best practices for work gatherings that don’t make participants want to fake a dropped call.

The Virtual Leader

Takako Hirata. BenBella/Holt, May 2022

A co-located office is fundamentally different from a remote one, pharmaceutical executive Hirata says, and leaders can’t simply port over standard practices from one to the other. She proposes ways to build trust, conduct productive meetings, and enable good communication in a distributed work environment.

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