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20+ Of The Best Books on Remote Work
One of the best ways to learn about anything is to read books from those with experience and expertise on the topic. Here, you will find a list (in no particular order) of great books on the topic of remote work to inspire you to join the club or improve your existing remote work situation.
1. Remote, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
While this book was published well before the pandemic, reading it today feels as though it was some kind of premonition. In a time where work from home was not as widely accepted, it’s comforting to know that people like Jason and David have been pushing this movement along even before it became mainstream. This book is written from the perspective of a business owner with the vast majority of their team working remotely and from around the world and offers insight into the benefits of being able to source a diverse team working from anywhere with an internet connection.
2. Work Together Anywhere: A Handbook on Working Remotely Successfully, by Lisette Sutherland
Work Together Anywhere is a more recent perspective on the work from home movement, published in 2020. Author Lisette focuses on the team and the shift from working face-to-face to screen-to-screen. She writes about the various levels in a team and how each one can better support and connect in our new digital reality. This book is packed with material and actions that will support cultivating a team mentality, even if your team is 100 miles apart!
3. The Art of Working Remotely: How to Thrive in a Distributed Workplace, by Scott Dawson
Another pre-pandemic gem of a book that asks the question: how do we thrive in a physically distributed workplace? Scott has over 20 years of experience in working remotely and he generously shares his best practices. Not only can you make it work, but you can actually thrive in remote working conditions with the right tools, mindset and a good book with some great tips.
4. Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work for You, by Karen Mangia
Apparently, 2020 was a great year for books on the topic of remote work, inspired of course by the realities of the ongoing pandemic. Karen outlines (with impressive detail) how to make working from home, work for you. She starts with the basics of creating a great home office that works with the space you have available. Once you have a great and functional office, she offers great advice for managing your time without the external pressures of a manager breathing down your neck. On top of this very practical advice, she also touches on the less sexy topics of working remotely like the issue of isolation.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss
All of the books on this list are must-reads but this one is near the top when it comes to setting the tone for the “why” behind remote work. This pre-pandemic work of art really challenges the notion that working 9-5 in an office is the best and most productive use of your time. Tims book focuses heavily on travel and living a good life but he finds meaning in a more detached and digital approach to work, sharing his valuable lessons along the way.
6. Digital Nomads Living on the Margins: Remote-Working Laptop Entrepreneurs in the Gig Economy, by Beverly Thompson
While the digital nomad life isn’t for everyone, there are many transferable lessons for the average remote worker whether they are traditionally or self-employed. Digital nomadism tends to be a western concept where you can imagine a good-looking Millenial living out of a van, laptop open to a backdrop of beautiful mountains or white sand beaches. Okay, not realistic for most of us but this perspective is incredibly valuable for a holistic view of the new remote work reality.
7. The Holloway Guide to Remote Work, by Juan Pablo Buriticá and Katie Womersley, along with contributing authors
Appropriately, this book is completely digital and (at the time of writing this blog) has been very recently updated with the latest findings. I doubt that there is a more complete and comprehensive read on this list than The Holloway Guide to Remote Work, but it is certainly a heavier read than others on this list. The impressive list of authors and contributors provides a variety of perspectives from a wide range of digital industries and they dissect what works and what doesn’t at some of the top remote work serving companies.
8. Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere, by Tsedal Neeley
The shifts that happened with the pandemic have certainly inspired some great books, Remote Work Revolution is one of them. Tsedal is a Harvest Business School professor and an expert on the topic of virtual and global work. She recognizes that the shifts brought on by a global pandemic were significant and greatly reduced (or eliminated) commutes and operational costs but also opened the door wide to a whole world of new talent. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though and Tsedal discusses and offers solutions to some of the more challenging parts of remote work.
9. 33 Tips for Working Remotely: A Productivity Guide for Remote Workers, by Carmen Corral and Amber Aguilar
Who doesn’t love a good top “x” list? Adapting to the realities of remote work can be challenging and Carmen and Amber offer 33 tips to help ease the transition. The duo offers very practical tips on how to adapt quickly, be productive, and best manage your time. This book is definitely best for people who are just starting out with remote working but even seasoned remote workers can benefit from returning back to the basics.
10. Remote Working: The Home Worker’s Guide on Effective Remote Working, And Coworking for Maximum Productivity and Leisure, by Jones Carwell
Jones argues that remote work is here to stay, and we have to agree with him! Pulling from the most recent and credible studies, he offers a complete look at the benefits of remote work but also the effects on overall wellbeing and productivity. Like those that came before him, he smashes the myth that remote workers will simply lounge around the home and do the bare minimum. Jones helps his readers find an appropriate balance of productivity and leisure to fully embrace the remote work lifestyle.
11. Parenting While Working from Home: A Monthly Guide to Help Parents Balance Their Careers, Connect with Their Kids, and Establish Their Inner Strength, by Shari Medini and Karissa Tunis
The unfortunate reality of the world today is that many people are working from home with tiny humans running around in the background. Whiles these conditions are not ideal for productivity, Shari and Karissa offer some relief and best practices for managing to parent children and working remotely. Creating a kid-friendly environment, building a support system, and managing your time and attention are just a handful of the topics that the authors touch on. This is a great read for anyone who may be struggling to balance work and parenting responsibilities.
12. The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership, by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel
Another pre-pandemic book that was ahead of its time. Unlike most books on this list, this book focuses on the leadership qualities needed to lead remote teams. Being a leader is hard, being a leader to a remote team brings with it a host of additional challenges and stresses. Authors Kevin and Wayne help leaders navigate this new terrain, form good habits, and embrace the best practices of digital leaders.
13. Work-From-Home Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Get Organized, Stay Productive, and Maintain a Work-Life Balance While Working from Home!, by Aja Frost
You read that right, more than 500 work-from-home hacks! Books like this are an example of good things that have come out of the pandemic, where people have actually had an opportunity to put these hacks to the test. Aja shares a variety of tips on creating a workspace, reducing distractions, dressing for remote work, and more! Even if you are a seasoned remote worker, you will find hacks that will help you refine your existing system and reap all the benefits of working remotely.
14. Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees, by Hassan Osman
This is another great book to add to your list if you happen to be responsible for a virtual team. Based on the latest understandings in psychology, Hassan provides tangible actions that you can take to better manage your team… from anywhere! You will learn how to encourage your team to use the appropriate systems and respect deadlines, as well as increase productivity and trust. The urge to micromanage is strong and it is how we have done things for so many years, but Hassan will help you develop the leadership skills that are more appropriate for today’s workforce.
15. The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home, by Laura Vanderkam
This cleverly titled book plays on the fact that the corner office was once the ultimate goal of any office worker. The author herself has over 18 years of experience working remotely and she graciously shares them with an eager audience. Developing habits and learning how to physically and mentally detach from work in the same space that you binge-watch Yellowstone takes practice, but this book will help.
16. Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore, by Bryan Miles
Believe it or not, even with a title like this, this book was actually published pre-pandemic. The author is acutely aware that we are working in a way that just doesn’t jive with the changes we have seen over the past century. Bryan argues that it does not account for the rapid advances in technology that would (in a perfect world) make our lives and jobs much easier. Productivity happens outside of a cubicle and Bryan tells us how.
17. Have Fun Working Remote: Work From Home Transformation Guide For Everyone, by Sheila Kennedy Ph.D.
You can both work and have fun. Dr. Kennedy has a Ph.D. in Behavioural Science and real experience working remotely. She admits that remote work is not a new concept but that it is newly widely embraced, and for good reason! She examines what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to working remotely and how to add a little fun into the mix.
18. Remote Working: A Post-COVID19 Guide for Employees & Employers, by Frederik Haentjens
The title says it all. COVID19 (the great disrupter) has changed how and where we work in profound ways. Frederik is a self-described digital nomad and an expert in human capital and organizational transformation. Combining his experiences with the realities of the changes thrust upon us by a pandemic, this is a must-read to better understand how even remote work was not immune to changes in our society and environment that resulted from COVID19.
19. The Productive Virtual Workspace: Making Remote Working Efficient & Sustainable, by Nitasha Nijhawan
Finally, someone is talking about making remote work as sustainable as possible! Nitasha describes a sustainable culture as one that is considerate of financial, environmental, and social implications. While the obvious decline in world travel and commuting is having a positive impact on our carbon footprint, she challenges the reader to consider the pace at which we work and the disruptions we continually face and how that relates to sustainability.
20. Remote Working: How to Effectively and Efficiently Work from Home in Challenging Times. The Essential Guide., by Andrew Priestley
This book combines the expertise and advice of 25 remote work professions for a one-stop shop especially for HR, management, and entrepreneurs. Written in the context of the pandemic, this book is especially relevant to the challenges of remote work that we face today.
There are countless amazing books on this topic, it is impossible to talk about all of them in detail. Below, you will find an impressive list of additional 22 books on the topic of remote work.
- Working Remotely: The Telecommuter’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Rocket Matter
- Working Remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams, by Teresa Douglas, Holly Gordon, and Mike Webber
- Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams, by David Burkus
- Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams, by Larry English
- The Digital Nomad Handbook, by the Lonely Planet
- The Year Without Pants, by Scott Berkun
- The Remote Revolution: How the Location-Independent Workforce Changes the Way We Hire, Connect, and Succeed, by John Elston
- The Digital Nomad Survival Guide, by Peter Knudson
- Remote, Inc. How to Thrive at Work . . . Wherever You Are, by Robert C. Pozen Alexandra Samuel
- Your Work from Home Life – Redefine, Reorganize and Reinvent Your Remote Work, by MJ Fievre Becca Anderson
- Surviving Remote Work, by Sharon Koifman
- Remote Work: Get a Job or Make a Career Working From Home, by Will Gant
- A Quick and Dirty Guide to Make Remote Working Not Suck Even if You Are Doing It Against Your Will, by King Siu
- R.E.M.O.T.E. – Leverage the Distance and Achieve Excellence When Working Remotely, by Marci Powell
- Work From Abroad: Travel the World While Working a Full-Time Remote Job – Learn How to Digital Nomad and Work from Anywhere, by Drew Sing
- Virtual Teams and Remote Working – How to Successfully Work Remotely and Lead Virtual Teams, by Andrew James Robinson
- Great Pajama Jobs – Your Complete Guide to Working from Home, by Kerry E. Hannon
- REMOTE iT!: Winning with Freelancers—Build and Manage a Thriving Business in a Virtual World—Run a Booming Business from Anywhere, by Michael Brooks
- Transforming the Remote Work Experience, by Melanie Gass
- Have Fun Working Remote: Work From Home Transformation Guide For Everyone, by Sheila Kennedy Ph.D.
- HBR Guide to Remote Work by The Harvard Business Review
- Working from Home with a Cat, by Heidi Moreno (just for fun)
Remote work is truly a hot topic and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Every situation is different and every organization has different needs so it is important to gather as much information as possible and figure out what best applies to your situation.
So cozy up, grab a hot drink, and get reading!