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The future isn’t about where we will work, but how. For years we have struggled to balance work and life, with most of us feeling overwhelmed and burned out because our relationship to work is broken. This “isn't just a book about remote work. It's a book that helps us imagine a future where our lives—at the office and home—are happier, more productive, and genuinely meaningful” (Charles Duhigg, best-selling author of The Power of Habit).
Out of Office is a book for every office worker – from employees to managers – currently facing the decision about whether, and how, to return to the office. The past two years have shown us that there may be a new path forward, one that doesn’t involve hellish daily commutes and the demands of jam-packed work schedules that no longer make sense. But how can we realize that future in a way that benefits workers and companies alike?
Based on groundbreaking reporting and interviews with workers and managers around the world, Out of Office illuminates the key values and questions that should be driving this conversation: trust, fairness, flexibility, inclusive workplaces, equity, and work-life balance. Above all, they argue that companies need to listen to their employees – and that this will promote, rather than impede, productivity and profitability. As a society, we have talked for decades about flexible work arrangements; this book makes clear that we are at an inflection point where this is actually possible for many employees and their companies. Out of Office is about so much more than zoom meetings and hybrid schedules: it aims to reshape our entire relationship to the office.
About the Author
CHARLIE WARZEL writes the newsletter, Galaxy Brain for The Atlantic, where he is a Contributing Writer. Before that he was a writer-at-large for the New York Times Opinion page, and a senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News. He was the lead writer of the Times' Privacy Project and co-author of 'One Nation Tracked,' a seven-part investigative series on smartphone location tracking, for which he was named a finalist for the 2020 Livingston Award for National Reporting. Before the Times, Warzel was a senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News, covering technology's biggest platforms, disinformation, and information warfare. He was the recipient of a 2019 Mirror Award for his reporting on Facebook's privacy struggles. He lives on an island off the coast of Washington state.
ANNE HELEN PETERSEN writes the newsletter Culture Study, and is the author of four books, most recently Out of the Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home (co-written with Charlie Warzel) and Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation. She received her Ph.D. in media studies from the University of Texas, and was formerly a senior culture writer at BuzzFeed News. She lives on an island off the coast of Washington state.
A Fortune December Book to Read • An Inc.com Inspiring New Book • A LitHub New and Noteworthy Book • A Riveter Best Book of 2021 • A TechCrunch Best Book of 2021 • A TechRepublic Best Book of 2021
"The authors take the reader on a deeply researched tour through America’s broken work landscape and sketch out a vision of what a better future might look like.”
—David Wainer, Bloomberg Businessweek
“This book will challenge you to rethink what it takes to make remote work work—not just for companies, but for people. With lucid writing, provocative examples, and refreshing candor, Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen highlight what too many workplaces are doing wrong—and how we can start getting it right.”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
"Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen talked with workers and managers around the world to get at the meat of how to change the story: trust, flexibility, and equity for every employee level. A healthy work–life balance doesn’t mean a decrease in productivity; it means happier, healthier workers."
"Insightful and timely... Never sacrificing meaningful analysis for easy answers, this is a remarkable examination of the rapidly-changing workplace."
—Publishers Weekly, starred
"If you believe there’s a better way to live than refreshing your work email until you close your eyes at night, you’ll appreciate this deep dive into how workers relate to the office."
—Angela Haupt, Washington Post
"Out of Office isn't just a book about remote work. It's a book that helps us imagine a future where our lives - at the office and home - are happier, more productive, and genuinely meaningful. As companies and employees imagine their post-pandemic futures, Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen have provided an essential framework for rethinking how we work.”
—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
"Based on a historical review of workforce expectations, journalists Warzel and Petersen focus on four key areas for strategic change to improve working conditions, employee satisfaction, and wellness... Prior to the pandemic, worker burnout, transience, and dissatisfaction were culminating in a call for change. The pandemic and remote-work chaos heightened awareness of the need for change, the returnto work now occurring provides the opportunity, and this book provides a roadmap."