Out of Office : the big problem and bigger promise of working from home - Anne Helen Petersen

Out of Office

the big problem and bigger promise of working from home

By: Anne Helen Petersen, Charlie Warzel

Paperback | 30 December 2021

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A game-changing book about the revolutionary potential of working from home, by two experts who work - and live - together.

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed offices around the world, sending millions into makeshift home offices, it was a forced compromise made under duress. But 2020 taught us that there may be another way to work: one that doesn't involve hellish commutes and set schedules that no longer make sense, especially for companies with international reach.

While working from home can make people happier and make companies more productive, it has its pitfalls. Doing it well takes some thought. Out of Office combines Charlie and Anne's first-person experiences of moving to a rural area and working remotely - for years before the pandemic hit - to demonstrate how workers everywhere can find new ways of working anywhere.

Industry Reviews

'Having left their New York desk jobs and moved to Montana, leading culture journalists Warzel and Petersen see today's pandemic-driven work-at-home situation as a cobbled-together compromise and explain how we can create true out of office work schedules benefiting both workers and employers.'

* Library Journal *

'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 *

'Warzel and Petersen offer good and sensible advice.'

-- Emma Jacobs * Financial Times *

'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 candour, 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

'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

'Great for making you think about the life you want to live and cultivate outside of your laptops.'

-- Susan Riley * Stylist *

'Offers straight-talking, accessible self-help.'

-- Johanna Thomas-Corr * New Statesman *

'Insightful and timely ... Never sacrificing meaningful analysis for easy answers, this is a remarkable examination of the rapidly-changing workplace.'

* Publishers Weekly, starred review *

'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 return to work now occurring provides the opportunity, and this book provides a roadmap.'

* Booklist *

'[T]imely and often prescient.'

* The Sydney Morning Herald *

Praise for Can't Even:

'Can't Even is a compelling exploration of the phenomenon of burnout and how an entire generation has been set up to fail. As a Millennial, reading this book was a deeply cathartic experience. Anne Helen Petersen articulates the struggles and motivation of a generation so impeccably. Reading this book made me feel like finally, someone understands me. I wish I could give this book to everyone I know.'

-- Taylor Lorenz, culture reporter, New York Times

Praise for Can't Even:

'[A] cogent explanation of the millennial landscape, incorporating in-depth research, interviews, and her own experiences to define the problems that millennials face as they attempt to live up to high, occasionally near-impossible expectations ... Petersen provides an appropriate amount of historical context - especially regarding demographics, economics, and labour issues - from the Great Depression to the present, which allows readers to clearly see the shift people have undergone in their thinking about what constitutes success or happiness. This chronicle of changes is well worth reading, as the author explains so much about life in the age of Trump. Throw in the candid discussions by millennials - most of whom are burned out and can't find satisfaction in their lives, even as they work diligently - and the book becomes an even more useful and insightful series of lessons. A well-researched and rendered analysis of why so many millennials feel overwhelmed despite their best efforts.' STARRED REVIEW

* Kirkus Reviews *

Praise for Can't Even:

'In a cultural moment rife with inter-generational sparring ("OK, Boomer"), and with millennials garnering criticism for their transient-appearing lifestyles (never buying houses or napkins), Buzzfeed culture writer Petersen cracks open why millennials behave the way they do and how the lifestyles that have been forced upon them are a detriment to society as a whole ... Petersen is generous in divulging personal experiences and hopeful even at her most enraged. This galvanising read reminds readers that what seems impossible is absolutely not, especially for a generation with so little to lose.' STARRED REVIEW

-- Michael Ruzicka * Booklist *

Praise for Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud:

'Anne Helen Petersen's gloriously bumptious, brash ode to non-conforming women suits the needs of this dark moment. Petersen's careful examination of how we eviscerate the women who confound or threaten is crucial reading if we are ever to be better.'

-- Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of All the Single Ladies

Praise for Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud:

'In a time when women are under constant attack, I am so grateful for Anne Helen Petersen's sharp and topical book. Petersen nails the magnetism of women who break boundaries and the punishment that often comes along with it. All women will see a bit of themselves in the 'unruly.''

-- Jessica Valenti, New York Times bestselling author of Sex Object

Praise for Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud:

'Supremely thoughtful ... [S]nappy and compelling ... [Petersen's essays] highlight the paradoxical expectations American culture places on women, in particular, the mixed messages it sends: the 'you can do anything', rubbing awkwardly against the 'you can't do everything.''

-- Megan Garber * The Atlantic *

Praise for Scandals of Classic Hollywood:

'Clear and convincing ... Although Petersen's book benefits from intelligent analysis of archival research, she writes with the verve of an enthusiast.'

* LA Times *

Praise for Scandals of Classic Hollywood:

'[This] dishy book delivers the juicy anecdotes readers crave.'

* NY Post *

Praise for Scandals of Classic Hollywood:

'Not merely a rehash of salacious old Hollywood gossip, Petersen revivifies flattened images of Hollywood icons ... Wide-ranging and surprisingly thoughtful.'

* Kirkus Reviews *

'Journalists Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen examine both the benefits and pitfalls of remote work in societal terms ... For better or worse, our relationship with the office has changed forever.'

-- Rachel King * Fortune *

'[S]imilar to the wisdom echoed in Jenny Odell's How to Do Nothing, they ask us to reconsider our emotional devotion to labour and reprioritise the things that matter most ... Out Of Office is not an easy cure-all for the various problems and inequities that plague our current workforce, it's a call to action: we only get one life, so why should we believe that we must live to work?'

-- Vanessa Willoughby * LitHub *

'Inspired by the writers' own rocky experiences with flexible work and informed by conversations with hundreds of workers across industries and sectors, the book is a wide-ranging discussion of the forces shaping the Great Resignation.'

* Future Forum *

'Thankfully, Warzel and Petersen's book is less about ~these unprecedented times~ and more about how the culture shift of the pandemic can maybe be an opportunity to solve issues that have existed in the corporate world since before we wore masks every day.'

-- Amanda Silberling * TechCrunch *

'It offers a worthy balancing act that shows the promises and pitfalls of working at home as opposed to at the office. In the end, the book is about how to structure a work environment - one that makes workers more productive, feel like they are doing meaningful work and ultimately renders them happier employees.'

-- Eric Allen Been * TechRepublic *

'Examine just what working from home really is for workers across America, who it's working for, and who it's working against! This is a book that aims to reshape our entire relationship to the office, no matter where we sit.'

-- Mara Freedman * The Riveter *

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