Review: Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home

Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home by Charlie Warzel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you work to live or live to work? Do you have some other way of concieving your relationship to work in a society that centers work as a central identity? Warzel and Peterson delve into work culture, its history, the assumptions of the present paradigm, and the possibilities that await us in the post-pandemic world. They posit that after pandemic, we have what feels like a once in a lifetime (or century even) opportunity to thoughtfully and intentional reconsider what work can and will be and that individuals and companies should seize this moment to shift to a more sustainable means of employing people if they actually care about their staff, care about a more productive company, and worry about losing to competition. On that final point, it's unclear if their book is likely going to change or influence businesses and their decisions on how to make work culture something that isn't toxic or problematic on the cultural level (that is, even if individuals find solace or benefits in it). And that's probably the biggest challenge with the book, their talk of work culture and even at times, their larger conversations about cultural shifts are exciting and aspirational but it seems so unlikley to create in a society that ceaselessly worhships individualism to the point of which most individuals are negatively harmed in several ways by that focus. Still, there's a lot of great insights about work culture, how people come to think about and construct their work lives (to the degree that they can) that is worth exploring in this book. They provide many ways for employees and employers to change and think differently about the work and individuals can use these insights to rethink how they concieve of work and life beyond work.

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