11 Best Remote Work Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Remote Work BooksUpdated: May 03, 2021

You found our list of remote work books!

Remote work books are guides that cover topics related to telecommuting. For instance, maintaining self-discipline and focus while working from home, virtually managing teams, running digital meetings, and establishing a company culture in online organizations. The purpose of these books is to help employees master skills needed to succeed in virtual offices.

These books include guides to working at homeremote work policy best practices, and  tips for managing remote teams.

This post contains:

  • remote leadership books
  • remote work guides
  • books about working from home

Let’s get to it!

List of remote work books

Here is a list of newly released and best-selling books about working remotely to help you master the art of telecommuting.

1. Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Remote Office Not Required

Via Amazon

Remote: Office Not Required is one of the best selling remote work books of all time. The authors are Basecamp founders and early remote work adopters Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The book lists the advantages of working offsite and lays out strategies for managing remote workforces. Remote: Office Not Required covers topics like remote onboarding and employee retention strategies, collaboration, conflict resolution, and routine in virtual office settings. The book serves as a comprehensive guide to the remote workforce for managers and employees alike.

Notable Quote: “That’s the great irony of letting passionate people work from home. A manager’s natural instinct is to worry about his workers not getting enough work done, but the real threat is that too much will likely get done. And because the manager isn’t sitting across from his worker anymore, he can’t look in the person’s eyes and see burnout.”

Buy Remote: Office Not Required.

2. The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel

The Long Distance Leader

Via Amazon

The Long-Distance Leader is one of the best remote leadership books. “Think about leadership first, location second,” is the book’s guiding principle. The Long-Distance Leader explains that while remote work looks different in terms of environment and culture, the key characteristics of good managers remain largely the same in traditional office and hybrid or remote settings. Each chapter details a core team management competency, noting how the behavior differs at a distance. Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel lay out nineteen rules for virtual managers, breaking down the practice of leading remotely into a simple guide.

Notable Quote: “The battle between perception and reality will always be won by perception. If your team members don’t see the actions that show that you are thinking about them, want them to succeed, trust them, and more, it really doesn’t matter what you are thinking or what your intention is.”

Buy The Long-Distance Leader.

3. Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees by Hassan Osman

Influencing Virtual Teams

Via Amazon

Influencing Virtual Teams outlines seventeen psychological tactics that help remote managers achieve desired outcomes from employees. The book covers topics like setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and explaining tasks, recommending effective approaches for every situation. Drawing on a decade of virtual management and remote work research, Hassan Osman shares proven methods of winning over virtual teams. The book employs a no-nonsense tone and lays out straightforward, practical steps to guiding remote workforces.

Notable Quote: “In terms of engaging and influencing your team, especially in a virtual environment, how you say something, or your vocal quality, can sometimes be more important than what you say.”

Buy Influencing Virtual Teams.

4. HBR Guide to Remote Work by The Harvard Business Review

HBR Guide to Remote Work

Via Amazon

The HBR Guide to Remote Work is a recent addition to The Harvard Business Review’s encyclopedia-like HBR Guide series. Each set serves as a definitive guide to important industry topics, and this newest instalment explains all aspects of virtual work. From establishing work from home routines and avoiding burnout to running effective virtual one to one meetings and addressing undesirable behavior online, The HBR Guide to Remote Work provides advice for every work from home challenge. Since telecommuting is still new territory for many folks, professionals of all levels can benefit from this handy and comprehensive guide.

Buy HBR Guide to Remote Work.

5. Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams by David Burkus

Leading from Anywhere

Via Amazon

After writing successful business books on topics like creativity and innovation, networking, and industry disruption, David Burkus now turns his attention to virtual work. Leading from Anywhere is a guide to leading remote groups throughout all stages of the team life-cycle. The book tackles topics such as introducing new team members, engaging virtual employees, managing performance, and communicating effectively. As a new release for 2021, Leading from Anywhere presents a fresh perspective that encompasses many of the more recent challenges remote managers face.

Notable Quote: “Remote teams rely on technology, and it’s the team leader’s role to make sure that team members have equal access to the technologies they’ll need to collaborate.”

Buy Leading from Anywhere.

6. The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home by Laura Vanderkam

The New Corner Office

Via Amazon

The New Corner Office is one of the best recent books about working from home. Laura Vanderkam draws on personal experience and anecdotes of other remote work veterans to provide best practices for working online. The book advises how to make routines and manage remote workflows, foster connections among remote colleagues, and establish boundaries that lead to long term wellness. The New Corner Office is the ultimate guide to healthy work at home habits.

Notable Quote: “Working from home is a skill. People can learn to work from home just as they can learn to speak French or play basketball. It’s reassuring to realize that, as with most skills, people do a slipshod job on day one, but get better with time.”

Buy The New Corner Office.

7. Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work for You by Karen Mangia

Working From Home

Via Amazon

Working From Home is one of the best new remote work guides. The book lays out  professional tips and best practices for work from home employees. Karen Mangia reminds readers that just because the remote work environment might be more casual or more chaotic than traditional offices, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to advance your career. The book offers practical advice on subjects like calming and controlling kids, creating productive rituals, and keeping tabs on industry innovation from afar. Working From Home is a handbook for high-performance home work environments.

Notable Quote: “We’re talking about your place of doing business. Your zone of control. Your signal to your supervisor and your peers and yourself about the level where you want to be. Get that: your home office is a signal to yourself.

Buy Working From Home.

8. Zoom For Dummies by Phil Simon

Zoom for Dummies

Via Amazon

For many folks, remote work is synonymous with Zoom meetings. As one of the most popular platforms for virtual meetings, Zoom is a fixture in telecommuters’ lives. Zoom for Dummies covers the basics of the software, explaining how to use the program’s features, run successful virtual meetings, and keep communications secure. The book teaches how to use Zoom for social and professional purposes, providing easy-to-understand instructions that help individuals of all skill levels master the technology.

Pro tip: Once you feel comfortable operating the program, check out our list of fun Zoom meeting ideas for ways to make video calls more engaging.

Notable Quote: “Zoom’s tools help individuals, formal and informal groups, departments, an deven entire organizations communicate and collaborate better. In this way, Zoom falls under the umbrella of technologies often labeled as Unified Communications (UC.)”

Buy Zoom For Dummies.

9. Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams by Larry English

Office Optional

Via Amazon

Office Optional is a guide to improving company culture in remote organizations. The book offers advice on subjects such as forging relationships with dispersed employees, scaling the organization without losing authenticity, and using software to improve company culture. Office Optional provides a functional blueprint for becoming an effective remote leader and a great virtual team member by demonstrating what steps every employee needs to make an online office an awesome place to work.

Notable Quote: “To start building your remote culture, establish and share some basic rules. The first and most important rule is mutual trust between the company and its workers.”

Buy Office Optional.

10. The Digital Nomad Handbook by the Lonely Planet

The Digital Nomad Handbook

Via Amazon

The Lonely Planet is famous for publishing high-quality travel guidebooks. Keeping with the times, the company recently released The Digital Nomad Handbook, a guide to working remotely while traveling the world. The book offers information and insight on careers and destinations best suited for the working nomad lifestyle, as well as travel tips and professional pointers. The handbook also shares stories from working wanderers as motivation.

Notable Quote: “Plenty of digital nomads have several business ventures in play, mixing up creative endeavours with more financially secure work in IT, web-design and business support….The most important thing is to be clear in your messaging to clients. If your remote work is split between web-design and being an online language teacher, have more than one online profile, so that people looking for someone to design a website see you as a web-designer and students see you as a teacher.”

Buy The Digital Nomad Handbook.

11. Working from Home with a Cat by Heidi Moreno

Working from Home with a Cat

Via Amazon

While most of the remote work books on this list are practical guides and references, Working from Home with a Cat is just for fun. The book illustrates the experience of working remotely while owning a cat. The full color pictures depict common occurrences such as the cat sitting on the keyboard, meowing during Zoom calls, and disrupting mid-day stretch breaks. Working from Home with a Cat makes a great gift for cat-loving telecommuters, and is a great way to make remote employees smile.

For more present inspiration for remote employees, check out our list of the best work from home gifts.

Buy Working from Home with a Cat.

Conclusion

Once upon a time, telecommuting was a privilege bestowed upon a select few. Now, however, remote work is not the future, but the new normal. Many companies are likely to continue with virtual and hybrid work models, and virtual workers and managers will need to not only endure, but master the act of working remotely to succeed in coming years.

Telecommuting books can help with the transition. While a great deal of the world now has experience working from home, professionals can still benefit from the expert advice and new ideas within the pages of these works.

For more reading suggestions, check out our lists of HR books and employee engagement books.

We also have a list of remote work software tools.

FAQ: Remote work books

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about remote work books.

What are remote work books?

Remote work books are guides to working and managing virtually. The genre covers topics like maintaining self-discipline and productivity, fostering camaraderie with faraway colleagues, and coaching the performance of telecommuting teammates. The purpose of these books is to help professionals master the competencies needed to work online effectively.

What are some good remote work books to read?

Some good books on remote work include Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, HBR Guide to Remote Work by The Harvard Business Review, Leading from Anywhere by David Burkus, and The New Corner Office by Laura Vanderkam.

Why should you read books about remote work?

Telecommuting is still new territory for most folks, and making the switch to working from home can feel disorienting or overwhelming. Books about remote work provide advice and helpful tips to make working or managing off site feel more manageable.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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