The Finest Books on Telecommuting

The trend towards remote working is pervasive, and the advantages it confers to businesses are widely acknowledged. However, despite its prevalence, remote executives and employees continue to grapple with various hurdles. This blog was established with the aim of tackling these challenges and offering remedies. Nevertheless, we are not solitary in this effort, as a growing legion of authors who provide insightful commentary on remote working are sharing their expertise. In this vein, here are some of the most noteworthy books on remote working.

Top Picks for Books on Telecommuting

1. “Surviving Telecommuting” by Sharon Koifman

After conducting a brief search on Google, it appears that there are only a few books that delve into the topic of remote working and leadership in depth. Finding a single book that can answer all the questions that remote managers and employees may have has proven to be difficult.

With over 20 years of experience in managing remote teams, Sharon Koifman, the President and Founder of Works, has considerable expertise on the subject of remote work. His book, ‘Surviving Remote Work,’ compiles his insights.

For optimal performance of your remote team, we suggest reading this book and implementing its essential strategies. The book encompasses a wide array of topics, including remote onboarding, communication, and nurturing a robust corporate culture, even in a geographically dispersed environment.

If you’re seeking the most valuable resources on remote working, this list of books offers guidance on avoiding distractions and burnout.

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, we have some great news for you! “Surviving Remote Work” is now available in audiobook form.

2. “From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams” by Mark Kilby and Johanna Rothman

We wholeheartedly endorse the Agile Development Methodology; nevertheless, we recognize that it may not be effective when used with a dispersed team. “From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams” by Mark Kilby and Johanna Rothman is a must-read for anyone struggling with remote working and the Agile methodology. Their extensive knowledge and experience in the field are invaluable in identifying problems and offering solutions.

The book’s most notable strength lies in its numerous citations. Mark and Johanna have not only relayed information they gathered from others, but also provided the results of their own research on the topics discussed. To gain deeper insights into the book and Mark and Johanna’s backgrounds, we recommend tuning in to the Works podcast.

3. “Distant Control” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Although the world of remote working has progressed greatly since the release of this book in 2023, the guidance provided by authors Fried and Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals (now referred to as Basecamp) remains relevant. As authorities in the remote working sphere, their advice is invaluable.

Remote working has gained traction in recent years, as evidenced by the book’s title. The first two chapters of this book concentrate on persuading individuals that remote work is the optimal choice and provide solutions to common concerns, such as “others may become jealous.” It also discusses how to recruit and manage remote employees effectively to allow them to realize their full potential.

4. “Thinking Remote” by Pilar Orti and Maya Middlemiss

For those leading distributed teams, this book offers guidance, starting from the fundamental principles of successful remote working to practical strategies for maintaining team visibility. It covers all aspects of leading a remote team, from the initial setup to ensuring team members are content and efficient. With comprehensive advice and an emphasis on best practices, this book can assist any leader of a dispersed team in achieving their objectives.

In a recent episode of the Works podcast, Pilar and I discussed why open collaboration is more effective than “working out loud.” We emphasised that “Thinking Remote” provides an extensive exploration of this subject.

5. “Work Together Anywhere” by Lisette Sutherland

Lisette has written a book that may aid in transitioning from an office-based team to a remote one. The first section introduces the topic, the second examines the experiences of remote workers, the third focuses on the shift to remote work and the fourth offers advice on leading a dispersed team.

In this podcast episode, Lisette discusses her book “Work Together Anywhere” and her show “Collaboration Superpowers.” We agree with the numerous positive reviews the book has received.

6. “The Long-Range Leader” by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel

“The Long-Range Leader” offers a great resource for those seeking to refine their leadership abilities when it comes to managing dispersed teams. Our mantra “Leadership First, Location Second” emphasises the ubiquity of leadership traits and serves as a guiding principle for those seeking to improve their expertise.

According to the book, effective leadership is effective leadership, regardless of location.

7. “Having an Impact on Remote Groups” by Hassan Osman

When managers lack faith in their employees’ capacity to perform tasks autonomously, they may become overly involved, resulting in exhaustion and reduced team morale. To learn about the psychological methods that have demonstrated effectiveness for executives leading remote teams, we suggest reading “Influencing Virtual Teams.”

The book discusses deadlines, responsibilities, communication, feedback, and other topics in depth.

Books That Aid You in Succeeding While Working from Home

Naturally, books not exclusively written for remote work may also prove useful in building or guiding a remote team.

Discovering effective approaches for remote teams can be accomplished by perusing books on management, communication, and technology. Our podcast guests have recommended a variety of books over an extended timeframe.

8. “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh is his Eighth Book.

Oliver Weiss, a guest on the “Works” Podcast, recommended “Delivering Happiness,” a book authored by one of the creators of Zappos. Tony Hsieh imparts his business acumen throughout this text, chronicling his progression from a worm farm to the CEO of an online retail behemoth. This is an excellent book to read if you want to understand how company culture can impact productivity.

9. “The Way of Action” by Stephen Bungay

Our podcast guests frequently recommend “The Art of Action” as a must-read, as it offers a glimpse into how effective leaders can translate their vision into tangible outcomes by bridging gaps between individuals. The book is an academic analysis of the 19th-century Prussian army, renowned for its complex hierarchical system. The writer then correlates these principles to show how they can be applied to contemporary business operations.

10. “The Icarus Deception” by Seth Godin

Icarus was frequently cautioned against soaring too close to the sun, but it is rarer to discuss his warning against flying too low. Agile specialist Molood Noori highly recommended “The Icarus Deception” by Seth Godin on her podcast appearance. The book contends that differentiating yourself from the rest of the pack is the sole way to triumph, rather than simply fitting in.

11. One of the Greatest Works Ever Written is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”

It is common knowledge that a plethora of people have watched “The Lord of the Rings” movies. However, you may be curious as to how it relates to remote work. In the 100th edition of the “Works” podcast, Rustam Ahdierviev, our Vice President of Operations, discussed the motivating components of the book. He stressed the significance of collective goals in facilitating remote teams to work seamlessly together, even when they are geographically distant.

Immerse Yourself in a Captivating Book

These books on remote work are indispensable to both managers and employees, providing valuable perspectives and even drawing upon science fiction for inspiration. While remote work may seem distinct, it is crucial to recognize that work is work, regardless of the setting, and although different methodologies may be necessary, the difference between remote and conventional working is narrower than one might anticipate.

If you are seeking help with hiring skilled remote employees, feel free to reach out to us without hesitation. Our team has extensive experience in identifying the ideal candidates for any given role, and we are delighted to share our knowledge and network with anyone who requires it.

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