Although remote work has been growing in popularity in the last few years, more and more people have also become interested in working from home.
However, working virtually can be a bit intimidating.
How can you effectively work from home? How do you build and manage a team virtually? These and other questions might come to mind during your professional career when working remotely.
So whether you are new to remote work, want to level up your skills, or looking for best practices – the best thing you can do is dive into remote work books.
What Are Remote Work Books?
Remote work books are playbooks and guides that help you better work and manage teams virtually. Working from home has exploded in recent years and the genre helps others become more confident with their work, improve virtual productivity, perform more effectively, manage work relationships, and much more.
22 Best Remote Work Books
I’ve always felt learning from others and reading books is a great way to keep your mind sharp, but also to improve your career endeavors. It’s why I wanted to put together this list of books on remote work.
Below you’ll find a mix of books about working from home. Whether you are just getting started, interested in being a digital nomad, will be managing a remote team, or starting a company that will be remote – these books are for you!
FYI: These are in no particular order.
1. Remote: Office Not Required
Remote: Office Not Required is one of the best-selling remote books of all time and one of the pioneer playbooks about effectively working from home. Although this is one of the older books on this list, I still consider it an essential read.
Authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, also the founders of Basecamp, talk about the power of remote work and finding work-life balance.
2. 75+Team Building Activities for Remote Teams: Simple Ways to Build Trust, Strengthen Communications, and Laugh Together from Afar
Are you a leader or executive working remotely? Are you a manager that is building a virtual team? One of the challenges with remote work is team building, especially when you aren’t in person very often or may have a distributed workforce around the globe.
Author Christopher Littlefield wrote this book for those looking to build a great remote team culture, but don’t know where to start.
3. Working Remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams
In Working Remotely, the authors Teresa, Mike, and Holly explore how to avoid loneliness and isolation in remote work, how to be better communicators when working from home, and how to grow your career from home. This is an essential read for anyone wanting to succeed as a remote worker.
4. Work-From-Home Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Get Organized, Stay Productive, and Maintain a Work-Life Balance While Working from Home!
Working from home has plenty of advantages and perks, but it can also lead to personal challenges and frustrations. The latter half of that previous sentence is certainly true if you are brand new to remote work.
Work-From-Home-Hacks is a solid book that helps you discover how to set up your home office and workspace, productivity tips, how to dress, and so much more. These are the best daily hacks to help you become a top-notch remote worker.
Buy Work-From-Home Hacks.
5. The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership
And this awesome book about remote work includes various exercises that ensure your projects stay on track, help you keep productivity and team morale high, and more.
The co-founders of the Remote Leadership Institute, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, discuss and show company leaders how to guide their teams who are scattered globally or even if they are working from home just a few days each week.
6. HBR Guide to Remote Work
How can you truly succeed with remote work? That’s where Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Remote Work will be a must-read!
In the book, you’ll get advice and tips that help you be incredibly productive, how to better collaborate with your colleagues, and how to best avoid work from home distractions.
You’ll find insights from leading experts in remote work, management, and leadership with detailed answers to help you navigate any remote work challenges you may be facing today.
7. The Remote Facilitator’s Pocket Guide
Meetings, sharing ideas, and planning can be tougher with remote work and make you feel a bit uneasy or intimidating at times. But you can avoid the awkwardness and make remote meetings better, through this guide by Kirsten Clacey and Jay-Allen Morris.
Whether you are new to dealing with virtual meetings or have had experience in the past, this book is all about improving the experience and being more effective with teams. Get tips, insights, and a playbook for how to ditch bad remote meetings and make everything more fun and collaborative.
8. The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work: How to Grow, Manage, and Work with Remote Teams
Wade Foster is the co-founder of Zapier (which his company also happens to be on our Top 100 Remote Companies) wrote this in-depth guide to remote work. Foster and the Zapier team were also early adopters in the remote-first mindset and have been a widely successful business and top place to work.
This book shares everything Foster and team have learned about running a completely remote team, including successes and failures. There are also insights and content from other Zapier team members and others who have worked remotely.
Plus you’ll find additional content from others like Danny Schreiber, Matthew Guay, Melanie Pinola, Bethany Hills, Alison Groves, Jeremey DuVall, and Belle Cooper.
Read for free on Kindle.
9. Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions
A sense of belonging and community can already be tough in the workplace. But when you are in a remote workplace, it can increase the challenges and cause miscommunication among co-workers.
This book, Subtle Acts of Exclusion by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran, explores how to avoid these “accidental exclusions” like backhanded compliments, assumptions, exaggerated stereotypes, and more.
You’ll learn about how to identify and address these issues, give you action plans and scripts to create healthier remote workplaces and happier employees.
10. The Holloway Guide to Remote Work
This modern guide to remote work was authored by Juan Pablo Buriticá and Katie Wilde, who lead large remote engineering teams at high-growth startups.
But what is also exciting about this book is there are numerous contributors as well from people like Andreas Klinger (AngelList), Job van der Voort (Remote.com), Hiten Shah (FYI), Brenna Loury (Doist), Laurel Farrer (Distribute Consulting), and more.
The book covers the remote work practices at well-established companies like GitLab, Trello, Zapier with the goals of helping managers design what works best for their company and employees and helping employees make the most of their remote experience.
11. Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams
At some point in your career (or currently) you may be managing a team or in a more executive leadership position. And with remote work, there can be different challenges you’ll face when it comes to hiring, onboarding, building culture, managing expectations, communicating, and more.
In this book from David Burkus, you’ll find heavy research and practical advice about leading and growing a remote team. You’ll get examples, insights, and playbooks to help you become a better leader while working from home.
12. The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home
One of the shorter books on this list (but no less impactful), The New Corner Office is a quick read jam-packed with insights. The book explores how you can win with remote work when you might be tempted by things in your home or other distractions.
But author Laura Vanderkam dives into managing tasks, goal setting as a remote employee, finding your work rhythm, how to better nurture your networks and co-worker relationships, and more.
13. Remote, Inc: How to Thrive at Work . . . Wherever You Are
The book, Remote, Inc. gives you the important strategies and tools you need to make remote work a valuable part of your professional career.
Throughout the chapters, you’ll learn how to focus on your objectives from home, impress your current managers, avoid information overload, make online meetings more useful and powerful, build relationships with co-workers, find your work-life balance, and more.
What’s cool about this book is you’ll get into the habits and mindsets of others who have been highly successful remote employees, which you can use to help you be the ultimate remote worker.
Buy Remote, Inc.
14. Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere
Tsedal Neeley is a Harvard Business School professor and leading expert in virtual and global work who shares best practices that are important for remote workers to perform at the highest level.
In her evidence-based research, this book is essential for helping those navigate the challenges teams and managers face with remote work. You’ll find actionable steps, interactive tools, and more to help teams deliver top results like working from home.
15. Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams
Even as remote work has grown in popularity, many companies still struggle with the work culture and strong remote environments for employees. But your company can start off right or improve results with this book.
Author Larry English and his friends built a virtual company over twenty years ago, where everyone works remotely. The company grew to over 1,000 employees in different cities (and even countries!).
In this book, English shares everything he’s learned about remote work culture, recruiting and hiring, building relationships with virtual employees, scaling your company, and much more.
Buy Office Optional.
16. The Digital Nomad Handbook
Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world’s number one travel guidebook brand, which has been around since the early 1970s!
In one of their additions, they put together The Digital Nomad Handbook, to help you escape the cubicle and learn how to work while traveling the world.
The book is divided into two sections: one about the practicalities of working while traveling and maintaining a good balance with life. The second section is about the best places for digital nomads, the pros and cons of various locations, as well as personal stories from other remote work travelers.
17. Work From Abroad: Travel the world while working a full-time remote job
Have you thought about working from somewhere else in the world? Maybe being a digital nomad and moving locations at a certain frequency? You are not alone and there are plenty of people doing just that and working full-time.
Work From Abroad is your essential how-to guide to planning and successfully working remotely abroad, while still being a productive full-time employee. Whether it’s for a few weeks or a few years, you’ll learn about what continents and activities make sense to pursue based on your work and personal interest.
Buy Work From Abroad.
18. Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work for You
Best-selling author (and Salesforce Executive) Karen Mangia dives into the power of working from home and how to build your career working remotely.
In this book, you’ll learn about putting together your home office, personalized routines for better productivity, dealing with burnout and isolation, how to be better at virtual meetings and presentations, team building, and more.
If you are looking for strategies and advice you can apply right now, then this book is for you. And it doesn’t matter if you are just starting your career, a manager, or a business executive looking to better under the future of work.
Buy Working From Home.
19. Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader
Although Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader is not directly all about remote work, it is still very relevant to your professional endeavors. So it’s why I felt it was worth including on this list of best remote work books.
Author Herminia Ibarra—an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school—discusses how managers and executives can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves.
You’ll get advice around making strategic contributions, diversifying your network, how to develop a better leadership style, how to better invest your time, tackling leadership challenges, and more.
Buy Act Like a Leader.
20. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Part of doing well with working remotely is having the ability to perform deep work, the ability to focus without distraction on demanding tasks. This is exactly what professor and author Cal Newport explores in his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.
The book is divided into two parts:
- The first part Newport makes the case that in the majority of professions, deep work will produce incredible benefits.
- Second part describes a rigorous training regimen, presented as rules to help you transform your mind and habits to support deep focus.
This is another book from Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. And even though it was written over a decade ago, is still worth a read in today’s world.
Rework is all about creating your own business and working where you are most productive. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a curious individual — there are tons of tips and guidance in this book. Learn how to be more productive, how to get exposure without spending a lot of money, and more ideas that will inspire you.
22. It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work
Another one from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work dives into what they call “the calm company.” This strategy is about avoiding excessive work and burnout while building a better work culture – whether your company is remote, hybrid, or in-office.
In the book, the authors cover why better productivity isn’t more working hours—it’s less waste and fewer things that induce distraction and stress. You’ll learn about their approach to their company being remote, insights and tips to make work better, and how any manager can do it too.
There you have it, the 23 best remote work books you should read this year!
Certainly, there are more books about working from home than what’s above (and more will continue to be published), but these will empower you further.
Hopefully, after reading some (or all) of the books above, you’ll feel more confident in telecommuting and remote work.
Let me know if you read any of these and what you think about them. Or if I left any really good books out, let me know as I’d like to periodically update this post.
Happy remote working!