Despite its hiding in plain sight, one of life's best-kept secrets is: We are all figuring it out—and sometimes making it up—as we go along.
And when it comes to working from home, in the grand scheme of things, we are just starting to figure out remote work.
Managers are learning how to transition to and manage fully remote or hybrid teams.
Employees are grappling with massive changes to their day-to-day routines.
And everyone is trying to stem the overflow of work into what used to be exclusively personal spaces (both physical and mental).
To that end, we've compiled a segmented list of the best WFH books, resources, courses and tools for remote employees.
Resources to Develop WFH Communication Skills
The rise of remote work changes the nature of communication at work. With less in-office interaction—among other challenges—remote workers may have a harder time getting promoted.
And collaborating effectively while working remotely requires both new skills and a fresh take on old skills.
The following resources cover topics as varied as how to network more effectively to how you can blend synchronous and asynchronous communication.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People: A timeless classic and must-read. Author Dale Carnegie teaches you to make people like you, persuade others, and achieve lasting culture change.
- The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism: Think charisma is inborn? Think again. In this book, Olivia Fox Cabane breaks the art of charisma down, showing you how to seamlessly blend a series of practices into your existing personality.
- The Elements of Style: Written communication takes on renewed importance in a world of remote work. And this manual on clear, concise writing will take your written communication up a notch (or two) in less than 50 pages.
- Work Together Anywhere: Author Lisette Sutherland offers a blueprint meant for individual employees, managers, teams, organizations, and execs. Grab this book for a thorough guide to better remote collaboration.
- Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication: Learn the difference between synchronous and asynchronous communication and when to use one vs. the other.
- How to Improve Written Communication Skills at Work: Discover the three C’s of writing (Concise, Clear, and Considerate) and apply them to all your written communications.
- The Lost Art of Candor in the Workplace: Rediscover the lost art of creating a free flow of honest, useful information between you and your colleagues.
Resources to Develop Sustainable Remote Work Productivity
There’s been a lot of back and forth about who’s more productive: remote or on-site employees. (Reality: it’s not that simple.)
But what’s not up for debate is the importance of combating work-from-home burnout.
In addition to providing frameworks and tips for better WFH routines, the following resources focus on making remote work for you over the long-term.
- Deep Work (Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World): For some, working from home is a constant battle against distractions. In this book, through a series of stories, Cal Newport educates you on how to achieve focused success.
- Remote: Office Not Required: Authored by the founders of Basecamp, this book serves as a guide for upgrading your remote work lifestyle while maintaining high performance.
- Working Remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams: Author Teresa Douglas guides you through the unfamiliar experience of working on a distributed team. From avoiding loneliness to staying motivated, this book is designed to help you thrive as a remote worker.
- 3 Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout: Laura M. Giurge Ph.D. and Vanessa K. Bohns Ph.D. offer tips—based on their extensive research—to ward off WFH burnout.
- 11 Tweaks to Fine-Tune Your Remote Work Routine: Pick up a few tweaks from Loom’s blog that you can use to improve your productivity and your mental health as a remote worker.
- The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work: Having been 100% remote since their founding, Zapier knows a thing or two about remote work. In this post, they share it all.
Resources on Using and Selecting Remote Work Tools
A cursory online search for remote work tools will yank you neck-deep into a sea of “solutions.”
The resources below will help you learn to swim with some of the most popular tools remote workers use to do their work better.
- Learning Zoom: Learn the ins and outs of using Zoom, the popular web conferencing software, in 45 minutes.
- Learning BlueJeans: Collaborate more effectively with BlueJeans Meetings by taking this 71-minute course on using BlueJeans for web conferences.
- Microsoft Teams Tip & Tricks: If your employer uses Teams, this 65-minute course is for you. Nick Brazzi runs through how you can use Teams to work more efficiently, whether you’re a beginner or a power user.
- Best WFH Tech for Working Remotely: From meeting software to project management and everything in between, check out this blog for the best WFH productivity tools.
- The Remote Workers Toolkit: The 15 Tools You Need to Work Remotely: This blog from Zapier walks you through all the tools you’ll need for your remote work setup.
- How to Run Zoom Meetings Like a Pro: Get our take on how you can level up your Zoom Meetings.
Managing Remote Teams
Managers and executives are the lynchpin for any organization’s transition into a remote or hybrid workforce.
The resources below provide the perspectives and examples that managers need to plan, implement, and oversee the ongoing transformation caused by Covid-19.
- Vital: A Better Way to Have Meetings When Everyone is WFH: This free handbook is an investigation into the meeting cultures of Amazon, Atlassian, Zoom, Slack, and Apple. It’s filled with best practices and habits your organization can develop to better run and manage remote meetings.
- The Remote Facilitator’s Pocket Guide: Remote management coaches Jay-Allen Morris and Kirsten Clacey wrote this book for anyone seeking to get more value from remote meetings. It’s packed with actionable tactics and principles to improve your organizational approach to remote meetings.
- What's Your Company's Emergency Remote-Work Plan?: This piece from the Harvard Business Review lays out five steps for business leaders to use the disruption caused by Covid-19 to reimagine the way they work remotely.
- 20 Questions to Ask in a Remote Work or WFH Survey (+Examples): Learn which questions you need to ask your employees to know how you can better support them to be productive, engaged, satisfied, and happy.