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“Out of Office” by Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen (ep. 008)

I’m not unconvinced Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen didn’t immediately sit down in March 2020 at the height of lockdowns and think, “We should write a book about working from home.” But, here it is.

First, this book was deeper than I thought. I expected it to make nod my head and say, “Yep, yep, duh!” the whole way through but it was much more well researched than that. The first half of the book carries their premise and understanding of how work has evolved, the history of offices and company culture, and understanding the larger political and national dynamics swirling around us.

But the second half of the book falls apart a bit. It dives into problems far beyond the scope of most cities and individuals to tackle—like ensuring everyone has childcare or a great library or park or transit to get around their communities instead of the central business districts most places are built around. I don’t disagree with some of that, but it’s like they were reaching for something to do and couldn’t think of much else.

But, the first half is practical and I highly recommend it for freelancers, office workers, and anyone in management. You’ll like this book if you’re interested in history of work, urban planning, technology, and hard truths about focusing on our lives and not just our work. 

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Justin has been around the Internet long enough to remember when people started saying “content is king”.

He has worked for some of Indiana’s largest companies, state government, taught college-level courses, and about 1.1M people see his work every year.

You’ll probably see him around Indianapolis on a bicycle.

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