The Future of the Office Book Summary - The Future of the Office Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Future of the Office summary

Peter Cappelli

Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face

3.9 (152 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    The Future of the Office
    Summary of 4 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 4

    What we learned from COVID-19

    It’s April 2020. An ABC reporter is presenting the news from his home – a necessity with the recent COVID-19 restrictions. At the end of his piece, the camera zooms out to reveal the man isn’t wearing pants.

    There was a time when this might have ruined his career. Instead, he laughed it off and – for the most part – the world laughed with him. This was an early sign that things were changing. By the final months of the pandemic, there was much that had come to be accepted as normal regarding work – not just going pantless on a Zoom call.

    If we want any of these positive changes to continue, it’s important that we know what exactly happened during the pandemic.

    Initially, many employers treated it like a bad storm. They just had to close up and wait it out – the public was saying no more than two weeks. The focus of a lot of businesses was on preparing financially for a stoppage, not on how to keep working.

    As the realization sunk in that things might be like this for a while, companies started taking more drastic measures. The Marriott International hotel announced that two-thirds of its corporate staff would be suspended with 20 percent pay until further notice. Some big companies like Amazon and Walmart offered bonuses to encourage workers to stay, despite the risks.

    The wiser businesses saw what was happening and started closing offices and letting employees work from home. Microsoft announced early on that it had no intention of reopening offices until 2021, and during the peak of the pandemic, it was reported that 35 percent of employees in the US were working remotely.

    The general reception was positive – workers reported greater satisfaction in almost all areas. Even employers declared the whole work-from-home experience a success. It seems that the time employees saved by not having to commute was largely put into doing more work. People appreciated the trust that their bosses placed in them and they felt a certain obligation to maintain or even increase productivity.

    Some other interesting trends were noticed. The number of meetings increased but they were shorter and more efficient – made possible by the fact that video conferencing was better than ever. Some companies also noticed an increase in remote work in the evening, presumably after parents had put their kids to bed. People were working the way they wanted.

    So what did the pandemic teach us? Not only is working from home a viable option but it can actually be better. But this does depend largely on how it’s executed. Now, in the waning years of the pandemic, this style of work has gone from a necessity to an option. It’s time to think about what you can expect when given this option to work from home.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Future of the Office?

    Key ideas in The Future of the Office

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Future of the Office about?

    The Future of the Office (2021) takes an analytical look at the current state of the traditional working office and what recent changes and developments may mean for the future. Drawing on research, anecdotes, and case studies of businesses responding to the global pandemic, it highlights the unique and exciting opportunities that we now have to fundamentally change the nature of where and how we work.

    Who should read The Future of the Office?

    • White-collar workers wondering if the shift to working from home is here to stay
    • Managers considering the pros and cons of changing up the traditional office environment
    • Big thinkers who want to see how one of the fundamental aspects of our work lives has been brought down by the global pandemic

    About the Author

    Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. His recent research focuses on the changing nature of employment in the US and the implications of the modern workforce. His other books include Will College Pay Off? and Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs.

    Categories with The Future of the Office

    Books like The Future of the Office

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial