The New Corner Office Book Summary - The New Corner Office Book explained in key points
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How the Most Successful People Work from Home

4.1 (300 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

The New Corner Office by Laura Vanderkam helps readers achieve success while working from home. It offers practical advice on how to optimize productivity, embrace flexibility, and overcome distractions to make the most of your workday.

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    The New Corner Office
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    When working from home, think in terms of tasks, not time.

    It’s no secret that puppies love to play. But can they also teach us about work? For Meredith Schwartz, CEO of the wedding planning company Here Comes the Guide, the answer was a resounding yes.

    When Schwartz got her first puppy, she decided to spend a few weeks working from home as the new pet settled in. At first, she worried that she wouldn’t be productive while away from the office. However, she found the opposite to be true. She got more done. 

    In fact, the experiment was such a success that she slowly shifted her entire company to remote work. Now, her team works from home. So how do they stay effective? Well, they focus on completing tasks, not putting in hours.

    The key message here is: When working from home, think in terms of tasks, not time.

    The traditional workday asks us to toil from nine to five, 40 hours a week. Often, however, those hours don’t correlate with any outcomes. After all, we’ve all spent days sitting at a desk doing nothing, merely because it’s expected. Manage your day more effectively by ditching the time sheets and instead evaluating your performance based on what you actually do. 

    A good way to reorient your work around productivity, not time, is to draw up a list of tasks for each week. Every Friday, take a moment to write down what you would like to get done the following week. This should include discrete duties that can be done in a day as well as milestones to meet on longer-term projects. If you manage employees, you can create accountability by having your workers submit their lists to you each week as well.

    Once you have your agenda, forget about hours. Each day, just focus on crossing items off the list. Some days, you’ll meet your goal early. Don’t fret – you can always work on tomorrow’s tasks. But remember, there’s nothing wrong with quitting at noon if you’re getting everything done. When working from home, you’re in charge of your schedule, and knowing when to stop is just as important as knowing when to start.

    At the end of each day, complement your to-do list with a “to-done” list. This is a record of everything you accomplished each day, whether it was on your original agenda or not. Keeping tabs on your progress helps refine your time management for the next week.

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    What is The New Corner Office about?

    The New Corner Office (2020) is a practical guide to succeeding in the world of remote work. This timely tome is filled with sensible advice for remaining creative and productive while working from home.

    The New Corner Office Review

    The New Corner Office (2021) by Laura Vanderkam is a book that explores practical strategies for mastering remote work and achieving work-life balance. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its valuable insights and actionable tips, it empowers readers to navigate the challenges of remote work and maximize productivity.
    • Combining research, personal experiences, and anecdotes, it offers a well-rounded perspective on remote work, making it relatable and relevant.
    • The book's engaging storytelling and practical examples keep readers hooked, ensuring that the topic of remote work never becomes boring or mundane.

    Best quote from The New Corner Office

    As a task is set and accomplished, the power of progress kicks in. Do this day after day, and – no matter how many hours people are working – they soon feel unstoppable

    —Laura Vanderkam
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    Who should read The New Corner Office?

    • Remote workers seeking new success strategies 
    • Managers skeptical about the benefits of remote work
    • Anyone looking to stay productive while working from home

    About the Author

    Laura Vanderkam is an author, podcaster, and productivity expert. Her acclaimed advice books on time management include titles like Off the Clock and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

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    The New Corner Office FAQs 

    What is the main message of The New Corner Office?

    The main message of The New Corner Office is how to thrive in the remote work era.

    How long does it take to read The New Corner Office?

    The reading time for The New Corner Office varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The New Corner Office a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The New Corner Office is worth reading for its practical insights and tips on remote work.

    Who is the author of The New Corner Office?

    The author of The New Corner Office is Laura Vanderkam.

    What to read after The New Corner Office?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The New Corner Office, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
    • The 3.3 Rule by John Briggs
    • 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
    • Fit for Growth by Vinay Couto
    • Think Remarkable by Guy Kawasaki & Madisun Nuismer
    • Do the New You by Steven Furtick
    • Leading from Anywhere by David Burkus
    • Remote Work Revolution by Tsedal Neeley
    • The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt
    • How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace by Robert Glazer with Mick Sloan