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5 Works 1,035 Members 57 Reviews

About the Author

A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too show more Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured on NPR and in Elle and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana. show less

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Not just for Millennials, this is relevant for all generations as everyone is affected by what is happening and it is time to fix it.
 
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Flowercreek | 11 other reviews | Jun 24, 2024 |
Not really about working from home; more about "wfh as a lens for examining issues with the way we conceptualise / structure work in society".

Pretty good tho. Really light on prescribing techniques; really heavy on prescribing focus points.

Main things I took away:
- Flexibility for employees needs guardrails instead of boundaries -- organisationally enforced / designed limits rather than pushing the work to employees
- Remote work, but also management in general needs a huge amount of attention and investment; it's typically been a bolt-on/afterthought in a lot of companies
- Tech / new ways of working are often adopted too quickly / cargo-culted without holistic consideration of the sideeffects (open offices, email, Slack etc etc), iteration is probably really important. Surveillance tech is fucked
- Best thing about remote work is it theoretically gives you space to engage with community, but there's a lot of work / investment required here from individuals. Childcare, Unions, mutual dependence.

All in all, felt like it was saying "here's what we have, here's this weird thing that happened because of the pandemic, how can we imagine something new that grows out of this?". In that sense, sorta utopian/idealistic, but cautiously so.

Didn't feel super... direction-ful? And/or like it was written quickly? But some good ideas to mull over.
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capnfabs | 4 other reviews | Mar 9, 2024 |
I've long been a fan of Anne Helen Peterson's work since her piece on Burnout in Buzzfeed News, and have followed her to the Culture Study substack.

Out of Office is partly about working from home, but more broadly is an examination on how we work, specifically in the United States and trends over the years, like how technology such as email or chat/messenger (Slack, Teams, etc.) are ostensibly supposed to ease communication but in reality let work follow us home, blurring the boundaries between work and personal time. A lot of these have been festering problems that were really thrown into sharp relief during the pandemic, most typically for information workers. It's difficult for the individual to tackle such broad issues (that frankly need to be addressed at an institutional level), but there are suggestions to consider such as defining your boundaries and finding community OUTSIDE of work.

I'm biased because I like AHP's work, but also because I have one of those bullshit office jobs (and having transitioned to the desk from the lab bench, previously interacting more often with production workers on the floor... yeah, I feel like there's more physical effort going on there than what I do, and having to take inventory of my actions before an extended leave only highlights this for me). Still, even if the issues aren't a matter of life and death our employers should still consider how best to treat and accommodate their workers, especially as younger employees will seek out better settings if an employer oversteps.

It's a little bit funny to read this in 2023 when they interview the head of Twitter's HR in 2021 about hybrid changes to disincentivize coming to the office in order to allow for hybrid remote/in person work collaborations, when in late 2022 Twitter's workforce was thrown into chaos in a number of ways including mass layoffs and a forced return to the office.
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Daumari | 4 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |

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Works
5
Members
1,035
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Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
57
ISBNs
42
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