Review | Whatever Works by Thalma Lobel

“The only time a disorganized office can be an advantage is when you are working on a problem that demands creativity.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: dim and intense lights, privacy, creativity, colours, emotions, nature, walks, music, negotiations, handshakes, open spaces, and messy desks.

By the time quarantine started I’d already started working remotely. At first I had a hard time defining a healthy daily routine for myself, creating a good working environment, and most importantly, defining the fine line between my personal life and work. And even though I’ve finally found my balance, I’m always willing to improve my working conditions and make the most out of it. So I decided to pick up this book because I thought it would be perfect for my current situation.

The book is divided into three sections: the first part is dedicated to how your environment affects you and how you can use it for your advantage; the second part focuses on how relationships and communication with your co-workers affect our work; and the third part how our personal habits have power over our performance and creativity.

First of all, I was very surprised to see that this is not a book only based on the author’s experience and opinions, but it’s mostly based on scientific studies. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic – such as light, open areas, music, temperature – and several studies and results that were made on that subject are presented to the reader. The cool part is that in the end of each chapter – and sometimes in the middle – there is a small note in a post-it format with a conclusion and tips on how we can apply what we learn after reading the chapter.

I applaud the author for all the research made and commitment to write such a complete guide on improving your work. I would say this is a book more focused on ways of increasing performance and have better communication and relationships with your co-workers. The second part unfortunately will only be useful when I return to the office, but I found the first and third parts very helpful for the times we are living in right now. 

I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I found some useful information that I will definitely apply in my daily life. If you are interested in learning how your environment affects your productivity and how to use small simple ways of increasing your productivity, this is the book for you!

A big thank you to NetGalley and BenBella Books for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

xoxo, Neide

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