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17 Best Remote Team Management Book Collection for Remote Managers

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

17 Best Remote Team Management Book Collection for Remote Managers
he concept of distributed teams becoming increasingly popular. Many of us find ourselves in a unique position for the first time — working remotely. However, managing remote teams can be challenging, considering that most of us have never done it before. If you are in a similar situation, and are unsure about how to go about it, then we've got you covered.In this piece, we're listing out the remote team management book collection not to miss out on! These 17 picks will give you all the advice that you've been looking for. From time-management to culture and engagement, these books can prove to be an invaluable source of practical knowledge that you can leverage on a daily basis. Read on to know more!

1. 17 Best Books for Remote Managers

1.1. Remote: Office Not Required — Jason Fried & David H. Hansson


1.1.1. What it’s about:

Remote: Office Not Required is a book that challenges the norm — the Industrial Revolution model of work. For so long, our lives have been dominated by the need to be physically present at work every single day. However, with benefits such as access to a massive talent pool, reduced turnover rates, and lesser real estate footprint, the concept of working remotely is becoming increasingly popular. This book, with its entertaining narrative and eye-opening ideas, encourages organizations to build remote teams across the globe.

1.1.2. Why you should read it:

If you’re still wary about working remotely, this remote team management book will teach you all about building and managing remote teams. Whether you're managing remote teams, working solo, or even if you're part of a larger distributed team, this book is a call to action to end the oppression of being bound to a physical workplace.

1.2. The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work — Scott Berkun


1.2.1. What it’s about:

Did you know that almost 20% of the entire web uses WordPress? And yet, the force behind WordPress.com is a small business called Automattic, Inc. This company has only 120 employees who work from all over the world and barely use emails. And yet, they still manage to launch updates to their products at least a dozen times a day. But how is this possible? How are they managing remote teams? This book answers all that and more.

1.2.2. Why you should read it:

Written by former Microsoft veteran Scott Berkun who also worked as a manager at WordPress.com, The Year Without Pants reveals insights on productivity, creativity, productivity, and leadership in a remote setup. If you're managing your own remote team, this book is definitely a must-read!

1.3. Distributed Teams: The Art and Practice of Working Together While Physically Apart — John O’Duinn

1.3.1. What it’s about:

Imagining a world where you could have a meaningful, well-paid career that you could enjoy without the dreadful daily commute to your office? Or a world where you could effectively communicate with your team even when they are thousands of miles away? Well, that is actually possible! And this book tells you exactly how you can work together as a team, even though you’re miles apart from them.

1.3.2. Why you should read it:

If you're someone who is working in a remote team, Distributed Teams will equip you with practical takeaways on topics such as
  • The art of running efficient video calls,
  • How to handle complex interpersonal issues in a distributed team and
  • How to establish a robust group culture.                                                                                                                                  An insightful, entertaining read, for sure!

1.4. Working Remotely: The Telecommuter’s Guide to the Galaxy — Tim Baran

1.4.1. What it’s about:

Written by Tim Baran, The Telecommuter’s Guide to the Galaxy, identifies the many advantages of working from literally anywhere in the galaxy. In fact, in the book, Baran writes, "If you can't let your employees work from home out of fear they'll slack off, you're a babysitter, not a manager."

1.4.2. Why you should read it:

If you're looking for a book that explores how employers and employees can optimize productivity, streamline processes, and adopt best practices, all while working remotely from anywhere in the world, look no further.

1.5. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable — Patrick Lencioni

1.5.1. What it’s about:

Patrick Lencioni, the author of "The Five Temptations of a CEO" and "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive" brings yet another bestselling book in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The book revolves around Kathryn Petersen, the CEO of Decision Tech, who faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in extreme disarray. Will she succeed, or will she end up being fired? Lencioni uses her story to reveal the five dysfunctions that can often cause even the best teams to struggle.

1.5.2. Why you should read it:

Though simply written, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, acts as a compelling fable with a powerfully uncomplicated message for all those who are striving to be exceptional remote team leaders.

1.6. Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy — Brian J. Robertson

1.6.1. What it’s about:

This remote team management book, written by Brian Robertson, talks of a world where businesses are not defined by titles and hierarchies, but by roles and contributions — the world of holacracy. A radical shift from the traditional organisational structure, Holacracy advocates for a revolutionary management system that redefines hierarchy and converts every individual employee into a leader.

1.6.2. Why you should read it:

If you're managing remote teams, Holacracy will help you create new structures and new ways of making decisions so that you're not just empowering yourself, but every single member in your team as well.

1.7. Reinventing Organizations: An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations — Frederic Laloux & Etienne Appert

1.7.1. What it’s about:

Reinventing Organisations isn't your traditional, textbook, 300-page remote team management book. It's an illustrated version that has resonated with readers from all across the globe due to its easy to read format, helping them shift the conversation from "what's broken" to "what's possible" within their own management.

1.7.2. Why you should read it:

The main idea of this remote team management book is to share real-life management stories in an engaging format so that readers can take back practical advice on how to manage remote teams. This, in turn, has inspired thousands of organizations, both remote and otherwise, to adopt more robust, powerful, and purposeful practices in their daily business activities. So, if you’re looking to restructure your organization, this book is a must-read!

1.8. The Digital Nomad Survival Guide — Peter Knudson & Katherine Conaway

1.8.1. What it’s about:

Over five years on the road, the authors Peter and Katherine have travelled to 30 countries on five different continents, all while maintaining their jobs! They had corporate jobs, they had dreams, but they had no experience working in a remote setting. So, how did they do it? How did they become a digital nomad? This book has all the answers..

1.8.2. Why you should read it:

Imagine learning to work remotely and travelling the world at the same time. It sounds like a dream come true, isn't it? If you’re wondering how Peter and Katherine worked in a remote setup, travelled the world, and wrote this book, read The Digital Nomad Survival Guide!

1.9. Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun on the Job — Dennis Bakke

1.9.1. What it’s about:

Everyone wants to be a part of a company that they love working for. A company that strives to create the most "fun" workplace ever. But how many of us find ourselves working for such an organisation? In reality, if you're working in a remote setting or you're managing your remote team, you may even face the very real challenge of loneliness. This book answers some important questions such as, “how can a distributed business inject fun and joy into a team's culture?” and “how can you make your remote project management flawless?”

1.9.2. Why you should read it:

In Joy at Work, the author Dennis W. Bakke rejects workplace drudgery, believes work should be fun, and even set out to prove it by creating a company that soon became the epitome of "Joy at Work". Read the book to know more about his incredible journey and the lessons he learned along the way!

1.10. Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours — Salim Ismail

1.10.1. What it’s about:

Through Exponential Organisations, Salim Ismail offers his insights on what an outstanding organisation looks like, its strategies, structure, culture, processes, systems, and more.

1.10.1. Why you should read it:

A common trait across distributed teams is that they are often nimble. However, though they are aware of the latest technologies and are committed to constant growth, they often struggle with streamlining processes to improve performance. If you find yourself in a similar situation, this remote team management book can prove to be invaluable to your personal growth and that of your organization.

1.11. Work Together Anywhere: A Handbook on Working Remotely — Successfully: for Individuals, Teams, and Managers — Lisette Sutherland & Kirsten Janene-Nelson

1.11.1. What it’s about:

Today, businesses across the globe are embracing the game-changing benefits of remote working with resources for remote workers, and the results are truly profound. However, this is only possible when companies foster streamlined and engaging teamwork. In Work Together Anywhere, the authors offer a full-service guide to thriving in the remote workplace by discussing topics such as assessing a remote team's capacity, running productive online meetings, establishing positive communication practices, and more.

1.11.2. Why you should read it:

While managers benefit by saving money with remote team management, employees enjoy higher productivity, independence, and even time. And thus, working remotely can be a win-win for everyone. However, how can you do it successfully? This remote team management book answers that question and is a must-read for any remote manager looking for hands-on, actionable advice.

1.12. The Remote Revolution: How the Location-Independent Workforce Changes the Way We Hire, Connect, and Succeed — John Elston

1.12.1. What it’s about:

If you're finding it exceptionally hard to recruit and retain your employees, maybe it's time to rethink your hiring practices. In The Remote Revolution, John Elston talks about leveraging global talent by managing virtual teams, trading cubicles for experiences, and stimulating employees like never before.

1.12.2. Why you should read it:

After successfully launching his own startup in 2010, John worked remotely and managed his remote team while living around the world. The Remote Revolution is, in fact, documentation of his real-life activities while working in a distributed set-up, which means that you can definitely learn practical lessons from John's experiences.

1.13. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal — Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

1.13.1. What it’s about:

In the digital world we live in today, our days are always filled with crushing workloads, and we end up cramming as much work as possible into one day. In The Power of Full Engagement, the authors demonstrate that managing energy is the key to enduring high performance, especially when working with distributed teams.

1.13.2. Why you should read it:

This remote team management book provides a life-changing road map that can help you be 100% engaged throughout the day, which means becoming more mentally focused, physically energized, emotionally connected, and spiritually aligned.

1.14. The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work — Zapier

1.14.1. What it’s about:

Zapier is a fast-growing SaaS startup that has been working remotely since its inception in October 2011. This book for distributed teams breaks down everything you need to know about managing them — how to run and hire them, how to effectively manage remote employees, remote meetings, building a remote culture, and more.

1.14.2. Why you should read it:

The Ultimate Guide To Remote Work, written by the team at Zapier, acts as an invaluable source of information on managing your remote team, irrespective of your industry. Whether you’ve always been working with remote teams, or if you’ve been thrust into it recently, this handbook will equip you with tips that will help you thrive!

1.15. Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees — Hassan Osman

1.15.1. What it’s about:

In Influencing Virtual Teams, Hassan Osman talks about the psychological secrets of persuasion, step-by-step tactics that you can implement while working with remote teams, and methods to improve your team's engagement irrespective of where they sit.

1.15.2. Why you should read it:

If you're managing a remote team and you constantly have to chase down your employees to make sure that work is being done, then this is the remote team management book for you.

1.16. Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore — Bryan Miles

1.16.1. What it’s about:

Despite living in the 21st century with high-speed internet, smartphones, and wireless computers, some employers still want their team to come into the office every day. In Virtual Culture, entrepreneur Bryan Miles points out everything that's wrong with that mindset and the corporate culture of the 20th century, while championing the benefits of working remotely.

1.16.2. Why you should read it:

The book highlights that productivity comes from people completing their tasks in a professional and timely manner, and isn't dependent on the mandatory daily attendance in a physical workplace. If you're someone who is exploring the concept of working from home and its benefits, then you must give this remote team management book a read!

1.17. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence — Daniel Goleman

1.17.1. What it’s about:

Primal Leadership is a book that talks about the power of emotions, and how, by using emotional intelligence, you can learn to shape and positively drive your teams.

1.17.2. Why you should read it:

The book discusses in depth, the characteristics of a good leader, the different leadership styles that one can follow, and outlines the steps to becoming an effective leader. If you're managing your remote team for the first time, then you need all the advice that you can get, and this remote team management book can be your starting point!

2. The Takeaway from Remote Team Management Books

The concept of managing remote workers is still unknown territory to many. This is why it helps to have work from home resources to guide you.  Add any of these 17 books to your reading list. I can guarantee that by the end of it, you'll feel those creative juices flowing again! Better still, you can design processes better, and focus on different management perspectives.Happy reading!
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