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Summer Essentials: Best Books, Podcasts, Blogs on Productivity

A white arrow in a teal circle, next to the words Productivity Lab.

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and for many, that means road trips, flights, layovers and other relaxing activities. Whether you’re enjoying longer days on-the-go or closer to home, we encourage you to expand your reading (and listening) lists to include expert commentary on the world of work. We compiled a list of essentials with brief descriptors to get you started. 

Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, hopefully you find something here that challenges the way you think about individual, team and organizational workplace dynamics. 

Poolside Podcasts 

Airplane Articles

  • The Future Workplace Depends on Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Balance (10 min) 
    • “To be successful, companies must strike the right balance between driving for efficiency and achieving effectiveness while also supporting employees to balance work and life in meaningful ways.”
  • 11 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond (10 min) 
    • “We’ve all been living through the greatest workplace disruption in generations and the pace will not slow down. What will change is how variable that disruption becomes. In 2022, leaders will need to learn how to thrive in a period of disruption that plays out unevenly across their organizations.”
  • Leaders Offering Hybrid Work Should Practice What They Preach (4 min) 
    • “By creating options for both in-person and remote collaboration, you’re acknowledging with action that no two employees are the same while also providing real autonomy, empowering them to make decisions based on what works best for them.”

Beach Books 

  • Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers Chip Heath and Karla Starr (4 hours) 
  • “Understanding numbers is essential—but humans aren’t built to understand them. Until very recently, most languages had no words for numbers greater than five—anything from six to infinity was known as “lots.” While the numbers in our world have gotten increasingly complex, our brains are stuck in the past.”
  • Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups Daniel Coyle (8 hours) 
    • “It’s not as simple as carving a mission statement…High-purpose environments don’t descend on groups from on high; they are dug out of the ground, over and over, as a group navigates its problems together and evolves to meet the challenges of a fast-changing world.”

On the Itinerary

At ActivTrak, we genuinely care about improving the workplace experience. We’re in the business of enabling organizations to create more supportive, fulfilling and engaging environments, all while achieving business success. Because when the workplace works, so do people.

This summer and always, continue to be a student of your own productivity. Reflect on what makes you more or less productive. Consider what focus means, how you cultivate it and what you need in order to reach and maintain it. Through this, we can not only be more productive and get more done during our workdays, but we can be happier and healthier before, during and after.