Jitske Kramer - Work Has Left the Building

How to reorganize work after the COVID culture shock


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Jitske Kramer wrote Work Has Left the Building during the second Dutch lockdown in October 2020. About how we experienced a collective culture shock with COVID-19 and the impact on our work life. Our timing has been off for months, we are confronted with uncertainties, crisis decisions and the necessity to adapt and change. Working from home became standard overnight which requires more than ‘playing online office at home with makeshift solutions’.

How do you adapt your corporate culture, how do you approach leadership at a distance, what can you do to reach the end of this period in a better position, how do you preserve the pride within your organization and the connection within your team if you haven’t seen each other but virtually for months, do you consider this period a crisis or a transformation, what new rituals do you need to survive?

Drawing from anthropology, experiences in organizations from her readers and the many travels Jitske made across the globe, she offers some support for these strange times. Work Has Left the Building is an inspirational book, packed with valuable perspectives and practical answers for the questions we now have.

Published in December 2020 | Paperback | 216 pages | ca. 60,000 words
Over 20,000 copies sold
English sample translation and full German and English AI translations available
Longlisted for Management Book of the Year

German rights sold to dPunkt Verlag
Dutch edition published by Boom Publishers Amsterdam

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Jitske Kramer travels all over the world to learn from traditional healers, leaders, surprising innovators and random strangers. She views the world and individual organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. Her discipline, cultural anthropology, questions what it means to be a human being amidst other humans in organizational settings and beyond.

In 2012, she introduced Deep Democracy in the Netherlands, where she and her Human Dimensions team provide training. Kramer is always looking for new ways to build strong tribes and reinforce mutual ties. She shares her knowledge with people in the world of organizational consultancy, collaboration and leadership by means of top-notch lectures and master classes. Her goal is to improve individual and group effectiveness and results (while also making the world a vastly more pleasant place to be). She trains people, so that we will never again have to hold meetings, but have lively and honest conversations instead. She captivates you with stories that create space for new ways of seeing and behaving. As her stories progress, what seemed normal to you becomes strange, and what was strange becomes familiar.

Jitske Kramer (1973). Corporate anthropologist. Public speaker. Entrepreneur. Facilitator. Founder of Human Dimensions. Trainer of the year 2013. Author of Managing Cultural Dynamics, Deep Democracy – The wisdom of the minority, Wow! What a Difference!, Voodoo – A Journey to Find Yourself Through Ancient Rituals, Work Has Left the Building and co-author of The Corporate Tribe (Management Book of the Year 2016, published in English, German, Russian, Dutch and Vietnamese) and Building Tribes. Kramer works in Dutch and English.


'Bullseye! Because of the sharp observations and practical advice, but also because she has involved her readers with writing this book and lets their voices speak at length.'
Ben Tiggelaar, bestselling author and behavioral scientist

'You need to read everything from Jitske Kramer.'
Joris Luyendijk, journalist and author from Swimming With Sharks

'Jitske asks the right questions, she offers practical tools for a positive perspective in these difficult times.'
Typhoon, rapper and entrepreneur

'I always assumed that change came with uncertainty and stress, but having read this book I now know great change offers great opportunities: a new vision, courage and even poetry.'
Dolf Jansen, author, comedian, presenter, marathon runner

Summary of Jitske Kramer's keynote speech at Nordic Business Forum 2021

'Jitske Kramer has popularized anthropology through her books and lectures and this book will release your inner magician.'

'A book for under each Christmas tree and one of the ten best management books of 2020.'
Management Team Magazine

'It is impressive that she succeeded in writing so much relevant information on this actual subject. Many people will recognize themselves in the many examples and tips.'

'The most beautiful things are created under pressure, this book – written in ten days – is a gem with an unexpected connecting aspect. Its message of hope and focus on how to perceive crisis as a driver for lasting change makes this book an ultimate recommendation.'
VOV Learning Network, Belgium

'Practical, useful, educational, lots of recognition and even more information. I bow deep for writing this book in such a short time, for writing it in co-creation, for the revealing examples. I have read the book with much pleasure, well-recommended.'
Dutch National Register

'Jitske Kramer uses an anthropological perspective to explain how the COVID crisis has changed our working lives and what the impact is for our working culture. How do you make working from home a success and how can you shape this new hybrid working culture as a leader and organization?'
Business Trainer

'According to Kramer, our approach to online meetings is still too much with the mindset of a live meeting, captured in a computer screen. Truly communicating digitally requires a different approach, with different rules and skills. We need to accent the subtle signals we normally use with tone, facial expressions, things that are hard to pick up on through the screen. Online meetings require clear rules to make sure you can stay focused. The list for digital etiquette in the book is essential and the online check-in and check-out could immediately make for better online meetings. Work Has Left the Building is informative, personal and engaged. The author and publisher succeeded in publishing a great book within six weeks, quite an achievement.'
Rudy Kor, author and advisor on Change Management

Work Has Left the Building is in every aspect a must-read for everyone that has a job. The book was created in six weeks and still it is filled with interesting perspectives, insights and reflections. Jitske Kramer is an experience anthropologist and she clarifies the impact of the pandemic and the collective culture shock on our working life. She offers perspectives to interpret the crisis and motivates the reader to choose to experience the situation as a transformation and learn from that experience. And she offers practical tools to adopt this different perspective and act on it. The LinkedIn connections of the author contributed experiences, solutions and ideas to the book, which makes the book up to date and easy to read. Despite its size, the impact of this book is grand. The reflections, questions and interpretations provide clarity and trust in what is happening and what is coming. Work Has Left the Building is a great recommendation.’



1. We’ll see, how much can happen in a few months?
2. The COVID culture shock: phases of uncertainty
3. A hybrid corporate culture: organizing time and space flexibly
4. Hybrid leadership: clear, human and improvising
5. Support: new rituals and routines
6. Digital communication: online campfires
7. Silence is talking: don’t hesitate to doubt
8. Meanwhile: leadership in crisis and transformation
9. Give perspective: creative power

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German translation published by dPunkt:

Jitske Kramer beschreibt in ihrem Buch aus einer anthropologischen Sicht die Auswirkungen eines durch die Corona-Pandemie ausgelösten kollektiven Kulturschocks auf das Arbeitsleben. Gewohnte Routinen sind verschwunden und Unsicherheit sowie die Notwendigkeit, sich ständig anzupassen und zu verändern, sind an ihre Stelle getreten.

Wie kann eine Unternehmenskultur an diesen neuen Kontext anpasst werden? Wie wird ein Team remote gesteuert? Wie wird die Verbindung im Team aufrechterhalten, wenn man sich nur digital treffen kann? Wie sorgt man dafür, dass niemand vereinsamt oder unter der Arbeitslast zusammenbricht? Befinden wir uns in einer Krise oder einer Transformation?

Das Buch bietet praxisorientierte Antworten auf diese Fragen. Es ist voller wertvoller Perspektiven und eingängiger Tipps, um in dieser schwierigen Zeit nach vorn zu schauen und die Veränderung als Chance zu sehen.


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