Love + Work is a new book by Marcus Buckingham, one of the world’s leading researchers into strengths, human performance, and the future of how people work. The book, released in April 2022, draws on Buckingham’s decades of experience to make the case for loving your job.
The book argues that with less than 16 per cent of us being fully engaged at work, the rest of us just selling our time and talent and getting compensated for our trouble. Even before the pandemic gripped the world, the U.S. in particular had become a nation suffering unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. Almost two years into our reworked lives, leaders are depleted, employees are burning out at an alarming rate and parents met their breaking point long ago.
Love + Work, as the title suggests, argues that workplaces and schools no longer provide for the basic human need for love. Buckingham makes the case that the struggle we’re collectively experiencing stems in large part from a lack of love in our work lives. He offers readers a roadmap for infusing love back into their work and, on a broader scale, back into our homes, our relationships, and our schools.
Drawing on nearly two decades at Gallup, where he developed the StrengthsFinder assessment alongside Donald Clifton, to now head of the ADP Research Institute focused on studying all aspects of human thriving, Buckingham aims to help readers better understand what makes them excited, lifts them up, drags them down, and—most critically—what, who, why, and how they love. Once equipped with this deeper self-understanding, Buckingham guides readers in how to centre love in their lives.
He highlights the shortcomings of the modern workplace and U.S. school institutions and urges us to rethink how these institutions are designed – moving from systems that demand uniformity to more human systems that appreciates our unique loves, loathes, and individuality.
“Schools and workplaces that insist on treating us the same are sources of oppression,” writes Buckingham. “Now is the time to stop this oppression and devise better schools, more intelligent workplaces. It’s up to all of us. And it all begins, not with these institutions, but with you taking your own loves seriously. What follows is a roadmap for how to do that.”