"Whatever Works" -

The Small Cues That Make a Surprising Difference in Our Success at Work―and How to Create a Happier Office


Whatever Works: The Small Cues That Make a Surprising Difference in our Success at Work—and How to Create a Happier Office is the much anticipate book of psychology professor and bestselling author Thalma Lobel, providing all of us a much needed boost to our productive endeavors especially during these uncertain times. Whatever Works explores groundbreaking psychological research on job performance, satisfaction, creativity and wellbeing and happiness. Beyond salary, title, and corporate culture, the book sheds light on the hidden factors-often unrecognized, that are there all along, virtually under our nose,  but we are less aware of them, or we might have only given a passing acknowledgement to their effect without digging down. Yet they influence our performance, satisfaction, and happiness. -. It provides takeaways, based on novel experiments and on-the-job experience, that are very easy to adopt and help us succeed at work,, in interviews and in negotiations. The book is already receiving rave reviews and is considered “a hallmark of the most effective books” (Hollywood Digest),establishingLobel “as one of the best authors in the area (.”(Mobyorkcity.com).

This book is unique in that it does not focus on the obvious factors that help us succeed at work such as motivation, networking etc. but rather on  more subtle environmental prompts, and everyday habits that have a significant impact on our work.  Things we typically overlook — from workspace fixtures, such as lighting and temperature,  to commonplace gestures—can have a big influence on performance and wellbeing at work. For example, the book explains how to use light to reduce fatigue and increase self-control, the optimum temperature for the best performance, the best way to listen to music before or during work, and the influence of our smartphones,.  

 “Did you know that simply looking at certain colors can boost your creativity and restore your attentive powers when you really need it? that intensity of light can reduce fatigue and increases self control?Or that placing even a single person on your team who is ethnically different can bring about a quantum leap in the team’s creativity, effectiveness, and originality—even if that person never utters a word?” That the mere presence of a smartphone on your desk can lessen your performance, even if it's turned off? Or that being in a warmer room makes you more likely to want to conform with the group, affecting your decision-making? Did you know that taking a walk in nature will reduce your stress and improve your performance? These are just a few of the many insights that recent scientific studies have brought to light.

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Guy Winch

Author of Emotional First Aid 

“In Whatever Works, psychologist Thalma Lobel shares the surprising and unexpected ways small tweaks can have a big impact on our performance and success at work as well as our general job satisfaction. From mind hacks for increasing concentration to tricks for boosting creativity, there is a lot here for employers and employees alike. The great watercooler talking points alone are worth their weight in office cred. Fun, practical, and important!”—Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid and three-time TED Talk speaker


Her academic credentials and considerable experience with the subject matter never warps her personality. She comes off every bit as human as her readers and exudes a genuine aura of investment in people making the most of her methods and prescriptions. It’s a hallmark of the most effective books of this type... read more


Whatever Works: The Small Cues that Make a Surprising Difference in Our Success at Work – and How to Create a Happier Office is a significant new book on a time-tested theme – one gaining additional layers of significance when considering the technological changes sweeping over the workplace over the last three decades and other unforeseen phenomena such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It is Thalma Lobel’s second book.. read more

Tal Ben Shahar,

New York Times bestselling author of Happier

“Simple, accessible, profound. This book will help you introduce small changes to your environment that can make a big difference in your life. Thalma Lobel provides a blueprint for increasing levels of happiness and health, as well as success.”
—Tal Ben Shahar, New York Times bestselling author of Happier

Efrat Dagan

head of talent at Next Insurance

“Whatever Works challenges the notion that ‘anything works.’ It presents a wonderful opportunity of using a growing body of research in an effort to improve life and work in simple but very effective ways.”
—Efrat Dagan, head of talent at Next Insurance and former head of talent at both Google and Lyft

Jason Hillenburg

"Lobel has written a comprehensive yet never exhaustive account of the qualities that define a forward-thinking and moving office environment, but she's also laid a roadmap you can adopt for many situations in life. "Whatever Works" is a fantastic sophomore effort for this writer and intellect. It will likely make a positive impression on many readers"- jason hillenburg .. read more 

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Adrian Furnham

author of 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know

“Professor Lobel has written a quite unputdownable, highly accessible, and personal book. The range of topics covered is very wide and she weaves together studies from many different areas of psychology. Most important, the book is strongly evidence-based, which reflects her wide and critical reading. The book rejoices in counterintuitive findings and certainly leads you to rethink many of the things you experience in the workplace. This will definitely be a bestseller!”
—Adrian Furnham, author of 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know and professor of psychology at University College London

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