Remote: Office Not Required
Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
The “work from home” phenomenon is thoroughly explored in this illuminating new book from bestselling 37signals founders Fried and Hansson, who point to the surging trend of employees working from home (and anywhere else) and explain the challenges and unexpected benefits. Most important, they show why – with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo -- more businesses will want to promote this new model of getting things done.
The Industrial Revolution's "under one roof" model of conducting work is steadily declining owing to technology that is rapidly creating virtual workspaces and allowing workers to provide their vital contribution without physically clustering together. Today, the new paradigm is "move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace." According to Reuters, one in five global workers telecommutes frequently and nearly ten percent work from home every day. Moms in particular will welcome this trend. A full 60% wish they had a flexible work option. But companies see advantages too in the way remote work increases their talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens their real estate footprint, and improves the ability to conduct business across multiple time zones, to name just a few advantages. In Remote, inconoclastic authors Fried and Hansson will convince readers that letting all or part of work teams function remotely is a great idea--and they're going to show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished.
imagining why remote work won’t work, they’ll point to two things in particular: One, you can’t have face-to-face meetings when people aren’t in the office. And two, managers can’t tell if people are getting work done if they can’t see them working. We’d like to offer a very different perspective on these two points. We believe that these staples of work life—meetings and managers—are actually the greatest causes of work not getting done at the office. That, in fact, the further away you are
Chicago, we’ve held our meetups there, but in the past we’ve picked such places as Kohler, Wisconsin; San Diego, California; and York Harbor, Maine. FreeAgent, headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, takes advantage of the fact that the world’s largest festival of the arts is located there to bring people together every summer. Their eleven remote workers join up with the other thirty-nine FreeAgent employees who live there. Fotolia, a stock-photo company, employs eighty people with half working
depends, first, on being able to make progress at all hours. It’s no good twiddling your thumbs for three hours waiting for a manager to grant you permission, or hoping a coworker gets up soon so he or she can show you how something works in the remote world. You don’t really notice these roadblocks when you work 9am to 5pm in the same office as all your coworkers. Who cares if only Jeff is able to deploy a new version of the software if he’s right across from you and all you have to do is ask?
the person bored with a project that’s not challenging enough, or are they feeling stuck and, in reaction, procrastinating to avoid a situation that feels impossible? See what you can do to get your employee back on track. The roadblock may be structural, or it may be more personal. Perhaps the employee is feeling burned out. That can be hard to discern when you’re not working in the same office. Sometimes, just giving the person a couple weeks away from the job will be restorative enough to get
your team to work remotely is that it gives them an opportunity to change their scenery as often as they like. We don’t mean traveling to new and exotic places (though that’s an option too, of course). We mean working from home some days, a coffee shop another day, a different coffee shop another day, the library another day, etc. Routine has a tendency to numb your creativity. Waking up at the same time, taking the same transportation, traveling the same route, plopping down in the same chair