Toby Wilkins

Book Notes – Remote: Office Not Required

  • Author: David Hansson and Jason Fried
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Comment: A must read for any manager, or knowledge worker who is interested in living a happier, more sustained working career.
  • Amazon: Remote: Office Not Required

In 30 years, people will wonder why offices every existed.

Modern technology enables people to effectively work remotely, or from home. It has never been more possible. The future is now, just everyone is lagging behind.

The office has become the place that people least want to be, to get work done.

When you work in the office, you are probably working in a ‘remote’ style anyway. You still communicate with people via IM, email and phone.

The big change when working remotely, is going from synchronous to asynchronous collaboration.

The amount of time you spend working does not matter. its the actual work that counts.

Remote working allows you to tap into amazing tallent, all over the world.

Remote working does not force people into city dwelling. People can live there dream in fabulous locations that suit them. Enabling remote working promotes quality of life.

Intellectual perquisites are the best fit for remote working. Writing, programming, designing, consulting.

Managers biggest fear with remote working is probably trust. To successfully work with other people, you have to trust them. If you don’t, you made a bad hiring decision.

What you will find, is that overworking and burnout is more of a problem than under working. As a manager and co-worker, you should look out for this.

There is only so much goofing off you can do. People want to work, as long as its stimulating and fulfilling.

Security of remote working is a concern. With modern technology its mostly a solved problem. Making secure protocols is like rocket science, but using them is not. Its like putting your seat belt on.

Not letting your staff work from home, is often a control and culture issue. People feel inc control when they can see people ‘working’ in front of them. Innovation comes from adapting, and breaking the norm.

Use video calls and shares screen to collaborate on nearly anything. These days, there are many tools available. In slower time, you can record and send a short video.

It’s important to make information and data accessible so people don’t get blocked, waiting on others.

Social interaction is important for people. People will rely on there own social circles more when working remotely. However, you can enable more interactions. Regular video calls. A ‘water cooler’ equivalent chat channel that people can dip into for there social fix.

With remote working, the work itself becomes the primary focus for performance.

Enabling remote working is contingency planning. Your workforce can keep going during unpredictable circumstances, or around personal issues that hit.

Meetings are like salt. Exciting and productive when used sparingly, but wasteful when used in excess.

Remote workers are more susceptible to cabin fever. Its up to the worker themselves to manage there social interactions. Look to family and friends. Go outside into the world.

At the end of the day, as your self – ‘Have I had a productive days work’. If you haven’t, ask yourself why and try to fix that.

Solid verbal and written communication is critical for remote workers.

Its difficult to find good staff. Instead of letting them go, enable them to keep working remotely. People will stay at your company for longer, and you will retain then. #Managment

Ass-hole behaviour can be much worse with remote working. Managers need to set an example and stamp out any ass-hole-y behaviour by setting a good example.

Equal pay, for equal work. Remote working and location regardless.

When hiring, it still makes sense to meet in person.

The job of a manager is not to lead cats, but to trust, support, guide and verify work.

Its much easier to work remotely with people that you have met in real life. Every now and again, get the team all together.

Working remotley does not nesesarily mean working at home in isolation. Mix it up. Go into the office sometimes. Use co working spaces, or the coffee shop.

Open source software project are an example of fantastic remote working and collaboration.

As a manager, you need to create and maintain a level playing field between in office workers, and remote workers. #Managment

Hacks for home working

  • Separate space for work, like an office.
  • ‘Work slippers’ and ‘home slippers’.
  • Work computer and personal computer.
  • Keep a routine.
  • Keep a line between work and play.
  • Go outside during the day.
  • Talk and communicate people people; either in or out of work.

Remote working days don’t have to be all or nothing. E.g, work from home in the morning then go into the office in the afternoon. Routine has a tendency to numb creativity. Mix it up, and perhaps privide a budget to do so.

The only effective way to motivate people is to give them interesting and exciting work.

Good work does not care if its done in the office, on a beach in maui or a coffee shop in stains.

In 30 years, people will wonder why offices every existed.