REMOTE: Office Not Required – the new book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Nov 03, 2013

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed – William Gibson

Working remotely is one of the new great debate since Marissa Mayer required all Yahoo employees to work in an office or quit. REMOTE: Office Not Required is the new book from the founders of 37Signals Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Like their previous best seller REWORK, REMOTE is be a collection of short essays that breaks old habits with counterintuitive ideas that will inspire and provoke you. No jargon, no filler. Straightforward.

I totally recommend both books since that’s exactly how I think things should be done. Let me explain why. No spoiler.

First thing is the technology. It is here. It has never been easier to communicate and work with people from anywhere. You may already do it everyday with people located 10 000km from you. Great talent is everywhere. Why limit yourself to a location? Everyone want to do great work with great people. “Don’t be a cultural or geographical hermit.”

Why do companies have no problem working with a lawyer who works in the next town over and yet distrust their own employees to work anywhere other than their own desks? It just doesn’t make sense.

Fair point.

One of the key ideas of the book is as simple as this quote:

Remote work is about setting your team free to be the best it can be, wherever that might be.

And once again Jason and David explain one of their favorite ideas: “Why work doesn’t happen at work” – already explained in their previous books Getting Real and REWORK. Read these books if you want to know why.

They also explain that remote work isn’t without compromise, complications or sacrifice.
But it’s about making things better for more people more of the time.

Finally the authors want to point out that just because you work remotely most of the time doesn’t mean you have to, or should, work remotely all of the time. It takes a certain time to break old habits and get accustomed to new ways. Better ones.

If you enjoyed REWORK, REMOTE is a good follow-up exploring thoroughly the work from home phenomenon. If you haven’t got the chance to read REWORK yet, I would recommend you to start with it first. A manifesto for doing work differently. One of my favorite book, highly recommended.


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