I just finished reading Remote: Office Not Required by David Hansson & Jason Fried (37signals) and here is my short review of it. The book is a collection of short 2-3 page blog post style essays that advocate the idea working remotely. There are sections on how and why companies should adopt this new culture. Other part of the book is focused on pointing out some tips on how workers can start doing their job remotely while keeping (and increasing) their focus, productivity and motivation.
Remote is a great overview of the whole work from home/coffee shop/coworking space movement. It provides real world examples and goes into some interesting details and revelations. Here are some of the things that I realized while reading through the book:
We are already playing the ‘remote working’ game at the office.
Think about how many emails you send the person that sits right across your desk every day. How much time do you spend in Google Docs or JIRA or whatever your company is using to have you collaborate with your colleagues? Most of the communication and task management is happening exclusively online. So why do most of us need to be stuck in the office?
Setup IS important
What makes remote work possible are the proper tools for it. Shared Documents, Video Chat Conference Calls and Screen Sharing are some of the things that enable people to do their job from anywhere. Equipping yourself with the right tools and keeping them organized will ensure your good workflow and will prevent potential roadblocks.
Future generations will not put up with the 9 to 5 at the office lifestyle
Welcome to the future! Students are now using Facebook/Google groups for class networking along with Skype (and so many other instant messengers) for communication. They write their homework on their iPad and export it to their shared Dropbox folder while on the bus to school. This new generation will not understand the old office-centered style of work. More and more new companies will adopt a modern culture and decentralized and flexible structure.
Remote work will have a great impact on company culture and structure in the future. More importantly, it will change people’s views on work and lifestyle. It’s here to stay. Adopt or be left behind.