Remote – Office Not Required @ Book

http://37signals.com/remote/

Just completed the “remote” book from 37 signals. The above site has nice introductory video for 37 signals case.

I sometimes ponder about working apart from the office – from home, coffee shop or any other place. However, in the actual life, everyone is packed in the office from the morning to the night, with the “physical” meeting filled in the everyone’s scheduler. There’re difficulties getting out of this condition for myself. But, I found this book insightful about working remotely discussed on several different perspectives.

The followings are some of my reading notes.

Distractions

As discussed in the book, it’s a major issue for completing tasks which requires focuses. Many of the skilled members get interruptions from the colleagues asking for helps constantly, or from scheduled meetings. Then, some of them are forced to come very early in the morning, or work over the weekend. It’s a tough situation.

However, working remotely has different types of distractions or temptations. Some workers may lose focus, though motivated/passionate workers might go different direction (overwork). Freedom is not always a happy path, and it requires certain commitment or regimen to make it work. Some ways to avoid distractions are discussed in the book, but still it would be a large fear. With this in mind, I like the concept of more loosely implemented way, like work from home in the morning and come office afternoon.

Communications

We sometimes work with contractors in foreign countries, and the major communication path is e-mail and messaging. It sometimes cause issues, due to the misunderstanding on expected outputs. It may not only be about “communication”, but F2F chatting has been working as a safe-net for avoiding the this type of issues. It can/should be replaced with phone calls, WebEX or video calls, but it it would require certain cares from members or leaders for maintaining the constant communications. As indicated in the book, setting up the online infrastructure or having constant F2F meet-up would be a good approach.

Workplace

One interesting point is there are myriad reasons why people have to—or want to—move, and they don’t necessarily have to leave the company if they’re working remotely. Maybe that’s the one good reason that 37 signals can hire or maintain the talented people from many locations. Most of the time, employees are tied to one office location, and forced to leave the company due to certain reasons. It’s unfortunate.

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Posted on November 2, 2013, in Book. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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