Bookcover - Remote


Office Not Required

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Rating: 4/10


A rehash of learnings from the inner workings at 37signals. Basically, remote work is good for everyone involved and therefore it is what people should be doing. It's a win for the employee because they have more freedom and it's a win for the employer because their employees are more productive. So every company who can, should embrace a remote work culture.

Main Ideas

Working remotely makes people more productive, because of multiple reasons. First it removes the distractions of the office. Interruptions and the cost of task switching. Second, it enables creative people to work at their own times, which might not align with office hours, at all. Hence people don't have to sit around in the office during their mid day slumps.

There are a few things missing though as well. To be able to still have the benefits of a "normal" workplace, like socializing with coworkers, companies have to take care. Digital communication via text is not enough. There should also be space for digital community activities, 1-on-1 chats, virtual lunches, gaming sessions etc. And even, at least once or twice a year, it is a good idea to have retreats in person, where the company gets together, physically, in the same place.

Overall, the main thing I disliked about the book, is how black and white it paints the picture, heralding remote work as the solution for most companies, even though the discussion around it is a lot more nuanced than that.

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