The one-sentence summary
Going remote allows the most talented people to produce the best work regardless of their location.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
• The most talented people in the world don’t all live in one place.
• The best place to live depends on who you are and what you like.
• The modern office has become an interruption factory.
• Going remote allows the most talented people to produce the best work regardless of their location.
• The time is right for remote work – despite all the usual excuses that are offered. Classic excuses include “magic only happens when we’re all in a room”, “if I can’t see them, how do I know they’re working?”, and “people’s homes are full of distractions.”
• In fact, people get more done at home, and are more likely to overwork.
• Forcing everyone into the office every day is an organisational SPoF – a Single Point of Failure. It’s counterproductive.
• Easy on the M&Ms – meetings and managers. We have too much of both.
• Constantly asking people to update you on their work actually prevents them from doing it.
• Pre-hiring involves paying candidates a small fee for a test project before deciding to hire them. This verifies if they are up to the job.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
• People go to the office all the time and act as if they’re working remotely: emailing, instant messaging, and secluding themselves to get work done.
• There is a growing trend to monitor staff’s computer screens using a system called InterGuard. Such developments have significant trust issues.
• Culture is not complicated. It can be defined as:
~ How we talk to customers
~ What quality is deemed acceptable
~ How we talk to each other
~ What workload is acceptable
~ What level of risk-taking is acceptable
• The two vital qualities for a good worker are to be smart and get things done. Being weak at one or the other is easier to miss if you see someone in the office every day.
• This equation is wrong: In the office from 9-5 + nice = must be a good worker.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
• The experience of the authors comes from the world of designing software. Care is needed to work out how well their approach might work in other industries.