Book summary: Remote – office not required
The authors are founders of 37Signals. The book talks about how to go about remote work, its advantages and pitfalls.
Here are some key takeaways from the book.
- Technology has enabled remote work and its growing.
- Meetings are over-rated. And a lot of things done over in meetings can be done via chat groups, emails, or audio calls.
- Remote workers should have at least a partial overlap with rest of the team for coordination. Regular work updates keep everyone in sync.
- To avoid a single point of slow-down and failures, everything is shared and documented. No more tapping on a colleague’s shoulder.
- It is important for a remote worker to both the check-in as well as the check-out. Lack of office leads to fuzzy work-life boundaries. Having different equipment is helpful in such cases.
- Since most conversations with remote workers will be written, writing becomes a really important skill.
- To level the playing field between remote and local workers, most meetings should happen over email and chat rooms.
- Reduce dependencies – remote workers should be easily able to buy stuff than waiting for approval (up to a limit).
- Having a routine is of paramount importance to a remote worker.
- A remote worker should take the effort to regularly change the scenery. A home office can lead to boredom in the longer run. If needed, s/he should rent a shared office space.
- To avoid getting ignored, a remote worker should make noise and make progress on exceptional work.