Office Not Required
The classic guide to working from home and why we should embrace a virtual office, from the bestselling authors of Rework
“A paradigm-smashing, compulsively readable case for a radically remote workplace.”—Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet
Does working from home—or anywhere else but the office—make sense? In Remote, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of Basecamp, bring new insight to the hotly debated argument. While providing a complete overview of remote work’s challenges, Jason and David persuasively argue that, often, the advantages of working “off-site” far outweigh the drawbacks.
In the past decade, the “under one roof” model of conducting work has been steadily declining, owing to technology that is rapidly creating virtual workspaces. Today the new paradigm is “move work to the workers, rather than workers to the workplace.” Companies see advantages in the way remote work increases their talent pool, reduces turnover, lessens their real estate footprint, and improves their ability to conduct business across multiple time zones. But what about the workers? Jason and David point out that remote work means working at the best job (not just one that is nearby) and achieving a harmonious work-life balance while increasing productivity.
And those are just some of the perks to be gained from leaving the office behind. Remote reveals a multitude of other benefits, along with in-the-trenches tips for easing your way out of the office door where you control how your workday will unfold.
Whether you’re a manager fretting over how to manage workers who “want out” or a worker who wants to achieve a lifestyle upgrade while still being a top performer professionally, this book is your indispensable guide.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
You don’t have to go to work to work—so argue innovation evangelists Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson in the surprisingly enlightening Remote: Office Not Required. The authors—whose previous book, Rework, was a guidebook to cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit—employ studies, interviews, anecdotes, aphorisms, and stylish illustrations to make the case for the move away from the traditional “office.” The book offers practical tips for aspiring remote workers and managers, ranging from staying motivated to using Apple’s built-in FileVault for enhanced security. Remote is a carefully considered critique of the modern workplace that’s as engaging as it is convincing.
As cofounders of software company 37Signals, which provides tech architecture for telecommuters, Hansson and Fried (authors of Rework) are great believers in working remotely. Eager to proselytize, they offer a short volume extolling the virtues of telecommuting, detailing the benefits to both employer and employee, and explaining how to introduce the concept into a company. In seven sections and a conclusion, the authors attempt to provide guideposts on some of the major issues, such as how to convince management to allow employees to work outside of the office. While the book's overall organization is reasonable, the individual chapters are so brief that they give the impression that Hansson and Fried have extremely short attention spans. Although 37Signals clearly prospers under the management strategy extolled here, the authors appear unaware of the difficulties of telecommuting in some sectors (for instance, in the service industry). Hansson and Fried's amateurish and haphazard case fails to convince, not because it lacks merit, but because the authors seem to be phoning it in.