Dan Kim @dankimio

REMOTE: Office Not Required — Jason Fried

The Time is Right For Remote Work

  • Not as its leashed servant in a suburb, but to wherever one wants.
  • Shed the resentment of golden handcuffs that keep you from living how you really want to live.
  • It requires a new level of personal commitment to come up with—and stick with—an alternative work frame. That’s more responsibility than may be apparent at first, especially for natural procrastinators—and who isn’t from time to time.

Dealing With Excuses

  • We employ team members who are skilled professionals, capable of managing their own schedules and making a valuable contribution to the organization. We have no desire to be babysitters during the day.
  • Keep in mind, the number one counter to distractions is interesting, fulfilling work.
  • And if you’re stuck in a dead-end job that has no prospects of being either, then you don’t just need a remote position—you need a new job.
  • The whole point of innovation and disruption is doing things differently from those who came before you. Unless you do that, you won’t stand a chance.
  • In fact, you should be happy if the 800-pound gorilla in your industry is still clinging to the old ways of working. It will just make it that much easier to beat them.
  • But if you hide in the herd, you’re not likely to get ahead of the pack.

How to Collaborate Remotely

  • To instill a sense of company cohesion and to share forward motion, everyone needs to feel that they’re in the loop.
  • In talking to a project manager without tech chops, programmers can make a thirty-minute job sound like a week-long polar expedition, but if their tall tale is out in the open for other programmers to see, it won’t pass the smell test.
  • Simply put, progress is a joy best shared with coworkers.

Beware the Dragons

  • That means getting a proper desk (height adjustable?), a proper chair (Humanscale Liberty?), and a proper screen (27 inches in high resolution!). All that stuff can seem expensive, but it’s a great bargain if it means not ruining your back, your eyesight, or any other part of your anatomy.

Hiring and Keeping the Best

  • If anything, the human connection is even more important when hiring remote workers because it has to be stronger to survive the distance.
  • While this responsibility naturally falls to those in charge, it works even better if policed by everyone in the company.
  • The job starts with putting together a team of people who are naturally interested in more than just their work.
  • It’s the work that matters. Look at the work and forget the abstractions.
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White Revising Prose by Richard Lanham.
  • Pre-hiring takes the form of a one- or two-week mini-project. We usually pay around $1,500 for the mini-project.

Managing Remote Workers

  • Second, you must make sure that people have access, by default, to everything they need.
  • Part of the problem is the occasional pride that managers take in being Mr. or Ms. Roadblock. Having to be asked—even courted—gives them a certain perverse satisfaction.

Life As A Remote Worker

  • Rather, the only reliable way to muster motivation is by encouraging people to work on the stuff they like and care about, with people they like and care about.