Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier – Book Summary

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Ready to learn the most important takeaways from Remote in less than two minutes? Keep reading!

Why This Book Matters:

Basecamp founders and remote work pioneers Jason Fried and David Heinemeier offer keen insights into how and why to build a high-performing remote organization where every employee gets to “work from home.”

Key Takeaways:

  1. Thanks to technology, remote companies now have access to a massive talent pool
    1. Employers no longer need to be hampered by physical location when hiring and retaining valuable team members.
    2. Example: Jellyvision moved to an optional remote work model so they could retain a valuable employee who relocated with his family out of state.
  2. Remote work gives employees more freedom and flexibility
    1. Everyone has different styles, different times of productivity, and different environments that work best for them that don’t always fit within the constraints of an office environment.
    2. Example: If a remote worker has kids, they’ll have much more flexibility around when they spend time with their kids and when they work.
  3. Working remotely boosts productivity by removing common distractions
    1. Although you may still deal with distractions outside the office, you have more control over when they occur and for how long.
    2. Example: An office day is interrupted by meetings, interactions with others, and noise. Outside of the office, you can set time aside to work uninterrupted.
  4. Having “eyes on” your employees doesn’t ensure they’re working
    1. Employees can just as easily waste time at the workplace as they can elsewhere.
    2. Example: 30% of J.C. Penney headquarters’ bandwidth is used for watching YouTube videos.
  5. Try testing remote work policies to see if they might work for your organization
    1. You don’t need to take an all or nothing stance on remote work – you can dip your toes in the water first.
    2. Example: Offer a remote option to a small group first to see how your company adapts, and to observe any issues that should be addressed.
  6. Be more deliberate with structuring collaboration for remote work employees
    1. All employees need time when they can be online together to collaborate and communicate in real time for the sake of productivity.
    2. Example: The authors implemented a four-hour overlap policy for all remote work employees at their company, 37Signals. This means that all employees must be online and available during these hours.
  7. Work harder to nurture personal relationships with remote workers
    1. Everyone needs social interaction, even remotely, to stay engaged in the company and to feel satisfied by their work environment on a big picture level.
    2. Example: 37Signals does this by maintaining a chat room where employees can “hang out” and chat about non-work events. They also hold company-wide meetups twice a year.
  8. Don’t let your remote workers burn out
    1. Productivity among remote workers may increase so much they may feel tempted to overwork themselves, which has long term consequences for their job satisfaction.
    2. Example: A company could encourage employees to take a “mandatory fun day” for themselves when the weather is especially nice.

Want To Keep Reading?

  1. Read A Longer Form Summary on Blinkist
  2. Buy The Book on Amazon
  3. Listen To The Audiobook
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