Notes on Remote, by Jason Fried and David Hinemeier Hansson

Jason Fried and David Hinemeier Hansson. Remote. New York: Crown Publishing/Penguin Random House, 2013.

37: on how remote workers save organizational money, with example from IBM

38: “And the savings aren’t just for the company. Whil;e the firm’s owners get to save on office space, the employee gets to save on gas. HP’s Telework Calculator shows a savings of almost $10,000 per year for an SUV driver who spends an hour a day communting ten miles round trip. Cutting back on commuting also means huge savings for the environment. The same IBM study showed how remote work saved the company five million gallons of fuel in 2007, preventing more than 450,000 tons of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere in the United States alone.”

46-47: how we are all already effectively working remotely when we email the person in the office next to us

51: on debunking excuses against remote work, on “Magic only happens when we’re all in the room together” explaining: “This is why at 37signals we don’t meet in person all that often. Our attitude is, we need a clean plate before going up for seconds. Only about three times a year does the whole company get  together in the Chicago office.”

58: on distractions at home: “Keep in mind, the number one counter to distractions is interesting, fulfilling work.”

85-88: when the excuse is that it won’t work for size/industry, list of examples of different sizes and types

91: in section on “how to collaborate remotely” – “At 37signals, we’ve found that we need a good four hours of overlap to avoid collaboration delays and feel like a team.”

100-101: “The virtual water cooler”

119-120: “Cabin fever” and 120 on ways to cope, which include wandering in the city, volunteering on a lunch break, etc.

150-152: 150: “Keep the good times going”; 151: “It’s never a good idea to let poisonous people stick around to spoil it for everyone else, but in a remote setup it’s deadly. When you’re a manager and your employees are far flung, it’s impossible to see the dread in their eyes, and that can be fatal.[…] a manager of remote workers needs to make an exmaple of even the small stuff–things like snippy comments or passive-aggressive responses. While this responsibility naturally falls to those in charge, it works even better if policed by everyone in the company. ” 152: “The old adage still applies; No assholes allowed. But for remote work, you need to extend it to no asshole-y behavior allowed, no drama allowed, no bad vibes allowed.”

182: “The job of a manager is not to her cats, but to lead and verify the work.”

185: On real life meetups; possibly twice a year

195: “One-on-ones” and frame with check-ins: “The goal here is really just to keep a consistent, open line of communication. The quick calls prevent issues and concerns from piling up without being addressed. Morale and motivation are fragile things, so you want to make sure to monitor the publse of your remote workforce.”

200: “If you let them, humans have the amazing power to live up to your high expectations of reasonableness and responsibility.”

202: “Be on the lookout for overwork, not underwork”

203: “In the same way that you don’t want a gang of slackers, you also don’t want a band of supermen. The best workers over the long term are people who put in sustainable hours.”