Remote: Office Not Required
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Remote: Office Not Required

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,497 ratings  ·  239 reviews
The “work from home” phenomenon is thoroughly explored in this illuminating new book from bestselling 37signals founders Fried and Hansson, who point to the surging trend of employees working from home (and anywhere else) and explain the challenges and unexpected benefits. Most important, they show why – with a few controversial exceptions such as Yahoo -- more businesses...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 2013)
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John
I've decided that the Freid/DHH writing pair are the Michael Moore of business literature.

If you need to learn something practical about what is a pretty complex topic, this book is useless. If you need something to fight off the "conservatives" in the business world, this is your goto.

I've two main gripes with the book.

The first is about the pacing and chapter lengths. Reading this you feel like you're being shown a second hand car in dodgy yard. You end up revisiting the nice things over and o...more
John Norman
This is a very tricky book to review.

Let me note first that I work remotely as a technology leader at a Boston-based medical startup . . . but I'm based in the Twin Cities. I know remote work very well. I use every tool in this book. I've been remote since the beginning, and my managers and colleagues understand the dynamic, but it's still hard, and not something that is fully embraced in our work.

I'm going to have to divide the readership up into categories:

(1) If you work remotely and have com...more
Mouly
I like 37 signals as a company. They are one of the successful virtual companies. So I had a lot of expectations when I bought the book the day it was launched. But the book was a big letdown.

* The book reads like a collection of blog posts. I felt chapters ended abruptly and switched directions unexpectedly.

* An early chapter says that remote workers can set their own working hours and all the benefits that come with it. A later chapter, about team collaboration, recommends a four hour overlap...more
Anna
I read this book in one sitting. I liked it, but I could not quite figure out the audience. As someone who has worked as a remote employee for over 7 years, a lot of the information was preaching to the choir - I get remote work, because I live it. If the book was written for managers who are looking to make a change, then I don't this book is strong or practical enough (a better book would be Why Managing Sucks). If this book is written for non-managing employees, then they more than likely don...more
Nikolay
Thin, short-paragraphed, biased, opinionated, beautifully written and illustrated remote work manifesto and a sales pitch. Every copyrighter should be jealous.

“Remote” shares the advantages and the problems of the advertisement as a literary form.

If you don't have much experience with remote working or you let your mind wander for a bit, the book is extremely
convincing. DHH/Fried know how to write well.

If you look deeper, you may notice that they offer faux acknowledgements for all the drawbacks...more
Vitor Peres
As a remote worker myself, I nodded my head frequently at the advantages and challenges presented, so the rating's not about a fundamental disagreement with the message or the intentions. Like the authors, I know from personal experience that commuting, facing a strict set of working hours, interruptions and living with the expectation of availability from others are some of the greatest dangers to work (and creative work especially).

I did, however, expect more than short chapters and sparse dat...more
Oscar Julio
The book is organized in a simple way. It's a collection of articles that comment on the experiences of the authors as members of the 37signals.com company (now basecamp.com) in becoming a successful business using remote work.

Reading this book was simple and fast. The topics and the examples they made might not survive the test of time due to the constant changes in technology, but it helped me getting to know most of what's expected from a remote worker, what dangers I might find in my new wor...more
Sergei_kalinin
Книга понравилась меньше, чем REWORK :( Много восхвалений в адрес удалённой работы, но в описании технической и организационной стороны вопроса лично для меня ничего нового. Подробная рецензия в моём блоге: http://s-kalinin.blogspot.ru/2014/03/...
José N. Guerrero
This book is something like a manifesto for remote working, it's great in that aspect because 37signals is a perfect example of how great remote working could be; but if you're expecting a book like a manual this isn't for you.
Oleg Gavryliuk
Хороший гайд о преимуществах и организации удаленной работы. Майндмэп по книге: http://www.mindmeister.com/ru/3927881...
Stephen Collins
Like their previous effort, Rework, Remote is short, sharp and eschews lengthy management book pontification in favor of to-the-point ideas and examples. As a book, it's very much an illustration of how Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have built their company, 37signals into the success it demonstrably is; absent of anything not necessary.

Reading Remote, I was reminded often of the kind of culture espoused in Rework, and felt Remote makes a fine companion to it. While both are eminently...more
Sara
I work remotely, and my company basically does all of these things. The points about isolation and demarcation between work and home were meaningful to me, since I struggle with both of those topics. Overall, an easy, breezy little sermon about the good things remote work can do.
Yael
I was pretty disappointed with this book. I'm such a huge fan of 37Signals in general and Jason Fried in particular, so perhaps my expectations were too high. One of the things I love about Fried's writing is his nuance and finesse, and both were notably missing from this book. A good chunk of it was entirely obvious, and a whole lot of it was unnecessarily strident and condescending. There was also nothing new or groundbreaking and very little research. I kind of feel like reading the book was...more
Max Nova
Following in the same vein as the previous 37signals books like Rework, Remote is short, full of pictures, and contains about 4 good ideas. You'll finish this book in a single sitting, but unless you're looking for arguments to convince your boss to let you work remotely, this book doesn't have much for you. I read it because we're starting to have employees and contractors work remotely and was hoping to avoid a few mistakes. Unfortunately, all this book had to offer was "commutes are bad", "hi...more
Brad
If you're thinking about making the switch to working remotely, this is definitely a great introduction on how to do it. The authors speak from experience as they've both built a very successful company around the concept. As someone who works remotely, reading this book just validated what I already knew and practiced. However, it was great to hear it from someone else who has had success and could share what has worked for them. Even with my own experience, there were still things I learned fr...more
Kim Wennerberg
Good, well-grounded book. Sometimes solutions are narrowed to one option (when there are many. For example there are myriad screen sharing softwares available-- many free- but in Remote it sounds like there is only one. Other solutions are offered as "only one", when it is actually important to point out that there are many.
The authors are real world folks, but I wonder where their recommendation for seeing a programmer's work comes from. For me to share copies of my work with another company wo...more
Dr. Pete Meyers
As a remote worker, I was hoping this would have more on working effectively. It's really focused on making the case for remote work. While I agreed with much of that case, I felt a lot of it was opinion-based. I'm not sure how effective some of the arguments would be in a corporate environment, although it's worth a read for someone trying to make that case.
Graham Lee
There's a revolution coming in American business culture books. Do you want to surf the wave, or be drowned?

Many business culture books have been doing things the old way. But some are doing it the new way, and we think it's working. You should try the new way, not just a little, but all in. Your colleagues-and your shareholders-will thank you.

I'm kidding, of course. There is no new way. American business culture books are all formulaic and-ironically for their demands that we be more innovative...more
Matthew
Although this book wasn't amazing, it did spur a few ideas. I don't know how relevant it ultimately is to someone in ministry (though there are some obvious takeaways I'll be attempting to implement), and I'm not even fully convinced this is the way work will be done in the future, but it's still worth reading and thinking through.

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from the book:

"If you ask people where they go when they really need to get work done, very few will respond 'the office'. If t...more
Ian Banks
Great read for anyone who has ever thought about seriously working from home.

When my kids were born I quickly realized that I would be spending more time sitting in traffic and at work than I could spend with my family. For the past 3 years I have been actively trying to figure out how to work while being able to spend ample time with family in a way that traditional business doesn't seem to care about.

For someone like me this book offers practical insights into what it actually takes to work re...more
Sean Goh
The ability to be alone with your thoughts is one of the key advantages of working remotely.

The problem with a fixed schedule is that when you can't get into the zone, there's rarely much that can force you into it, especially in creative work.

People might already be working remotely in the office, observe closely.
People also have the amazing ability to live down to low expectations. If you expect them to slack off when unsupervised, they probably will. Managers aren't babysitters.

Sometimes dist...more
Jonathan
I like what Jason Fried says a great deal, but I do feel this book in particular was a little light on substance. Yes, we definitely all want the "freedom from soul-crushing commutes, and increased productivity, but wanting it does not make it so. The book is really just about his personal experience with no additional research put in. Does he not know any other companies like his, nothing new to learn from them, alternative ways to execute.

The book is written from the perspective that Remote w...more
Russell
Working remotely is a dream for a lot of people. It is a dream for me. One that involves me moving periodically from country to country, working from beaches, mountains, coffee shops... spending non-work hours doing the things that most people can only relegate to an occasional vacation. I work remotely from my own job on occasion (though usually only from my home) and have hired contract employees who work remotely. So I have some experience from both sides of this setup.

"Remote" does an excell...more
Helder
A really great book about remote working. You can look at this book with two different perspectives: As an employee and as an employer. As an employee, you can see the advantages of not being stuck to the same place everyday every hour. As an employer, you can look at it as a way to empower your employees, to trust them and to let them do great work wherever they are and judge them for the work they do and not for the office politics. Highly recommended.
Jaclyn Day
If you work remotely or want to work remotely, this book is a must-read. It’s short, concise and fascinating. I expected it to include more strategy about the implementation or mechanics of remote working, but it focuses more deeply on why remote employees make sense and why employers need to take a closer look at the advantages of remote work. I wish there had been more of the former, but it was still worth the read. This is a subject that I think will see a lot more attention paid to it over t...more
Alberto Pose
Nice book. This quote is awesome and applies to everybody living in South America/Argentina:


"By the same token, as a remote worker, you shouldn’t let employers get away with paying you less just because you live in a cheaper city. “Equal pay for equal work” might be a dusty slogan, but it works for a reason. If with regard to compensation you accept being treated as a second-class worker based on location, you’re opening the door to being treated poorly on other matters as well."
Remote - Page 16
...more
Igor
Insightful, compelling, worth reading.
Nick Karrasch
Originally posted on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R14W1T5B....

I run an established small but growing remote business. Given how helpful Getting Real and Rework were for small, growing businesses, I assumed Remote would be full of great actionable strategies for being an effective remote team.

While there were 1 or 2 minor tidbits of useful information, the vast majority of the book is aimed at why non-remote companies should become remote, and how employees can convince their bosses to be...more
Victor Kryvenko
Читал одновременно с книгой Глеба Архангельского Работа 2.0. Очень интересно читать две книги одной тематики паралельно и видеть разницу в продукте :)

Книга “Офис не обязателен” написана в очень легком и прикольном стиле.

Книга больше похожа на манифест чем на практическое руководство как сидеть дома в подштаниках, отбиваясь от детей лезущих к ноуту и работать продуктивно. Канечно же, книга не лишена практических рекомендаций, но назвать их прорывными нельзя.

Мнение авторов довольно простое, но оче...more
Savanna
This wasn't as in-dept or well-researched as I had hoped, and it skews very heavily toward to programming and web development side of things. I was disappointed because I had expected a less inductive and less industry-specific approach. I also found the writing a bit on the trite side and sometimes condescending. If the book were presented more as a memoir and guide to 37signals, I would have found it less grating (and also not read it). But as someone (an editor) who's been a remote worker for...more
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David Heinemeier Hansson is a Danish programmer and the creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework. He is also a partner at the web-based software development firm 37signals based in Chicago, Illinois.
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“long commutes make you fat, stressed, and miserable. Even short commutes stab at your happiness.” 1 likes
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