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Remote: Office Not Required

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  7,963 ratings  ·  735 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
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Crown Business
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John
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Rod Hilton
This book was a little disappointing, not because it's bad but because it wasn't quite what I was looking for. The book advertises itself as a collection of solutions to problems people encounter when embracing remote work, but more than anything else the problem it solves is "how do I convince management to embrace remote work?"

Most of the book is structured as a work of persuasion, something that's intended to convince people to go remote. A lot of it seems geared toward executives and
...more
John
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
...more
Mouly
Nov 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vitor Capela
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
...more
icarranna
Oct 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, business
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 ...more
Nikolay
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Derek
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, 2017
Jul 31, 2016

Rework was an amazing book that put into words how I feel about work.

Remote was different. While I agree that remote work can be effective, I disagreed with several of the sections.

First off, I work for Accenture, one of the companies interviewed and quoted in the book. The description of Accenture in the book in no way matches what happens in real life. Do 80% of the people not work in the Accenture offices? Yes. Because they are required to be on-site, butt in seat, logging face
...more
Natalie
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved learning about how this company made it work. Lots of overlap to experiences I have had / am having here at work. The no "jerks" allowed rule really resonates with me.
Catarina Clemente
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. A compreenhensive review of the pros and cons of remote work, addressing some of the miths about working out of traditional offices. The only thing I would point out is that it needs to be understood in a skilled work environment. While I believe that most people deserve the benefit of the doubt, I think the authors are sometimes a bit naive in their assessment of people's commitment ti their work. All in all a great read and a must for managers. A lot of us are already working ...more
Fib
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a remote worker, I felt very connected with the stories in this book. TBH, I was already familar with most of the recommendations, because I have been working remotely for a year, but that's actually a good thing, because it means that we're all on the same channel and there's a common path to success for remote workers.
I really liked it. I would have given 5 stars if I had learned many new tricks or recommendations that I didn't know before.
Karen Gale booze
I loved everything about it. The book encompasses, so much truth about the upside and downsides to working from home. I believe is shows the best possibilities of the remote style of work. I suggested it to a minimum of 10 people I know who have been thinking about starting a remote platform at their company.
Sergey Shishkin
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book with practical tips and a clear message: Value work produced over time spent.

Unfortunately it only focuses on hiring ready made experts and ignores the process of talent growth. To me pairing and working with others side by side is the most effecient way to both learn and teach. Remote doesn't mention any substitute to that.
Willian Molinari
The interesting part of reading this book is that I'm currently living most part of it in the past 2 years. :)
The book itself is a little bit outdated as it was written in 2013 and we had a very different scenario then. They mention it in the first chapter, BTW.

I found it to be a little repetitive as well, they are not very pragmatic about the content and decided to mention things over and over again so you can open the book in any particular chapter and use it as reference (at least that's what
...more
Guilherme Labrego
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I've enjoyed listening to this book, but I feel that the way the subject is presented by the author is a little bit incisive, this was already expected from something that comes from DHH, so nothing new here.

I've liked the format of little chapters and no defined order of the subjects, but I think that this turned the tips repetitive too.

I like the way DHH covers all the things about remote work, talking from how this change your business, culture, and mindset about work, to things like how to
...more
Zach
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology
I've had this book lying around for a couple years. I'm about to start a new position which allows remote work, and figured it was time to read this.

I liked that it was a short book, and the writing was clear. I was able to finish this book in just a few short sessions. However, I don't think I really got anything out of reading this. It was mostly directed towards convincing business owners that they should explore allowing employees to work remotely, and most of the content seemed long-winded
...more
Magno de Santana
Excellent reading! Waiting for the next book: The Calm Company.
Naing Lin
It's released in 2013 and many things are change, also the remote culture itself is. Some of the do and don't will be really useful if someone start picking as remote employee or skim the overviews of culture as a whole. But compared to rework, It's lighter, less of as a manifesto not to mention some points are overlapped.
Giuseppe D
This had some good insights on why remote working can be good and how to be a good remote worker. Nothing beyond common sense really but it’s nice to see it condensed in a brief and informative book.
Jay
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, business
I helped write a remote working policy for a very large company twenty years ago. This repeats some of the same issues we addressed in our policy. But Remote felt like it was written for small companies that worked on computer programs. A large percentage of the examples were from such small companies. (One example - I didn't notice office politics being described, and that can have a large impact on careers, and remote workers need to understand how to deal with this in new ways. Another ...more
Agisilaos Tsaraboulidis
REMOTE was such a fantastic read. It explains really well the benefits of remote work and also addresses with real paradigms the concerns that people have about this type of work. As the author says remote work is the future and can help people be more productive and have other benefits as well all explained through paradigms.

I was a huge fan of remote work but after reading this book I’m a bigger fan of it and also learned a couple of tricks to adopt in my daily life working like that.
André Gomes
Very objective book, direct to the point!

They are very experienced in remote work so the could discuss the problems of working at an office (transportation, interruptions, commuting, etc.) and present the benefits of remote working as well as what you should be careful when trying to change to remote working.

Lot's of good advice.
Andrea
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book overall. Having worked remotely from my home and in our Chennai office, nothing they had to say was really ground breaking for me, but if your just starting to explore the idea of working remotely, it's a great guide.
Nichole Kliewer
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great short read! We currently do a lot of what this book discusses but it was interesting to hear about it from a different company's perspective.
Claudiu Constantin
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: remote-work
A book that can change your life
Aaron Wolfson
Good overview for this newly-remote worker. Preaches to the choir a lot. Leaves me wanting more.
Boni Aditya
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This book might have been revolutionary when it was first published but now it is common knowledge in 2018 by the time I read this book, I have used every single one of the technologies that were mentioned in the book, and many variants of them too.

This is another great book from 37 signals about how to conduct tech business with better efficiency, I have read Reword from 37 signals and it was amazing. This is also a great book, but I think I have read it in the wrong time. I should have read
...more
Justohidalgo
I wholeheartedly agree with most of what Fried and DHH propose in their books, podcasts and tweets regarding work and conciliation. However, I always have a problem with their books in terms of how they are written. Both REWORK and REMOTE are basically a collection of short posts that basically preach to the choir, but don't quite fill all the needs I believe a good defense of their thesis should do. I understand that as founders of Basecamp (fka 37signals) many of their insights come from ...more
Hugo Lopes
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book to understand how to adopt remote work. The authors spend a good amount of the book justifying why remote work is good, and for someone like me, who's already sold on this idea, it was a bit too much. I liked the content, it's super easy to read and feels like a blog archive (short chapters that are relate but at the same time independent).

Some software written in the book may be dated because of the last five years of developments with remote tools (no mentions of Slack and Zoom,
...more
Jeff Van Campen
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech, business
This is a great book if you're thinking about working remotely, using remote workers or trying to convince your boss that you should be able to work remotely. It has a wealth of advice for getting started, overcoming your fears and convincing your boss.

I read it looking for ideas now that I work remotely part of the week and work with people working remotely all week. The advice on this front is not as rich. That said, the one thing I took away from this book was to be empathetic with people who
...more
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Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals. Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. Jason co-wrote all of 37signals books, and is invited to speak around the world on entrepreneurship, design, management, and software.
“Security is a big and serious deal, but it’s also largely a solved problem. That’s why the average person is quite willing to do their banking online and why nobody is afraid of entering their credit card number on Amazon. At 37signals, we’ve devised a simple security checklist all employees must follow: 1. All computers must use hard drive encryption, like the built-in FileVault feature in Apple’s OS X operating system. This ensures that a lost laptop is merely an inconvenience and an insurance claim, not a company-wide emergency and a scramble to change passwords and worry about what documents might be leaked. 2. Disable automatic login, require a password when waking from sleep, and set the computer to automatically lock after ten inactive minutes. 3. Turn on encryption for all sites you visit, especially critical services like Gmail. These days all sites use something called HTTPS or SSL. Look for the little lock icon in front of the Internet address. (We forced all 37signals products onto SSL a few years back to help with this.) 4. Make sure all smartphones and tablets use lock codes and can be wiped remotely. On the iPhone, you can do this through the “Find iPhone” application. This rule is easily forgotten as we tend to think of these tools as something for the home, but inevitably you’ll check your work email or log into Basecamp using your tablet. A smartphone or tablet needs to be treated with as much respect as your laptop. 5. Use a unique, generated, long-form password for each site you visit, kept by password-managing software, such as 1Password.§ We’re sorry to say, “secretmonkey” is not going to fool anyone. And even if you manage to remember UM6vDjwidQE9C28Z, it’s no good if it’s used on every site and one of them is hacked. (It happens all the time!) 6. Turn on two-factor authentication when using Gmail, so you can’t log in without having access to your cell phone for a login code (this means that someone who gets hold of your login and password also needs to get hold of your phone to login). And keep in mind: if your email security fails, all other online services will fail too, since an intruder can use the “password reset” from any other site to have a new password sent to the email account they now have access to. Creating security protocols and algorithms is the computer equivalent of rocket science, but taking advantage of them isn’t. Take the time to learn the basics and they’ll cease being scary voodoo that you can’t trust. These days, security for your devices is just simple good sense, like putting on your seat belt.” 3 likes
“you can’t let your employees work from home out of fear they’ll slack off without your supervision, you’re a babysitter, not a manager. Remote work is very likely the least of your problems.” 2 likes
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