Remote by David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Title: Remote
  • Subtitle: Office Not Required
  • Author(s): David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Year: 2013-10-31
  • ISBN-10: 1448176867
  • ISBN-13: 9781448176861


Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried is a persuasive and eye-opening book that challenges the conventional work culture and introduces the benefits of remote work. In a world where remote work has become increasingly common and accessible, Fried argues that the traditional office-based model is outdated and unnecessary. Drawing on his own experiences as the co-founder of 37signals, a successful remote-working company, Fried takes readers on a journey exploring the multitude of advantages remote work offers, ranging from increased productivity and flexibility to cost savings and improved work-life balance. By presenting compelling anecdotes, backed by research and statistics, Fried dismantles the common misconceptions about remote work to reveal its true potential in fostering a more efficient and happier workforce.

Throughout “Remote,” Fried eloquently illustrates how remote work breaks free from the confines of the office and allows employees to thrive in their individual environments. He provides practical advice on how to successfully manage remote teams, emphasizing the importance of trust, clear communication, and autonomy. Additionally, the book delves into the challenges and solutions related to remote work, addressing the concerns of isolation and lack of collaboration, and offering strategies to overcome these obstacles. With a persuasive and engaging writing style, Fried effectively makes the case for embracing remote work and challenges readers to rethink the traditional office-based paradigm. “Remote” is a must-read for employers, employees, and anyone interested in exploring the future of work.

Book Review

“Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried is a revolutionary book that challenges the conventional notions of work and introduces the benefits of remote work. In this highly informative and thought-provoking read, Fried draws from his own experiences as the co-founder of 37signals (now Basecamp), a company that has successfully embraced a remote-working culture for over a decade. Through a combination of research, statistics, and real-life anecdotes, Fried presents a compelling case for why remote work can be a game-changer for both employers and employees.

One of the primary strengths of “Remote” lies in Fried’s ability to dismantle common myths associated with remote work. He debunks the belief that remote workers are less productive, citing studies that show the opposite. Fried outlines the benefits of remote work, such as eliminating time wasted commuting and the distractions of an office space. He emphasizes how remote work allows people to create their ideal work environment, leading to heightened productivity levels. To further illustrate this point, Fried shares the story of Stack Overflow, a technology platform that started as a completely remote team and found great success with this approach.

Furthermore, Fried narrates the advantages of remote work for employers, particularly in terms of recruitment and cost savings. He highlights how remote work allows companies to access a broader talent pool by not being constrained by geographical locations. Fried presents the example of GitHub, a widely successful code collaboration platform that has grown primarily with remote hires. He also emphasizes cost savings by eliminating the need for large office spaces, which can be redirected towards other endeavors. These examples provide compelling evidence of how remote work offers both flexibility and financial advantages to organizations.

Fried delves into the challenges associated with remote work, such as ensuring effective communication and maintaining company culture. He offers valuable insights into building trust within remote teams, emphasizing the importance of clear and concise communication, as well as fostering a culture of accountability. Fried provides practical advice on utilizing tools and technologies to foster collaboration and recommends periodic in-person meetups to strengthen team dynamics. These recommendations are backed by the successes and failures of numerous companies, including Basecamp itself.

One of the most significant takeaways from “Remote” is the concept of work-life balance and its positive implications for remote workers. Fried argues that remote work allows individuals to design their lives in a way that suits them best, affording them greater flexibility to prioritize personal commitments alongside work. This work-life integration promotes a healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle. Fried backs this claim with stories from employees who have successfully found this balance, showcasing the transformative power of remote work on their lives and well-being.

In conclusion, “Remote: Office Not Required” is a thought-provoking and persuasive book that challenges traditional work structures and highlights the benefits of remote work culture. Jason Fried’s extensive research and compelling examples make a strong case for embracing remote work for both employers and employees. “Remote” is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of work, fostering efficiency, productivity, cost savings, and work-life balance in a post-pandemic world.

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Key Ideas

Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson explores the benefits and challenges of remote work, advocating for a shift in the way we think about work arrangements. The key ideas in the book include:

  1. Remote Work is Viable The book argues that many jobs can be done remotely, thanks to advances in technology. It challenges the traditional notion that work must be done in a centralized office and shows that remote work is a feasible and productive alternative.

  2. Productivity and Autonomy Remote work allows employees to have more control over their work environment, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction. The authors emphasize that autonomy can lead to better results.

  3. Global Talent Pool Remote work opens up the possibility of hiring talent from around the world, rather than limiting recruitment to a specific geographic location. This can result in a more diverse and skilled workforce.

  4. Cost Savings Both employers and employees can benefit from cost savings associated with remote work. Employers can reduce expenses related to office space and utilities, while employees can save on commuting costs.

  5. Work-Life Balance Remote work offers the potential for a better work-life balance. It allows individuals to tailor their work schedule to their needs, contributing to improved overall well-being.

  6. Overcoming Challenges While advocating for remote work, the book acknowledges the challenges, such as communication barriers, time zone differences, and the need for self-discipline. It provides strategies for addressing these issues.

  7. Trust and Results-Oriented Management The authors stress that managers should focus on outcomes rather than monitoring employees’ every move. Trusting employees to deliver results is key to successful remote work arrangements.

  8. Effective Communication Communication is a critical component of remote work. The book offers guidance on how to maintain effective communication through various tools and practices.

  9. Company Culture Maintaining a positive company culture in a remote work environment is essential. The book provides insights into how to foster a strong culture among remote team members.

  10. Remote Work is Not for Everyone While remote work offers many advantages, it acknowledges that it may not be suitable for all roles or individuals. Some people thrive in a traditional office setting, and companies should be flexible in accommodating different work preferences.

  11. The Future of Work “Remote” discusses the changing landscape of work and how remote work is becoming an integral part of the future of work. It encourages organizations to adapt to this shift.

Overall, “Remote” challenges conventional thinking about work and advocates for a more flexible and results-oriented approach. It provides practical advice for both employees and employers looking to embrace remote work successfully and leverage its benefits for greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Target Audience

The book “Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried is targeted at a diverse audience interested in the future of work, productivity, and work-life balance. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Employers and Business Leaders “Remote” offers valuable insights into the benefits and challenges of remote work, providing practical advice on how to successfully manage remote teams. Business leaders who are considering implementing remote work policies or seeking to optimize their existing remote workforce will find this book to be a valuable resource.

  • Employees and Job Seekers Individuals who are interested in exploring remote work opportunities or seeking better work-life balance will find “Remote” to be an insightful read. The book highlights the advantages of remote work, such as increased flexibility and the ability to design one’s own ideal work environment, making it an excellent resource for those seeking a shift in their work style.

  • Entrepreneurs and Start-up Founders As remote work becomes more prevalent in the entrepreneurial space, “Remote” offers crucial insights and lessons for entrepreneurs and start-up founders. The book illustrates how remote work can be leveraged to build successful enterprises, access top talent, and stay nimble in the ever-evolving business landscape.

  • Human Resources Professionals HR professionals looking to adapt their policies and practices to accommodate remote work will find “Remote” to be a valuable resource. The book provides guidance on fostering a remote-work-friendly culture, addressing challenges related to communication, collaboration, and maintaining a cohesive team spirit.

  • Work-Life Balance Advocates Individuals who strive to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives will find “Remote” to be an inspiring read. The book highlights how remote work can enable individuals to integrate work and personal commitments more seamlessly, ultimately leading to greater overall well-being and satisfaction.

In conclusion, “Remote: Office Not Required” is recommended reading for a diverse range of audience members, including employers, employees, entrepreneurs, HR professionals, and work-life balance advocates. Jason Fried’s insights and practical advice on remote work create a compelling argument for embracing this future of work, making the book a valuable resource for anyone interested in optimizing productivity, creating happier work environments, and achieving a healthier work-life balance.