Remote – Office Not Required Book Review

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50 000 foot overview summary

With the proliferation of mobile technology there has been an unprecedented rise in remote working. In Remote – office not required, Jason Fried and David Hansson explore this growing trend and look to provide more details for both employers of remote workers and the employees themselves. This book immediately got my attention as a self employed remote worker but as you will see through this book review it is more targeted towards those who haven’t yet taken the plunge into the “remote lifestyle”.

A closer look

I received this book for Christmas and immediately got into it with much anticipation. The whole remote working life is something I have been doing for years and to have a book like this explore it and justify it was something I had to see for myself. I say justify as I think many remote workers like myself sometime think to ourselves, “This is just too good to be true!”, even when we know about many of the pitfalls associated with remote working already.

This brings me nicely to my main point about this book.

If you are already accustomed to life as a remote worker, this book is going to do very little for you as it did for me. Sure you will learn a thing or two, you may even find yourself using a new tool or two after reading it (Join.me as an example for me), but ground breaking must read for the remote worker unfortunately it’s not. In its defence however, it does do a good job of clearly explaining the pros and cons of remote work to give a balanced look at the reality of this type of work. 

However if you are contemplating going remote and are currently working in an organisation that questions its validity as a work model, I would encourage you to buy it right now. specifically chapters 1 and 2. Then make sure to hand the book to your employer and get them to read the whole book because to be perfectly honest this book really is written for employers and not employees. So use this book to your advantage when scheduling your next meeting with your boss 🙂

Interesting titbits  

  • By working remotely you will save on average 400 hours per year in commuting time to and from work. This is the same amount of time that the authors built their hugely popular software platform (Basecamp) in. Another way of looking at it is that it will save you $10000 per year too!
  • Offices are not where work gets done, they are interruption factories of meetings, calls and at oft times pointless conversations
  • Your company is already more remote than you think!
  • The security check-list that starts on page 55 is worthy of a good luck and outright copying!
  • Page 74 of the book addresses an interesting point about bosses. One of the main things you may have to deal with as an employee seeking a remote working arrangement, is your bosses need for control.
  • Out of all the chapters I would say chapter 4 is the best for existing remote workers to read and take action on
  • The number one thing to becareful of in remote working is not under-work but over work that leads to burnout

 

Conclusion

This book is an enjoyable light read that provides a clear and balanced look at the life and management of remote working. Excellent for those contemplating working remotely even just on a part time basis, but less helpful to those already familiar with the ins and outs of remote work.

 Click below to purchase the book from Amazon. 

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