Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier
Hansson Random House, $29.99
When a business book is published by people who are already walking the talk, it’s always on the top of my reading pile. In this case, it’s from the founders of 37signals, the trailblazing software company that produced Basecamp.
The authors dedicate it to “everyone sitting in traffic right now” and set about building up their case that modern offices are nothing more than interruption factories. They argue the case for forgoing lengthy commutes in favour of actually getting stuff done and devote a chapter to dealing with the various excuses for not allowing employees the freedom to work remotely.
It also deals out a dose of realism in discussing the practicalities and dangers of turning home into an office: for example, getting equally distracted or missing out on the watercooler conversations.
Some of the advice applies just as much to offices, for example, ‘Easy on the M&Ms’ – in other words, meetings and managers. And who really loves having meetings? Nobody, that’s who. Nobody!
Finally, if nothing else, the book is a call to arms for introverts and others needing peace and quiet to, you know, get some work done.