Here are a collection of quotes I found interesting from the book. A worthwhile read if you’re looking into offering your staff the ability to work remotely. A few golden nuggets to be sown here.
If 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.
This is teetering on obviousness, and a slight indicator of the level of knowledge assumed of the reader. Hint: “Little to none. They probably think this a newfangled fad!”
To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision.
Keep in mind, the number one counter to distraction is interesting, fulfilling work.
False equality benefits nobody.
The whole point of innovation and disruption is doing things differently from those who came before you. Unless you do that, you won’t stand a chance.
The best cultures derive from actions people actually take, not the ones they write about in a mission statement. Newcomers to an organisation arrive their eyes open. They see how decisions are made, the care that’s taken, the way problems are fixed, and so forth.
There’s nothing more arrogant than taking up someone else’s time with a question you don’t need an answer to right now.
At 37signals, we’ve found that we need a good four hours of overlap to avoid collaboration delays and feel like a team
You’ll probably get far more done when only half of your workday overlaps with the rest of your team.
But here’s the thing: if you’re going to give it a shot, give it a real show. Try it for at least three months. You can even start with two days remote, three days in the office. Then, if it all goes well, flip it – two days in the office, three days remote.
Forcing everyone into the office every day is an organisational SPoF (Single Point of Failure). If the office loses power or Internet or air conditioning, it’s no longer functional as a place to do work.
The company also encourages everyone to stay home during the peak of flu season or during scares like H1N1.
Meetings should be great, and they can be, but only if they are treated as a rare delicacy.
If you’re calling a meeting, you better be sure pulling seven people away from their work for an hour is worth seven hours of lost productivity.
Ask yourself at the end of the day if you feel like you’ve done a good days work. If not, go through the “Five Whys”. Treat that as an off day.
Remote workers, and establishing a “nexus” for your company (a legal term for having a taxable presence in the state)
Doing great work with great people is one of the most durable sources of happiness we humans can tap into. Stick with it.
Even for people with the best intentions, relations can go astray if the work gets stressful.
Sentiments are infectious, whether good or bad.
For remote workers; no asshole-y behaviour allowed, no drama allowed, no bad vibes allowed.
It’s a lot harder to fake your way as a remote worker. As the opportunities to schmooze in the office decrease, the focus on the work itself increases.
“Pre-hiring takes the form of a one or two week mini project. We usually pay around $1,500 for the mini project. If the candidate is unemployed they get a week. Otherwise they get 2 weeks. Make the project meaningful.
Meeting them in person. Narrow the field to about two or three final candidates. Then we’ll fly each in for a day. Since we already know we like their skills (otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten this far), the in person meeting his to determine if we like the “person.” The meeting is information – usually over lunch. Let the candidate go out with their potential team coworkers instead of their manager. It’s important that the team get a good feel for the person as they will be the ones working with a lot more than the manager.
After the candidate gets back from lunch, they’ll sit down with the manager, shoot the breeze a bit, and then they’re invited to hang out at the office for the rest of the day. They can work, observe, whatever.
If we offer them the job, we virtually shake hands, and invite them back to the office for their first few weeks on the job. this way they can get a bit more acclimated to the team, the culture, the faces, the names, etc. Once orientated, they can go back home with a solid introduction to the company.”
Formal annual reviews are usually to big picture to pick up on the small things.
Overwork is dangerous. 37signals fight it by giving everyone an additional weekday off between May and October.
Some people spend their mornings working remotely, then come into the office in the afternoon.